EXCLUSIVE POLL: President Obama maintains slight Michigan lead

(WXYZ) - With less than a week to go for Election Day 2012, President Barack Obama is holding onto a slim lead in Michigan over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. 

With all of the presidential debates now behind them, our exclusive WXYZ/Detroit Free Press poll has Obama beating Romney 48 percent to 42 percent, if the federal election were today. Six percent still can't decide who should get their vote and 4 percent say they are voting for a minor party candidate.  

The survey of 600 likely voters are clearly voting along political party lines with Independents breaking in favor of President Obama, 39 – 36 percent among men, and 44 - 27 percent among women.  

Bernie Porn, president of the EPIC MRA polling firm that conducted the survey says President Obama is ahead in Michigan because "his favorability is up, he saved the auto industry, and his supporters have a somewhat higher level of enthusiasm for him."

Indeed, the survey found that the Democratic incumbent's favorability rating is at 55 percent compared to his Republican challenger at 45 percent.  

Half of all voters said that the actions taken to provide government loans for the once troubled auto industry was a "deciding factor" in how they voted. 

President Obama also received his highest marks from voters for his leadership on protecting the environment and making health care insurance affordable to everyone. Governor Romney won his strongest approval from voters for his promise to deal with the federal budget deficit , create jobs, and handle the economy.

In the race for the U.S. Senate, Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow increased her lead over former Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra by one point from our survey taken a little over a week ago. 

Fifty-four percent want to send Stabenow back to Washington, D.C., 33 percent would like to give the nod to Hoekstra, and 9 percent are undecided.  

"The big difference between the two candidates, " says Porn, "is that Senator Stabenow is winning support from 92 percent of Democrats and 56 percent support from Independents. Congressman Hoekstra is only getting 76 percent backing from Republicans and 20 percent from Independents."

The survey was conducted October 26 – 29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percent.

READ THE COMPLETE POLL RESULTS BELOW

Thinking about the upcoming November 6th election, how would you vote on the following matchups?

If the election for President were held today, would you vote for Mitt Romney the Republican, Barack Obama the Democrat, or for a candidate from some other political party?

  • Obama – 48%
  • Romney – 42%
  • Candidate of other party – 4%
  • Undecided/Refused to Answer – 6%

AMONG OBAMA VOTERS

Have you pretty much ruled out voting for Mitt Romney the Republican and will definitely vote for Barack Obama the Democrat, or, is it possible that you may still change your mind and vote for Mitt Romney instead of Barack Obama?

  • Ruled out voting for Mitt Romney and will definitely vote for Barack Obama – 94%
  • May still change mind and vote for Mitt Romney instead of Barack Obama – 6%

How enthusiastic would you say you are in voting for Barack Obama -- extremely enthusiastic, very enthusiastic, only somewhat enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?

  • Enthusiastic – 78%
  • Not Enthusiastic – 22%

AMONG ROMNEY VOTERS

Have you pretty much ruled out voting for Barack Obama the Democrat and will definitely vote for Mitt
Romney the Republican, or, is it possible that you may still change your mind and vote for Barack Obama instead of Mitt Romney?

  • Ruled out voting for Barack Obama and will definitely vote for Mitt Romney – 92%
  • May still change mind and vote for Barack Obama instead of Mitt Romney – 8%

How enthusiastic would you say you are in voting for Mitt Romney -- extremely enthusiastic, very enthusiastic, only somewhat enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?

  • Enthusiastic – 75%
  • Not Enthusiastic – 24%
  • Undecided\Refused to Answer – 1%

If the election for U.S Senate were held today, would you vote for Pete Hoekstra the Republican, Debbie Stabenow the Democrat, Scotty Boman the Libertarian candidate, or a candidate from some other political party?

  • Stabenow – 54%
  • Hoekstra – 33%
  • Boman – 3%
  • Candidate of other party – 1%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 9%

Overall, would you say that things in the United States are generally headed in the right direction, or, have things pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?

