Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > New Statewide Poll: Inflation Concerns Persist, Voters Optimistic About Democracy

New Statewide Poll: Inflation Concerns Persist, Voters Optimistic About Democracy

December 15, 2022


DETROIT (Dec. 15, 2022) – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber released findings from its latest statewide poll of registered Michigan voters. The data reveals continued concerns with inflation, voters’ legislative priorities, perceptions of the democratic process, and the importance of social issues to employees selecting an employer.

“Not surprisingly, the economy – especially the continued high level of inflation – continues to be front and center in voters’ minds,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber. “But other than certain pockets of voters, Michiganders appear to be expressing a collective sigh of relief post-election day with an increased confidence in our voting process, calls for a centrist agenda in Lansing, and confidence in Governor Whitmer as she embarks on her second term.”

The Chamber’s polling partner, The Glengariff Group Inc., completed this statewide poll of 600 registered Michigan voters between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1, 2022.

“Michigan voters strongly approve of how this November’s election was conducted and how they were able to vote with only a small pocket of GOP voters having a problem,” said Richard Czuba, President of The Glengariff Group, Inc. “When presented with a potential legislative agenda, voters gravitate towards areas like gun control where there is broad bipartisan agreement. Background checks and red flag laws are two pieces of low-hanging fruit that this legislature can enact quickly and unify voters.”

The following outlines the poll’s main themes.


40.9% of Michigan voters reported inflation and the economy as the most pressing issues facing Michigan.

Voters were asked what the most important issue facing Michigan today is:

  • 23.7% – Inflation/cost of gas and goods
  • 17.2% – The economy and jobs
  • 7.3% – Abortion and women’s rights
  • 6.8% – Roads and infrastructure
  • 4.5% – Crime and drugs
  • 4.3% – Joe Biden and the Democrats
  • 4.0% – Partisan politics
  • 3.3% – Education quality and funding

92.0% of voters are concerned about inflation – with 64.5% VERY CONCERNED about inflation. These numbers are statistically consistent with May 2022 numbers.

Food prices overtake gas prices as top worry.

When asked specifically where inflation has most impacted them, voters have shifted their concerns to food prices.

  • 43.4% – Food
  • 22.0% – Gas prices
  • 21.1% – Everything
  • 3.4% – Electricity/heating
  • 3.1% – Mortgage/housing/rent

Chamber Perspective: While gas prices now rank as the second-largest inflation concern, at the time of the survey, gas prices nationally and in Michigan approached the low levels of fall 2021. Clearly, voters are still chastened by very high fuel prices during the summer travel season and have yet to fully absorb the return to lower levels.

There is a statistical difference between how Democrats and Independents answer the
questions compared to Republicans.

Half of Democratic and Independent voters said “food” with only 12.7%-17.8% saying “everything”. Republican voters were twice as like to say “everything” as Democrats or Independents.

Strong Democratic19.7%52.2%12.7%
Lean Democratic18.2%50.0%15.9%
Lean Republican30.2%26.4%30.2%
Strong Republican23.4%37.1%28.1%

Chamber Perspective: While it is unlikely that inflation has impacted Republican households differently than others, Republicans appear to be responding to election messaging targeting Republicans placing the blame for high inflation at the feet of the Biden Administration and Democrats.

Among voters with incomes below $25,000, 48.9% cited food prices with 8.9% citing heat/electric costs.

Only 13.3% of voters with incomes below $25,000 said “everything” compared to 26.7% of voters with incomes above $100,000 who said “everything”.

66.3% of voters said they have had to make new spending choices.

Voters were asked if they have had to make choices about what they can afford to buy due to inflation that they did not have to make before.

  • 66.3% of voters have altered their purchasing habits.
  • 45.1% of voters said they have made choices that require them to stop specific purchases.
  • 21.2% of voters said they have made choices to buy less or change what they are buying.
  • 33.0% of voters said they have not had to make choices.

These answers are driven by party affiliation and income levels, with Republican and lower income voters most likely to say they were making choices of what to buy.

PartyYes, ChoicesYes, Buying LessNo Choices
Strong Democratic34.1%16.2%49.2%
Lean Democratic38.5%23.1%38.5%
Lean Republican64.3%16.1%19.6%
Strong Republican56.6%22.9%20.0%

Voters that are making choices to stop buying things were asked what specifically they had stopped buying.

