Poll: Whitmer’s approval rating is dismal, but Democrats are leading Trump in Michigan

A new statewide poll from Emerson College has encouraging news for Democrats overall in Michigan, but dismal news for Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The poll, taken Oct. 31-Nov. 3, shows Whitmer with only a 31% approval rating in the state, which is 12 points lower than President Donald Trump’s approval rating of 43% in Michigan.

Even in the Democratic strongholds of Detroit and Flint, Whitmer’s numbers are very weak – just 38% approval in Detroit and 33% approval in Flint.

The poll was taken after Whitmer issued 147 line-item vetoes of the state budget on Sept. 30, cutting a number of programs that heavily impact the state’s urban areas, including summer reading programs and charter schools.

But while the poll contained a heavy dose of bad news for Whitmer, it also had plenty of good news for Democrats overall. It showed that Trump with a double-digit deficit to the three top Democrats in the presidential race – Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

According to the poll, Sanders does the best in a head-to-head match-up, beating Trump, 57%-43%. Biden has a 56%-44% lead, while Warren’s advantage is 54%-46%.

In the Democratic primary, Biden is the top choice of 34% of voters, followed by Sanders (28%), Warren (19%), Pete Buttigieg (8%), Kamala Harris (3%), Cory Booker (3%), Andrew Yang (2%) and Tulsi Gabbard (1%).

In other poll results:

  • Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Gary Peters has a 6-point lead on Republican John James, 46%-40%. That’s an improvement for Peters over recent polls which have showed the race as a toss-up.
  • A plurality of voters (27%) say the economy is their top issue in 2020, followed by health care (21%) and social issues (19%).
  • Among all voters, the “Medicare for All” health-care plan being pitched by Warren and Sanders is favored by 36%. Among Democrats, support is at 58%.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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