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Detroit Regional Chamber Releases Findings from Statewide Policy Poll

Results Highlight Which Issues Matter to Michigan Voters in Advance of the Detroit Democratic Debate and the 2020 Election

DETROIT, MICH. (July 25, 2019) – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber released findings from a new statewide poll that highlights the issues that matter most to Michigan voters in advance of the 2020 presidential election’s focus turning to Michigan with the July 30th and 31st Democratic debates in Detroit.

“Michigan is going to be a key state in next year’s election, so we believe it is important the candidates understand how Michigan residents feel on the issues,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The statewide survey shows that while there is a consensus among Michigan voters on major key issues, there is also some divisiveness across ideologies. We ask our elected officials and those who seek office to keep that front of mind between now and next November and hope that they focus on the vast majority of voters and not just a segment.”

Highlights include:

  • With a margin of 40.7-51.2%, Michigan voters believe the nation is on the wrong track (8.2% no response).
  • However, Michigan voters do think the nation’s economy is on the right track at a 62%-28.7% margin (9.3% no response).
    •  When asked if over the past three years their households had been improved, been hurt or remained the same, 63% did not see an improvement – with 15.5% of household being hurt and 47.5% no change (1% no response).
    • Fewer than one in five voters report benefits from the federal tax reform legislation passed in 2017.
  • When asked in an open-ended question, “What is the most important issue facing our nation right now?” the top four responses were:
    • Border security/immigration – 18.2%
    • The President – 17.5%
    • Economy and Jobs – 10.7%
    • Health care costs and availability – 8.8%.

The poll findings also reflect a consensus among Michigan voters on most national issues:

Tariffs: A majority of Michigan voters indicated tariffs are hurting automotive companies, farmers, and consumers.

  • By a margin of 40.8%-32.3%, Michigan voters believe tariffs on cars made in foreign countries hurt Michigan’s automotive industry (14.7% no effect, 12.2% no response).
  • By a margin of 47.3%-22.2%, Michigan voters believe tariffs on Chinese imports hurt Michigan farmers (14.2% no effect, 16.3% no response).
  • By a margin of 47%-23.5%, Michigan voters believe tariffs on foreign made products hurt consumers like themselves (21.7% no effect, 7.8% no response).

Immigration: A clear majority of Michigan voters believe immigrants are good for the state
economy, oppose a wall but support non-wall security; they don’t want children separated from
families, and they would like to see a path to citizenship for undocumented adults without
criminal record.

  • By a margin of 56.5%-17.2%, Michigan voters believe immigrants are good for
    Michigan’s economy (17.5% no effect, 8.8% no response).
  • By a margin of 57.3%-39.5%, Michigan voters oppose increased federal funding to build a border wall between Mexico and the U.S. (2.7% neither support/nor oppose, 0.5% no answer).
  • By a margin of 81.7%-14%, Michigan voters strongly support increased federal funding for enhanced security at the border, airports, and ports of entry if it does not include funding for a wall between Mexico and the U.S. (3% neither support/nor oppose, 1.3% no answer).
  • By a margin of 77.3%-15.9%, Michigan voters oppose the separation of children from immigrant parents who have come across the border either illegally or to ask for asylum (4.5% neither support/nor oppose, 2.3% no answer).
    • 69% of Michigan voters strongly oppose the policy to separate children from their parents.
  • When presented with three scenarios on how to address adult immigrants who had come to the United States illegally and then asked which route they would support, Michigan voters responded with the following:
    • 54.5% said that undocumented adults who have not committed any major crimes should be given a pathway to citizenship in the U.S.
    • 26.2% said that any undocumented adults who came to the U.S. illegally should be deported no matter how long they have been in the country.
    • 14.2% said that all undocumented adults should be given a pathway to citizenship.
    • 5.2% did not respond.

Climate Change: By a nearly 2-1 margin, Michigan voters say climate change is a threat to
Michigan and the Great Lakes.

  • By a margin of 60.8%-33.8%, Michigan voters believe that climate change is a threat to Michigan’s economy (5.3% no response).
  • By a margin of 65.2%-30.5%, Michigan voters believe that climate change is a threat to the Great Lakes (4.3% no response).

Education: A strong majority of Michigan voters believe it is important to receive a
postsecondary education or certificate, and a majority supports taxpayer-funded, “free” college
tuition.

  • 93.7% of Michigan voters believe it is important to attain more than a high school
    education (0.8% no response).
  • 56.8% of Michigan voters support taxpayer-funded, “free” college tuition (1.0% no
    response).

Fixing the Soo Locks: An overwhelming majority of Michigan voters support fixing the Soo
Locks.

  • 78.3% of Michigan voters say that funding and fixing the Sault Ste. Marie Locks is urgent or very important, and 15.3% said it is important, but there are other priorities (4.3% no response).

