EXCLUSIVE POLL: Hottest proposals on the ballot are too close to call

(WXYZ) -  

With about seven weeks to go, the three hottest proposals on your Michigan General Election ballot are too close to call. 

On November 6, eligible voters will be asked to decide the State's future on collective bargaining, the controversial Emergency Manager Law, and a new international bridge to Canada.

But if the election were held today, Proposal 1, better known as Public Act 4 of 2011, would fail in its attempt to expand the powers of emergency managers and give the Governor more authority to appoint EMs. 

In an exclusive WXYZ/Detroit Free Poll, 46 percent of the 600 people questioned said they would vote against the law.  Forty-two percent are in favor of it, and 12 percent are undecided.

It is very much a fight along political party lines. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats don't like the proposal but 59 percent of Republicans think it would be a vital tool for fixing financially troubled cities. Independents reject it by 48 percent.

Another partisan fight is over the right for collective bargaining of public and private workers. Supporters want to add a new amendment to the Michigan constitution making it easier to join labor unions. 

Our exclusive poll conducted by EPIC MRA in Lansing has Proposal 2 currently passing by 48 percent and losing by 43 percent. Nine percent of the respondents are still weighing the pros and cons. 

Republicans reject Proposal 2 soundly. Sixty-three percent say it's bad legislation. Democrats give the Proposal a thumbs up by 66 percent. Independents are split.

The final statewide issue that promises to command everyone's attention is the ongoing debate over a new transportation span to Canada. Proposal 6 requires voters to approve any new bridge or tunnel from Michigan to Canada. 

The tug-of-war between wealthy Ambassador Bridge owner  Manuel "Matty" Moroun and supporters of millionaire Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been relentless over the past couple years. Our latest survey indicates the battle won't end soon! 

Forty-seven percent say a majority of voters in a statewide election would have to give the green light to state funds being spent on a new bridge or tunnel. And the proposal goes one step further. Each city where the new span would exist would have to sign off as well.

Forty-four percent of the people who participated in the poll commissioned by WXYZ, the Detroit Free Press, and our statewide media partners, don't feel the issue has to be decided by a majority vote of Michiganders. 

Bernie Porn, President of EPIC MRA is quick to point out that a laundry list of confusing proposals often results in voters saying, "I won't vote for any of these ballot issues."

He also notes that the greatest amount of spending this election season will probably be on the collective bargaining proposal.

Porn says, "Chamber of Commerce organizations and pro-business groups would rather see that issue defeated more than any of the other proposals facing the electorate." 

And he makes one other additional observation: 

"The one sure winner this election season will be media advertising outlets," Porn says. "With six proposals on the ballot, you'll see their messages a whole lot more than you'll see fast food and automaker ads."  

 The survey was conducted September 8 – 11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percent. 


There will be several statewide proposals on the November election ballot for voters to consider..

Proposal 1 would be a referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011, which is the Emergency Manager Law. Public Act 4 of 2011 would establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts. It would authorize the Governor to appoint an emergency manager, called an EM, upon the state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the emergency manager to act in place of local government officials. It would require the emergency manager to develop financial and operating plans, which may include modification or termination of contracts, reorganization of government, and determination of expenditures, services, and use of assets until the emergency is resolved. As an alternative, it would authorize a state-appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent agreement. If the election were held today, would you vote YES to approve and continue this law, or, would you vote NO to reject it?

  • Yes – 42%
  • No – 46%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 12%

Proposal 2 would add a new section to the state constitution entitled "a proposal to amend the state constitution regarding collective bargaining". The proposed constitutional amendment would: Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions. It would invalidate existing or future state or local laws to limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees' financial

support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking. It would override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements. It would define "employer" as a person or entity employing one or more employees. If the election were held today, would you vote Yes in favor of amending the state constitution to approve this provision, or, would you vote No, to oppose it?

  • Yes – 48%
  • No – 43%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 9%

Proposal 6 would amend the Michigan constitution to require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election, and in each municipality where "new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles" are to be located, before the State of Michigan may expend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels. If the election were held today, would you vote YES to approve of the proposed constitutional amendment, or, would you vote NO to oppose it?

  • Yes – 47%
  • No – 44%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 9%
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