(WXYZ) - Two of the most watched congressional races in the nation are being fought in metro Detroit. At stake in one race is the political career of the second longest-serving member of the U.S. Congress.
Another political contest features a showdown between two of Michigan’s youngest Democratic congressmen.
And when the voting is over, this may be the first time in history that a non-Detroit resident represents a significant portion of Detroit.
In an exclusive WXYZ/Detroit Free Press poll conducted by Lansing-based EPIC MRA, it appears that Congressman John Conyers, Jr., often called the “liberal lion” of the House of Representatives, is well positioned to win a crowded Michigan Primary with 57 per cent of the vote.
His closest Democratic competitor is Sate Senator Glenn Anderson of Westland who is polling at 17 percent, followed State Representative Shanelle Jackson at 7 percent, State Senator Bert Johnson with 5 percent, and Wayne/Westland School Board Member John Goci with 4 percent.
The key to Conyers lead in new 13 th Congressional District is strong support from African Americans and senior citizens who remember his civil rights history and his nearly 50 years of seniority in Washington. Our poll also shows that Conyers has a very high favorability rating, 75 percent. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Harry Sawicki of Dearborn Heights in the November.
Meanwhile, the race in the newly redrawn 14 th Congressional District is a little closer. It’s a heated contest where two sitting Democratic Congressmen have been pitted against each other, Gary Peters of Oakland County and Hansen Clarke of Detroit.
Also in the mix are Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, former State Representative Mary Waters, and retired 36 th District Court Magistrate Bob Costello on the Democratic side.
If the election were held today, 52 percent of the 800 respondents would cast their ballots for Peters, and 33 percent would support Clarke. Lawrence, Waters, and Costello each get under 10 percent.
The new 14 th stretches from Detroit to Pontiac with Harper Woods, Southfield, and West Bloomfield Township in between.
Peters is strongly holding onto his Oakland County base and has captured significant endorsements and votes in Detroit.
Jermaine Dickens, his African American campaign manager, is running a politically shrewd race. Clarke, who takes pride in saying he runs a grassroots; door-to-door campaign, believes that strategy will carry him to victory next Tuesday.
Also being closely watched is will Michigan lose any of its African American or non-white representation in Congress.
Redistricting has made the re-election of Conyers and Clarke more challenging in the more racially diverse new 13 th and 14 th Congressional Districts. John Hauler, a Republican businessman from Grosse Pointe Woods will challenge the Democratic winner in the General Election.
The polls were conducted July 28 – 29 and have a 3.5 plus or minus margin of error.
VIEW THE ENTIRE POLL RESULTS BELOW:
Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Glenn Anderson?
33% Total Favorable
15% Total Unfavorable
Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of John Conyers?
75% Total Favorable
20% Total Unfavorable
Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of John Goci?
13% Total Favorable
25% Total Unfavorable
Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Shanelle Jackson?
35% Total Favorable
19% Total Unfavorable
Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Bert Johnson?
33% Total Favorable
18% Total Unfavorable
How you have already voted by absentee ballot, or will vote in the Democratic primary elections in the 13th Congressional District. If the Democratic primary election for U.S. Congress in the 13th District were held today, which of the following candidates have you either already voted for by absentee ballot, or do you intend to vote for at your polling place on Election Day.
50% John Conyers
15% Glenn Anderson
6% Shanelle Jackson
4% Bert Johnson
3% John Goci
Although you are undecided, if the election were held today and you had to decide right now, which candidate would you lean toward?
57% John Conyers
17% Glenn Anderson
7% Shanelle Jackson
5% Bert Johnson
4% John Goci
How certain are you that you will vote for the candidate you chose and not change your mind?
73% Very certain
14% Somewhat certain
9% Not certain at all – may change mind
4% Not sure
If you are White, Please Press 1, if you are African American or Black, Press 2, or, if you are of some other race or ethnic background.
57% African American/Black
9% Other race or ethnic background
For statistical purposes