(WXYZ) - In the race to become Michigan’s next governor, Republican businessman Rick Snyder has increased his lead over Democratic Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. Our exclusive WXYZ-TV/Detroit Free Press poll conducted by EPIC MRA, has Snyder in front of Bernero 53 percent to 29 percent. Snyder’s 24 point lead is 2 points more than our last poll taken on August 26th.
When the 600 respondents were asked why they were voting for Rick Snyder, 16 percent said because they “vote Republican”, 11 percent want him because he’s a “businessman”, and 9 percent said it would be a “vote against Democrats.” The main three reasons likely voters will cast their ballot for Bernero is because he’s a member of the “Democratic Party” (38 percent), “he has experience as a mayor” (6 percent), and “they agree with his positions” (5 percent).
Our poll also shows that Rick Snyder’s strongest support is among men where he leads by almost 3 to 1 while Virg Bernero is strongest among women, even though he trails Snyder, 45 – 35 %, in that category as well. Snyder has increased his support with union spouses and Bernero has picked up his biggest gain among African American voters. That 20 point increase from our last poll may be attributed to Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, an African American, as his running mate.
Bernie Porn, president of Lansing-based EPIC MRA says, “Virg Bernero will have to demonstrate pretty soon that he can cut into Snyder’s lead, otherwise he will have difficulty continuing to raise money.”
Republican candidates are also leading in two other important statewide races. In the contest to become Michigan’s next Secretary of State, Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson would beat Wayne State University Law professor Jocelyn Benson 31 percent to 25 percent, if the election were held today. And in the race for Michigan Attorney General, former Congressman and Court of Appeals Judge Bill Schuette is ahead of Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney David Leyton 39 percent to 25 percent. Among these four candidates, only Schuette has close to 50 percent name recognition.
Finally, those surveyed identified “improving Michigan’s economy and creating jobs” and “improving education and funding for public schools” as their top two issues of concern. This may have a lot to do with why 40 percent of the people polled say they support the Tea Party movement, 38 percent oppose it, and 22 aren’t sure how they feel about the Tea Party.
This exclusive Channel 7 – Detroit Free Press survey was taken September 11 – 12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
Read the complete poll results below:
First of all, I am going to read a list of nine state problems or issues people say they are most concerned about. After I read the whole list, please tell me which one problem or issue you are personally concerned about the most?
59% Improving Michigan’s economy and creating jobs
11% Improving education and funding for public schools
7% Reducing state government spending
6% Keeping state taxes as low as possible
6% Making quality health care affordable and accessible
4% Addressing the abortion issue
3% Protecting our air and water
2% Controlling crime and drugs
1% Improving the quality of roads and bridges
Now, I would like to read a list of several political figures. For each one, please tell me if you recognize the name, and if you do, whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person.
73% Don’t Recognize
Jocelyn Michelle Benson
78% Don’t Recognize
52% Don’t Recognize
74% Don’t Recognize
Now I would like to ask how you would vote for several offices on the November 2nd election ballot.
In the race for Governor, if the election were held today, would you vote for Rick Snyder the Republican, Virg Bernero the Democrat, or a minor party candidate?
29% Virg Bernero
53% Rick Snyder
3% Vote for a minor party candidate
Asked of Snyder supporters:
Have you ruled out voting for Virg Bernero the Democrat, and are pretty certain that you will vote for Rick Snyder the Republican, or, are you still considering Virg Bernero and might change your mind and vote for him?
69% Ruled out Bernero and certain to be voting for Snyder
29% Still considering Bernero and may change mind
What is the main reason why you are voting for Rick Snyder?
16% Vote Republican Party
11% He is a businessman
9% Voting against Democrats
7% Agree with his positions
6% Job Creation
6% Not a politician
5% New/Different candidate
5% Vote against Bernero
5% Undecided or refused to answer
4% Best choice of the two
4% 10 step program