Exclusive poll on mood of Detroit: Poor marks for leaders & services, hope for Emergency Manager
8:00 AM, May 26, 2013
1:40 PM, Jul 10, 2013
(WXYZ) - Simply put, Detroit voters aren't in a good mood these days about their elected leaders and city services.
In an exclusive WXYZ-TV/Detroit Free Press poll conducted by Epic MRA, an overwhelming number of Detroit residents we surveyed passed out bad grades. However, there is some optimism that the new emergency manager will improve the financially strapped city.
Forty-four percent of the 400 Detroiters surveyed listed crime, drugs, youth violence, and gangs as their biggest concern. The local economy and jobs came in second at 16 percent, followed closely at 11 percent by the budget deficit and financial crisis facing Michigan's largest city.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Governor Rick Snyder received 80 percent negative job ratings. But Detroiters saved their worst leadership marks for the Detroit City Council by giving it an 89 percent negative job rating. Overall city services were graded just as poorly.
Epic MRA President Bernie Porn said, "Detroiters aren't ecstatic that Governor Rick Snyder has appointed an emergency manager, but they have more trust in Kevyn Orr than they do the Mayor or the Detroit City Council. They are disheartened by the lack of leadership."
Forty-nine percent disapprove of an emergency manager running the city while 44-percent think it's a good idea. But when asked if they believe city services will be improved after Emergency Manager Orr has finished his work, 41-percent said yes, 22-percent think city services will be worse, 12-percent said nothing would change, and 25-percent are undecided.
Several candidates are running in the upcoming Detroit elections. Forty-seven percent of the respondents said having an emergency manager in place doesn't change the importance of the election, 37-percent says this year's election is more important, and 14 percent believe it is less important.
The WXYZ/Detroit Free Press poll was conducted May 18 – 20. Twenty percent responded on their cell phones. The survey has an error rate of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
COMPLETE POLL RESULTS:
Overall, would you say that the City of Detroit is headed in the right direction, or, have things pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?
Right Direction – 32%
Wrong Track – 55%
Undecided/Refused to answer – 13%
Now I am going to read a list of problems Detroiters say they are concerned about. Which one problem are you personally concerned about the most?
Crime, drugs, youth violence and gangs – 44%
Local economy and jobs – 16%
Budget deficit and the financial crisis – 11%
Poor quality of Detroit Public Schools – 10%
Poor basic city services – 8%
Poverty and homelessness – 4%
High city taxes and fees – 3%
Poor roads and transportation services – 2%
Undecided/Refused to answer – 2%
As you may know, Governor Snyder appointed Kevyn Orr to serve as an emergency manager for the City of Detroit with the responsibility for managing all financial matters for up to 18 months, or for a shorter period of time if the city budget is balanced sooner. Do you approve or disapprove of the action by Governor Snyder to appoint Kevyn Orr as emergency manager?
When the emergency manager has finished his work, do you think the actions he has taken or will take will improve city services in Detroit, or make them worse?
Improve city services – 41%
Make city services worse – 12%
Stay the same – 12%
Undecided/Refused to answer – 25%
Do you think that the appointment of an emergency manager by Governor Snyder with the power to ultimately make unilateral decisions about the operations of Detroit makes the upcoming election for Mayor and City Council more important, less important, or, would you say that having an emergency manager doesn't change the importance of the election in Detroit?
More important – 37%
Doesn't change election importance – 47%
Less important – 14%
Undecided/Refused to answer – 2%
Would you say that having an emergency manager in control of all finances in Detroit makes you more motivated to vote in the city elections this year, less motivated, or won't an emergency manager influence you one way or the other?
More motivated – 30%
Won't influence – 62%
Less Motivated – 7%
Undecided/Refused to answer – 1%
Overall, how would you rate the job that Rick Snyder has done as Governor -- would you give him a positive rating of excellent or pretty good, or a negative rating of just fair or poor?
Overall, how would you rate the job that the City of Detroit does providing basic city services to residents of Detroit – would you give the city a positive rating of excellent or pretty good, or a negative rating of just fair or poor?