(WXYZ) - At the end of a marathon presidential campaign, will Michigan and the nation follow what Dr. Ben Carson has ordered? If the November 2016 election were held today, a majority of this state's voters say they would choose Michigan's native son.
In a head-to-head race between Republican neurosurgeon Carson and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Michiganders would cast 46% of their ballots for Carson over Democrat Clinton’s 40%. Fourteen percent of the 600 survey respondents are undecided. That’s the results of an exclusive EPIC MRA poll released first to WXYZ-TV 7 and the Detroit Free Press and our statewide media polling partners in Grand Rapids, Flint and Lansing.
And Carson’s popularity among voters isn’t limited. In a face-to-face contest with Democratic U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the conservative Southwestern High and University of Michigan graduate would win 45% to 36% with 19% still up in the air.
But if outspoken businessman Donald Trump were the eventual GOP nominee, both Clinton and Sanders would come out on top. Forty-six percent say they would vote for the former first lady, 38% would vote for Trump, 16% aren’t sure what they would do. Against the liberal Vermont politician Sanders, Trump would lose 48% to 36% with 16% still thinking about how they would cast their ballot.
Bernie Porn, President of EPIC MRA, explained Dr. Carson’s appeal this way, “His quiet, soft-spoken personality is different than the louder and much more bombastic GOP candidates currently running. Voters like his style and it has resulted in a 42% favorability rate and only 30% unfavorable rate.” And Porn adds, “Carson also runs very strong among Republicans voters and leads all candidates among Independent voters 43% – 26%.”
However, there’s also a potential downside to being the frontrunner. “If Carson continues to rise, he’ll be attacked and examined more by the other candidates and the media,” says Porn. Candidate Trump may be solid proof of this. His unfavorable rate is now higher than all other candidates at 60%, followed by candidate Clinton at 52%, although Porn says the former U.S. Senator of New York is improving nationally. In August, Clinton’s unfavorable rate was at 55%.
As for Michigan’s economy, 42% of those who responded to the EPIC MRA Poll believe the state is headed in the right direction compared to 38% who say it’s on the wrong track. Twenty percent aren’t sure. A majority, 62% are convinced Michigan has bottomed out and is now improving. That’s down slightly from August when likely voters polled at 65%. Still, that’s good news for Governor Rick Snyder and President Barack Obama. Their favorability ratings stand at 49% and 48%, respectively.
Our WXYZ-TV 7/Detroit Free Press poll has a margin of error of + or - 4.0% and was conducted October 25 – 31 by live callers, 20% via cell phones.
1. Overall, would you say that things in Michigan are generally headed in the right direction, or, have things pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?
42% Right direction
38% Wrong track
3. Thinking about the economy in Michigan, do you believe Michigan’s economy…
62% Has bottomed out and is now improving
21% Is at the bottom but has not yet started to get any better
13% Has not yet bottomed out and will still get worse
4. If the election were held today, and the candidates were Ben Carson and Hillary Clinton, would you vote for Ben Carson the Republican or Hillary Clinton the Democrat?
38% Vote for Hillary Clinton the Democrat
2% Lean toward Hillary Clinton
40% TOTAL VOTE CLINTON
46% TOTAL VOTE CARSON
42% Vote for Ben Carson the Republican
4% Lean toward Ben Carson
5. If the election were held today, and the candidates were Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders, would you vote for Ben Carson the Republican or Bernie Sanders the Democrat?
31% Vote for Bernie Sanders the Democrat
5% Lean toward Bernie Sanders
36% TOTAL VOTE SANDERS
45% TOTAL VOTE CARSON
41% Vote for Ben Carson the Republican
4% Lean toward Ben Carson
6. If the election were held today, and the candidates were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican or Hillary Clinton the Democrat?
44% Vote for Hillary Clinton the Democrat
2% Lean toward Hillary Clinton
46% TOTAL VOTE CLINTON
38% TOTAL VOTE TRUMP
34% Vote for Donald Trump the Republican
4% Lean toward Donald Trump
7. If the election were held today, and the candidates were Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican or Bernie Sanders the Democrat?
44% Vote for Bernie Sanders the Democrat
4% Lean toward Bernie Sanders
48% TOTAL VOTE SANDERS
36% TOTAL VOTE TRUMP
33% Vote for Donald Trump the Republican
3% Lean toward Donald Trump
8. Based on your personal experience or what you know or have heard or read, do you support or oppose the efforts of the Tea Party movement?
10% Strongly supports Tea Party movement
19% Somewhat supports Tea Party movement
29% TOTAL SUPPORT
44% TOTAL OPPOSE
10% Somewhat opposes Tea Party movement
34% Strongly opposes Tea Party movement
9. Do you think of yourself as pro-choice, meaning that you support allowing women to have the right to an abortion, or do you consider yourself pro-life, meaning that you oppose abortions, except when it is necessary to save the life of the mother?
52% Pro-choice – women have the right to an abortion
39% Pro-life – against abortions except to save life of mother
10. Would you describe yourself as a conservative, a moderate or a liberal?
11. Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat?
25% Strong Democrat
8% Not Strong Democrat
7% Independent-Lean Democrat
40% TOTAL DEMOCRAT
36% TOTAL REPUBLICAN
9% Independent-Lean Republican
6% Not Strong Republican
21% Strong Republican
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