Health Care: While there is a consensus on the majority of issues, Michigan voters are divided
on health care.

  • By a margin of 51.5%-36.6%, Michigan voters oppose the elimination of private
    insurance in favor of a “Medicare for All” plan (9% neither support/nor oppose, 2.8% no response).
  • By a margin of 44.0%-42.2%, Michigan voters are statistically split on repealing the Affordable Care Act (8.3% neither support/nor oppose, 5.5% no response).
  • 34.3% strongly support its repeal.
  • 34.5% strongly oppose its repeal.

Perception of Equality of Opportunity by Race and Party: Michigan voters were asked if
people of color in our nation were treated fairly by the criminal justice system, were provided
equal quality of health care, equal quality of education, and equal access to mortgages and
loans.

Category Treated Fairly Not Treated Fairly
Criminal Justice System 33.8% 56.8%
Access to Quality Health Care 40.3% 39.2%
Access to Quality Education 41.3% 50.7%
Access to Mortgages and Loans 38.8% 41.2%

As the chart below indicates, black voters widely believe people of color are treated unfairly on
every marker. White voters, however, are relatively split in every category.

Category Blacks Fairly Blacks Unfairly Whites Fairly Whites Unfairly
Criminal Justice 3.4% 94.3% 40.1% 49.1%
Health Care 17.2% 73.6% 43.4% 32.8%
Education 10.3% 88.5% 47.6% 43.2%
Mortgages/Loans 10.3% 86.2% 44.3% 32.6%

Since 2017, the Detroit Regional Chamber has led a call to restore civility in public discourse.
Given civility is a signature priority for the Chamber, Michigan voters were asked their opinion
on the nation’s current state.

Civility: When asked if Americans have been more or less civil toward one another over the
past five years, or see no change in civility today, Michigan voters strongly agree there is less
civility, and they widely blame the President.

  • By a margin of 69.2%-11.5%, Michigan voters believe Americans have become less civil towards each other over the past five years (18% no change, 1.3% no response).
  • When the 69.2% were asked who specifically is to blame for the decline in civility in an open-ended question, 40.2% answered President Trump.

Voters’ Source for Political News Matters: On many issues the group of Michigan voters not
part of a consensus opinion showed alignment in the media outlet they identified as their source
for political news. Three issues that highlight this alignment:

1. Climate Change: Is climate change a threat to the Great Lakes?

Party Affiliation Threat Not a Threat
Strong Dem 92.6% 4.2%
Lean Dem 84.8% 4.3%
Independent 65.6% 30.5%
Lean GOP 37.5% 55.4%
Strong GOP 32.1% 64.3%
Primary Source of
Political News
Threat Not a Threat
Local TV News 72.8% 23.7%
Fox News 23.9% 70.1%
CNN/MSNBC 79.2% 15.6%
Network News 79.2% 11.3%
Radio 75.0% 25.0%
Newspaper 61.9% 34.5%
Social Media 67.9% 26.9%

2. Immigration: Do you support or oppose the separation of children from immigrant
parents who have come across our border whether illegally or to ask for asylum?

Party Affiliation Support Oppose
Strong Dem 3.7% 95.7%
Lean Dem 2.2% 93.4%
Independent 12.6% 77.4%
Lean GOP 25.0% 60.7%
Strong GOP 37.9% 52.2%
Primary Source of
Political News
Support Oppose
Local TV News 14.0% 79.8%
Fox News 44.8% 46.2%
CNN/MSNBC 2.6% 92.2%
Network News 5.7% 90.6%
Radio 12.5% 82.1%
Newspaper 13.1% 79.8%
Social Media 20.5% 71.8%

3. Education: Do you support or oppose free, taxpayer-supported tuition for college or
skilled trades education for all students?

Party Affiliation Support Oppose
Strong Dem 73.1% 11.1%
Lean Dem 73.9% 21.7%
Independent 57.6% 35.8%
Lean GOP 30.4% 57.2%
Strong GOP 24.3% 70.0%
Primary Source of
Political News
Support Oppose
Local TV News 57.9% 33.3%
Fox News 23.9% 71.7%
CNN/MSNBC 74.0% 20.8%
Network News 71.7% 24.5%
Radio 51.7% 40.3%
Newspaper 58.3% 38.1%
Social Media 66.7% 25.6%

The survey was commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber and conducted by Glengariff
Group Inc.

“The survey results find that overall Michigan voters are far less divided than many would make
them out to be. Other than health care, there is a general consensus to be found on a number of
pressing issues,” said Richard Czuba, founder of Glengariff Group Inc.

The survey is a live operator telephone survey of likely 2020 Michigan voters conducted from
July 17-20, 2019. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence.
40% of respondents were contacted by cell phone, and 60% of respondents were contacted by
landline.

View the full findings of the Michigan Statewide Policy Survey.