(WXYZ) - Two important Michigan political contests are more than a year away but party matchups are already being tested. The results were shared first with WXYZ and our political polling partner, the Detroit Free Press.
If Governor Rick Snyder seeks a second term, he may have to square off against former Battle Creek Congressman Mark Schauer, the only announced Democratic candidate. If the election were held today, Snyder would win by 8 points, 44 percent to 36 percent for Schauer. Twenty percent of the 600 eligible voters who participated in the EPIC MRA survey are undecided.
Governor Snyder's popularity and job performance numbers have been improving. WXYZ-TV pollster Bernie Porn thinks he knows why.
"The Medicaid expansion approval in the Michigan legislature appeals to Democrats and Independents while many conservative outstate voters have a positive impression of how the Governor is handling Detroit," he says.
In the race to see who will replace Carl Levin, Michigan's senior U.S. senator, it's a wide open contest among Democrats and Republicans.
However, if the election were held today, only one point would separate the two announced candidates. Thirty-eight percent of the respondents would cast their ballot for Detroit area Congressman Gary Peters, 37 percent would vote for former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. One-fourth of those surveyed are undecided.
Porn looks at the pros and cons of a Peters-Land matchup.
"Terri Lynn Land should have better name recognition having served as a statewide elected official. However, a Secretary of State's job doesn't automatically transfer to U.S. Senate seat," Porn says. "Peters, the Democrat, got an early start in the race and appears to be in a good position for someone with little name recognition but he has to be aware of his wealthy West Michigan opponent's huge financial advantage."
Land is a Republican.
The EPIC MRA survey also showed that President Barack Obama's favorability and job performance numbers have been slipping a little.
Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed say America is on the wrong track, 28 percent think the nation is on the right track.
In Michigan, 42 percent say the state is headed in the right direction, 42 percent say the wrong direction, and 16 percent can't make up their minds.
The poll was conducted September 7 – 10, and has a plus or minus margin of error of 4.0 percent.
READ THE COMPLETE POLL RESULTS BELOW
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 – 28%
Wrong track – 59%
Undecided/Refused to answer – 13%
How about in Michigan – are things generally headed in the right direction, or, have things pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?
Right direction – 42%
Wrong track – 42%
Undecided/Refused to answer – 16%
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.