Poll: Rick Snyder, Gary Peters widen leads in gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races

Incumbents Ruth Johnson, Bill Schuette also lead respective campaigns

By Jeff Wattrick - Web Editor

The latest Local 4/Detroit News poll shows Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is widening his lead over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Gary Peters continues to pull away from Republican nominee Terri Lynn Land in the U.S. Senate race.

The poll, conducted by the Glengariff Group surveyed a random sample of 600 Michigan voters by telephone. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.0% with a 95% level of confidence. 70% of the respondents were interviewed by land line. 30% of the respondents were interviewed by cell phone. The survey was conducted on Oct. 2-4, 2014.

According to the survey, Snyder leads Schauer in the gubernatorial race by a 44.9% to 37.1% margin, with 14.2% of voters still undecided.

Michigan voters appear to be generally satisfied with Snyder's first term as governor. Our poll showed  a combined 54.5% of Michigan voters approve or strongly of the job he's doing while 41.2% disapprove or strongly disapprove.

Support for the incumbent governor has remained reasonably steady through the three Local 4/Detroit News polls conducted during this campaign in May, September, and October. However, Schauer appears to have given back gains in voter support shown in September when our poll shows Snyder leading Shauer by a 43.6%-41.8% margin.

In the campaign to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican Terri Lynn Land by a 44%-35%, with 15% of voters still undecided.

Further down the ticket, incumbent Attorney General Bill Schuette and incumbent Secretary of State Ruth Johnson lead their respective races.

On The Issues

Our poll also found that Michigan voters feel the state is on the right track by a 51.2%-35.7% margin.

A solid plurality of 48.2% of respondents say things have improved in Michigan over the last four year, while 25% say they believe things have gotten worse, and 25.8% say they've stayed the same.

However, the state's decision to apply the income tax to pensions is one issue where most Michiganders appear to disapprove. 68.2% of respondents say they disagreed with the so-called pension tax, while just 22.9% say they approve of the change.

On the issue of fixing Michigan's roads, 24.8% of respondents say they believe the state does not have enough revenue to maintain the roads and 49.7% simply believe state government doesn't know how to properly do the job. 14.3% of voters surveyed say they believe it's a combination of lack of money and incompetence prevents the state from improving road conditions.

Voters surveyed were also asked if they believed K-12 school funding has increased, decreased, or stayed the same over the last few years. 49% say they believe funding has decreased, 17.7% say they believe funding increased. 20.3% say they believe funding remained about the same. 12.8% say they were unsure or don't know.

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