Poll shows support for Whitmer's handling of COVID-19 pandemic, increasing confidence in vaccine

Posted at 11:00 AM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 11:06:28-05

(WXYZ) — A majority of Michiganders approve of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Michigan, according to a new poll released by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The poll, conducted by Glengariff Group, surveyed 600 registered voters in Michigan between No. 30 and Dec. 4.

Related: Majority of Michigan voters think legislature should pass statewide mask mandate

According to the poll, more Michiganders believe the governor is doing more to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control than the legislature.

The poll found 63.3% of voters believe Whitmer is doing more to get the pandemic under control, which is virtually the same as May. 27% say she is not doing everything, and more than half of that 27% say she should open businesses.

Compare that to 29% of voters who say the state's legislature is doing everything they can to get the pandemic under control, and 49.5% who say they are not doing everything. Of that nearly 50%, 40.9% say they should work and compromise with the governor, 11.1% said they should listen to scientists, 8.6% say they would work on financial help and 8.2% say they should enforce masks and social distancing restrictions.

"As we mark the ninth month of the pandemic, promising news on vaccine distribution, and the Governor temporarily reimposing business restrictions, the Chamber wanted to assess how voters feel about Michigan’s health, economy, and political situation," Detroit Regional Chamber President Sandy K. Baruah said in a release. “Similar to our statewide polls in April and May, voters are sending a clear message that public health measures are essential to beating the pandemic and that the public health crisis and business restrictions are harming our economy.”

When it comes to the the pandemic, most Michiganders believe it is worse now than in April and that the state's economy is worse.

The poll found 82.7% believe the situation is worse or the same as in April, and 83.7% believe the economy is worse now than when the pandemic hit.

The voters also believe that Whitme is more bipartisan than the state's legislature. When asked to rank them on a scale on 1-10 for bipartisanship on the pandemic, Whitmer came in at a 5.8 while the legislative leadership came in at 4.5.

The breakdown for the governor and legislative leaders by party is below.

Strong Dem - 8.4
Lean Dem - 7.6
Independent - 6.0
Lean GOP - 4.1
Strong GOP - 2.9

Legislative leaders
Strong Dem - 4.1
Lean Dem - 5.3
Independent - 4.9
Lean GOP - 4.6
Strong GOP - 4.2

Support is also growing for vaccinations compared to the last poll in October.

52.5% of Michigan voterssay they will get a vaccine when it's available, compared to 44.6% who said they would get one in late October. 30% say they will not get it, and 13.2% say it depends.

According to the poll, nearly 80% of people surveyed say they always wear a mask, and more than 68% of the voters say they support the legislature passing a statewide mask mandate.

The breakdown by party is below.

Strong Dem - 95.9% support, 1.7% oppose
Lean Dem - 91.1% support, 7.1% oppose
Independent - 72.3% support, 26.3% oppose
Lean GOP - 50.0% support, 48.1% oppose
Strong GOP - 33.5% support, 63.9% oppose

"The Chamber has been vocal from the start of the crisis that the universal use of masks in public is critical to keeping businesses open. This poll shows voters overwhelmingly agree through their actions and support for an indoor mask mandate,” Baruah said.

Michigan voters also shared their confidence in going to certain places on a scale of 1-10. The grocery store, and outdoor socialization were at the top, with movies and bars among the least-likely.

  • 7.8 - Grocery store
  • 7.4 - Socialize with friends or family outdoors
  • 7.3 - Work
  • 5.9 - Church
  • 5.7 - Socialize with friends or family indoors
  • 5.4 - Eat indoors at a restaurant
  • 4.5 - Gym or Health club
  • 4.5 - Movies
  • 4.0 - Bar

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.