  • Right Direction – 43%
  • Wrong Track – 50%
  • Undecided\Refused to Answer – 7%

Now, I would like to read the names of several political figures. For each one, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person. If you do not recognize a name, please tell me and we can move on.

Barack Obama

  • Favorable – 55%
  • Unfavorable – 41%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 4%

Rick Snyder

  • Favorable – 49%
  • Unfavorable – 36%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 15%

Mitt Romney

  • Favorable – 45%
  • Unfavorable – 50%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 5%

Debbie Stabenow

  • Favorable – 54%
  • Unfavorable – 34%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 11%

Peter Hoekstra

  • Favorable – 34%
  • Unfavorable – 41%
  • Undecided\Refused to Answer – 19%

Thinking about the positions of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the actions taken to provide government loans to help the auto industry recover, how much of a factor (is/was) that issue on your decision of which candidate to vote for? Was it a deciding factor, an important but not deciding factor, only a minor factor, or, not really a factor at all?

  • A Deciding or Important factor – 50%
  • Minor or Not a factor – 50%
  • Undecided\Refused to Answer – 2%


In the end, who do you think will win the November election and be elected President, Barack Obama the Democrat or Mitt Romney the Republican?

  • Obama – 50%
  • Romney – 34%
  • Undecided\Refused to Answer – 16%

Now I would like to read several words and phrases to you. For each word or phrase I read, please tell me whether you think it is a better description of Mitt Romney the Republican or Barack Obama the Democrat?

Someone you can trust

  • Romney – 38%
  • Obama – 49%
  • Both -3%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 9%

Cares about someone like me

  • Obama – 51%
  • Romney – 37%
  • Both – 4%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 8%

Stands up for his beliefs

  • Romney – 37%
  • Obama – 43%
  • Both – 17%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 3%

More liked to seek bipartisan solutions

  • Obama – 46%
  • Romney – 40%
  • Both – 4%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 10%

A stronger leader

  • Romney – 43%
  • Obama – 48%
  • Both – 4%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 5%

Now I will read a list of issues to you. For each one, please tell me if you think Mitt Romney the Republican or Barack Obama the Democrat will do a better job of handling that issue.

Dealing with terrorism and homeland security

  • Obama – 51%
  • Romney – 40%
  • Both - 5%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 4%

Handling the war in Afghanistan

  • Romney – 35%
  • Obama – 52%
  • Both – 4%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 9%

Protecting the environment

  • Obama – 57%
  • Romney – 28%
  • Both - 7%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 8%

Handling the economy and creating jobs

  • Romney - 46%
  • Obama – 44%
  • Both – 3%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 7%

Protecting Social Security and Medicare

  • Obama – 54%
  • Romney – 36%
  • Both – 4%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 6%

Making affordable health insurance available to everyone

  • Romney – 32%
  • Obama – 55%
  • Both – 2%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 6%

Improving education

  • Obama- 51%
  • Romney – 35%
  • Both – 6%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 8%

Dealing with federal taxes

  • Romney – 43%
  • Obama – 44%
  • Both – 4%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 9%

Controlling the price of gasoline

  • Obama – 29%
  • Romney – 36%
  • Both – 3%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 32%

Dealing with the federal budget deficit

  • Romney -48%
  • Obama – 40%
  • Both – 3%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 9%

Changing and reforming government

  • Obama – 40%
  • Romney – 43%
  • Both – 3%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 13%

Addressing the Immigration issue

  • Romney – 39%
  • Obama – 46%
  • Both – 4%
  • Undecided\Don't Know – 11%

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?

  • Support Tea Party – 37%
  • Oppose Tea Party – 44%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 19%

Finally, I would like to ask you a few questions about yourself for statistical purposes.

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 where it is necessary to save the life of the mother?

  • Pro-choice – 52%
  • Pro-life – 40%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 8%

Generally speaking, do you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat?

  • Democrat – 43%
  • Republican – 37%
  • Independent – 17%

Would you describe yourself as a conservative, a moderate or a liberal?

  • Conservative – 38%
  • Moderate – 34%
  • Liberal – 21%
  • Undecided\Refused to answer – 7%
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