  • 43.8% of these respondents cited changes in what types of food they were purchasing at the grocery store.
  • 25.0% of respondents cited travel or entertainment.
  • 9.9% said they were going out to eat less.

66.4% of voters share they are doing better or the same economically than in the past.

  • 33.3% said they are doing worse.
  • 21.1% said they are doing better.
  • 45.3% said they are doing the same.

For those that said they were worse off than one year ago, 76.0% of these voters cite the effects of inflation as the reason why.

The chart below compares how respondents have answered this question over the past three surveys.

ConditionDecember 2021May 2022December 2022

Republican voters say they are worse off.

As the chart below indicates, Republican voters are driving the numbers that they are worse off than one year ago.

Strong Democratic35.2%14.5%50.3%85.5%
Lean Democratic25.0%32.7%42.3%67.3%
Lean Republican7.1%46.4%44.6%51.7%
Strong Republican10.3%49.7%38.3%48.6%

Chamber Perspective: Despite persistent record-high inflation in 2022, two-thirds of voters report they are doing the same, if not better, economically. While inflation is beginning to impact buying patterns and voters remain very concerned with rising prices, they continue to fuel a growing economy and a tight labor market. Voters are complaining about inflation, but still shopping.


By a margin of 47.9% right track to 42.8% wrong track, Michigan voters now believe the state is on the right track.

January 202044.5%26.2%
October 202044.9%41.3%
February 202146.6%38.9%
May 202140.4%45.2%
September 202138.7%47.2%
December 202131.7%52.8%
May 202231.7%50.1%
December 202247.9%42.8%

Metro Detroit voters strongly believe the state is on the right track by a margin of 52.7%-36.5%, while out state voters believe Michigan is on the wrong track by a margin of 43.9%-48.2%.

However, much of the state believes Michigan’s economy is on the wrong track.

By a margin of 41.0% right track to 48.9% wrong track, Michigan voters narrowly believe the state’s economy is on the wrong track, with Independent voters narrowly saying the economy is on the wrong track by a margin of 42.3%-46.3%.

Among the 48.9% who believe the economy is on the wrong track, most cited inflation as the reason why. These respondents are primarily Republican voters.

  • 45.8% – Inflation and the cost of goods
  • 10.2% – Anti-Biden/anti-democratic
  • 7.8% – Government subsidies/nobody wants to work
  • 7.1% – No good jobs/unemployment
  • 6.8% – Taxes and government spending
  • 6.1% – Gas prices

Chamber Perspective: Although by a small margin, after the November 2022 election, voters are feeling better about the state’s path forward. With a new legislature on the horizon, this shift back to “right track” sentiments indicates confidence and optimism in the state’s leadership, at least among the slim Democratic majority.


60% of voters said they were optimistic about democracy. 29.0% of voters said they were pessimistic. This pessimism is concentrated among Republican voters.

Strong Democratic78.2%15.6%
Lean Democratic84.6%5.8%
Lean Republican41.1%46.4%
Strong Republican39.4%48.0%

Pessimistic respondents were asked why they were pessimistic:

  • 25.1% – Political corruption and lies
  • 13.1% – The Democrats are in power/Biden in power
  • 10.3% – Polarized parties/we are divided
  • 6.9% – We are generally heading in the wrong direction
  • 5.7% – Election fraud
  • 5.7% – Democracy is failing
  • 4.6% – We are heading for socialism/communism
  • 4.6% – Inflation is rampant
  • 3.4% – News media spread false information
  •  3.4% – Social/moral division
  • 3.4% – Election deniers

57.5% of voters said they feel the same about the state of democracy now than they did before the November 2022 election. 

  • 23.4% of voters said they feel better about democracy than before the election.
  • 15.4% said they feel worse about democracy.

Those who felt better about democracy were asked why they felt better.

  • 60.0% of respondents said they felt better because their candidates won.
  • 37.5% of these respondents said they felt better because the election system worked well or without a crisis.

Those who felt worse about democracy were asked why they felt worse.

  • 50.0% of respondents said they felt worse because their candidates/issues lost.
  • 23.7% of these respondents said there was fraud and corruption throughout the election.

There was strong voter approval of the November 2022 election, with 83.5% of voters approving of the process by which they cast their vote and only 12.7% disapproving.

