GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With the Nov. 8 general election looming, a new poll shows the three Democratic incumbents in Michigan’s top executive offices hold advantages — though sometimes narrowly — over their Republican challengers.
The EPIC-MRA poll released Thursday shows that if the election were held immediately, 54% of respondents would vote for Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer and 43% would vote for Republican Tudor Dixon.
Two percent of those polled said they were undecided or refused to say who they would — or already had — voted for. No third-party candidate garnered more than 1%.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls — before Thursday’s EPIC-MRA results were factored in — showed Whitmer leading by 3.4 percentage points. In the last two weeks, some polls showed the race was tied, while others put Whitmer’s lead at as much as nine points.
Incumbent Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, holds a narrow lead over her Republican Matt DePerno: 48% said they would choose Nessel and 42% DePerno. Seven percent were undecided. No third-party candidate garnered more than 2%. That race has been pretty close for months.
In the race for Michigan Secretary of State, 51% said they would vote for incumbent Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, and 40% said they would choose Republican Kristina Karamo. Six percent were undecided or refused to answer. No third-party candidate had the support of more than 1% of respondents. Benson has held a fairly steady lead over Karamo in the polls.
Voters remain concerned about controlling inflation and the economy, with 28% saying inflation was their top concern and 11% saying the economy and jobs. Twenty-one percent said abortion was the most important issue to them. Twelve percent said they were most concerned about the quality of education. However, 43% of voters said they thought the issue that was affecting the race for governor most was abortion, while 28% said it was inflation.
ABORTION BALLOT QUESTION
Michigan voters will decide on three ballot questions, the mostly highly charged of which would enshrine the right to abortions in the state constitution.
The EPIC-MRA shows that measure, labeled Proposal 3, is still likely to pass, though by a slightly narrower margin than the last poll. Fifty-seven percent of those polled said they would vote yes on Proposal 3 and 40% no. Four percent were undecided or refused to answer.
That race has narrowed since September, when 64% said they would vote yes and 27% no.
Of those surveyed, 61% identified themselves as pro-choice, saying women had the right to abortions, and 35% as pro-life, saying abortions should be illegal except to save the life of the mother.
Proposal 1 would revamp term limits for the state Legislature, setting a total of 12 years in either or both chambers. The current limits are six years in the House of Representatives and eight in the Senate. The proposal would also require legislators and the state’s top executive officers to file public financial disclosures each year. Of those polled, 66% said they would vote yes and 29% no. Five percent were undecided or refused to answer. That’s not much different than the last poll.
Proposal 2 would institute a number of voting reforms, including but not limited to adding nine days of early in-person voting, requiring the state to fund absentee ballot drop boxes and pay for absentee application and ballot postage, requiring military or overseas ballots to be counted if they are postmarked by election day and requiring canvass boards to certify election results based only on the official records of votes cast. Sixty-eight percent of those polled said they would pass it and 29% said they would reject it. Three percent were undecided or refused to answer. That difference has also remained fairly steady.
The general election is Nov. 8. You can still register to vote in person at your clerk’s office up until polls close on Election Day. If you have an absentee ballot, you should return it in person or via one of your jurisdiction’s drop boxes. It’s too late to put it in the mail.
With a large number of absentee ballots, the count will take longer than many people are used to and some close races may not be decided by Tuesday night — it may take until Wednesday or even Thursday if the race is particularly tight. Election officials urge voters to be patient as the count proceeds methodically.
EPIC-MRA surveyed 600 people between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.
Of those polled, 40% called themselves Democrats and 40% Republicans. Eighteen percent said they were independents. The remainder were undecided or declined to say.
Eighty-one percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 11% as Black, 2% as Hispanic or Latino, 1% as Asian and 1% as Native American. The remainder were of mixed race, another race or declined to say.
Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed were 65 or older, 30% were between the ages of 50 and 64, 24% were between the ages of 35 and 49 and 18% were 18 to 34.