Strong Democratic98.1%0.0%
Lean Democratic93.3%4.4%
Lean Republican84.6%13.5%
Strong Republican63.5%29.0%

Only 40.9% of Strong Republican voters STRONGLY APPROVE of the process of casting their vote.

89.7% of voters approve of the way their community handled the November 2022 election.

  • Only 4.5% disapprove of how their community handled the November 2022 election.
  • Only 6.9% of Strong Republican voters disapprove of how their community handled the November 2022 election.

75.3% of voters approve of the way Michigan handled the November 2022 election.

  • 11.8% of voters disapprove of how Michigan handled the election, with 13.9% unsure.
  • The only pocket of opposition came primarily from Strong Republican voters where 21.7% disapprove of how Michigan handled the election.

Voters that disapprove of how Michigan handled the election were asked why:

  • 30.8% said there was fraud/cheating.
  • 23.1% opposed the absentee ballots.
  • 15.4% said because the wrong people won the election.
  • 10.8% said the security of the voting process is too lax.
  • 4.6% said something was wrong with the voting machines.
  • 4.6% said the results took too long.
  • 4.6% said there was chaos and miscommunication about voting locations.

74.1% of voters believe the election was fair.

  • 13.3% said the election was not fair, with 12.6% unsure.
  • 29.1% of strong Republican voters said the election was not fair.
PartyFairNot Fair
Strong Democratic96.1%2.2%
Lean Democratic92.3%3.8%
Lean Republican58.9%16.1%
Strong Republican50.9%29.1%

75.3% of voters believe the election was accurate.

  • 13.3% said the election was inaccurate, with 11.4% unsure.
  • 29.1% of Strong Republican voters said the election was inaccurate. There is a statistically significant decrease in those saying the election was accurate among Republican voters.
Strong Democratic97.2%1.7%
Lean Democratic88.5%3.8%
Lean Republican62.5%17.9%
Strong Republican49.7%29.1%

Voters were asked who they trusted most to provide them with accurate results.

  • 37.8% cited their local clerk or county clerk.
  • 26.4% cited the Michigan Secretary of State.
  • 14.6% cited local newspapers or television stations.
  • 6.3% said they trusted all three of them.
  • 4.6% said they did not trust any of them.

Voters were asked if candidates did or did not address the issues that were most important to them.

  • 56.7% of voters said candidates did address their key issues.
  • 26.9% of voters said candidates did not address their key issues.

Among voters that said candidates did not address their key issues, 44.6% identified as Leaning Republican and 37.7% identified as Strong Republican.

Voters were asked where they got the most useful information about candidates. 45.4% cited their local newspapers or television stations making it the greatest source of information by a wide margin.

Chamber Perspective: These findings are significant, especially following the tumultuous November 2020 election and the mistrust and misinformation around the electoral process that followed. Perceptions persist among a small, but consistent, sector of Republicans that modern voting practices and reforms are associated with cheating and fraud – representing a fundamental shift in Republican campaign practices, which relied on absentee and early voting to drive turnout by older Republican voters as recently as the Bush, McCain, and Romney presidential campaigns.


Perhaps the most important outcome of the 2022 midterm elections was the lack of drama surrounding the voting and vote counting – as well as candidates that fell short conceding defeat as is the American tradition.


The approval of election handling aligns with voters’ – and the Chamber’s – support of improvements to ensure secure, fair elections by the passage of Proposals 1 and 2 in the November 2022 election.


Half of voters are neutral or undecided on Michigan’s Right to Work law.

Voters were asked if they support or oppose overturning Michigan’s Right to Work law.

  • 50.0% were either neutral or undecided on the law.
  • 28.6% support overturning the law.
  • 21.5% oppose overturning the law.
Strong Democratic32.9%18.5%48.6%
Lean Democratic32.6%19.2%48.1%
Lean Republican23.2%23.2%53.6%
Strong Republican25.7%27.4%46.9%

Even among union voters, they only support overturning the law by a margin of 37.8%-22.4%, with 39.9% of union voters being either neutral or undecided.

Chamber Perspective: Voters’ lack of interest in overturning Michigan’s Right to Work law is another example of their desire for Lansing to govern from the center.

Gun control laws lead voter priorities for new legislature.

Voters were read a list of potential legislative priorities, many championed by the new Democratic majorities in Lansing, and asked to prioritize which to tackle first.

  • 24.0% – Pass red flag and background check laws for new gun purchases.
  • 17.9% – Repeal Michigan’s Pension Retirement tax.
  • 14.8% – Repeal Michigan’s 1931 abortion law.
  • 14.3% – Invest more money in training Michigan workers to fill available jobs.
  • 11.4% – Go after new jobs projects like battery plants and chip makers.
  • 4.5% – Repeal Michigan’s Right to Work law.
  • 3.8% – Pass legislation prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ Michiganders.

The top choice for Republican voters is to repeal Michigan’s retirement tax. The top choice for both Democratic and Independent voters is to pass gun control legislation.

Gun background checks have nearly universal support.

89.9% of Michigan voters support background checks before someone can purchase a gun.

  • 81.1% of Michigan voters STRONGLY SUPPORT background checks for gun purchases.
  • Among Republican voters, only 14% oppose background checks for gun purchases.
Strong Democratic99.4%0.6%
Lean Democratic98.1%1.9%
Lean Republican78.5%14.3%
Strong Republican80.6%14.3%

By a margin of 74.1%-18.4%, Michigan voters support red flag laws that would allow a court to remove guns from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.

  • 60.2% of Michigan voters STRONGLY SUPPORT red flag laws.
  • Opposition among Strong Republicans rises to 40.6% on red flag laws.
Strong Democratic94.4%3.3%
Lean Democratic90.4%3.8%
Lean Republican60.7%25.0%
Strong Republican50.3%40.6%

Chamber Perspective: The Detroit Regional Chamber has no position on gun control issues, but the poll results show clear and bipartisan support of certain types of firearms legislation.


59.6% of voters say they would consider a state’s social policies before accepting a job there.

Voters were asked if they were offered an attractive job in another state, how important or not the state’s policies on social issues like abortion, gay rights, and legalized marijuana would be in their decision to accept the job.

  • 59.6% of voters said a state’s social positions would be important while 38.4% said it would not be important.
  • 66.7% of female voters said it would factor into their decision, with 41.0% saying it would be VERY IMPORTANT. 51.7% of men said it would factor into their decision.

The chart below looks at those that say it is VERY IMPORTANT by age.

Nearly half of voters under the age of 40 said a state’s social policies would be VERY IMPORTANT in whether they would consider that opportunity.

AgeVery ImportantSomewhat Important

Chamber Perspective: A state’s global economic competitiveness is contingent on strengthening its talent pipeline and ensuring a robust workforce. Understanding the needs and priorities of prospective talent is imperative to employers developing their teams. The nearly 60% of respondents expressing that they consider a state’s social policies when deciding where to locate for work is significant and demonstrates the ongoing shift in expectations for businesses to remain socially aware, especially with people under 40.


Michigan voters approve of Gov. Whitmer’s performance by a margin of 56.2%-37.1% – reflective of her re-election victory.

  • Gov. Whitmer’s approval is 62.2%-32.4% among female voters.
  • Her approval is 49.6%-42.3% among male voters.
  • Gov. Whitmer’s approval is 65.8%-25.2% among Independent voters.
Strong Democratic97.2%1.2%
Lean Democratic82.7%7.7%
Lean Republican19.6%67.9%
Strong Republican12.6%81.8%

President Biden’s job approval stays consistent at 40.0%.

Michigan voters disapprove of Joe Biden’s performance as President by a margin of 40.0%-55.0%. Biden’s numbers have been statistically consistent for the past year.

Independent voters disapprove of Joe Biden by a margin of 38.2%-56.1%.

Strong Democratic78.8%15.1%
Lean Democratic73.1%15.4%
Lean Republican7.2%89.3%
Strong Republican3.4%95.4%

Biden’s highest job approval comes among older voters. His approval among voters aged 18-29 is only 29.6%.


About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. As the voice for business in the 11-county Southeast Michigan region, the Chamber’s mission is carried out by creating a business-friendly climate and providing value for members. The Chamber also executes the statewide automotive and mobility cluster association, MichAuto, and hosts the nationally recognized Mackinac Policy Conference. Additionally, the Chamber leads the most comprehensive education and talent strategy in the state.

About The Glengariff Group, Inc.

The Glengariff Group, Inc. is a full-service research firm providing survey research, focus group research, dial test research, and one-on-one interviewing. The Glengariff Group, Inc. provides more than just research and numbers; it provides recommendations on how best to use your information.