EXCLUSIVE POLL: Democrat Hillary Clinton opens up double-digit Michigan lead on GOP's Donald Trump

Posted at 6:00 AM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 17:21:23-04

With one presidential debate down and two to go, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has opened up her Michigan lead again on Republican nominee Donald Trump. 

If the election were held today, the former U.S. Secretary of State would win the 2016 race 43% to businessman Trump’s 32%. 

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, would capture 10% of the vote and Green Party nominee Jill Stein would come in last at 3%. 

Twelve percent of likely Michigan voters are still undecided. These new numbers are the result of our new and exclusive WXYZ-TV 7/Detroit Free Press Poll conducted by Lansing-based EPIC MRA for our statewide media survey partners in Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

In the middle of September, Clinton only had a 3 point lead over Trump in a 4-way contest. With a 4.0 margin of error, that made the presidential battle a virtual tossup.  The race had closed up since Clinton’s double-digit lead coming out of the August Democratic National Convention. 

Channel 7 pollster Bernie Porn suggested why Clinton’s numbers have been increasing again. 

“I’m not sure if it’s mostly due to Hillary’s success in the first debate or Donald’s self-inflicted wounds. Probably a combination of both.”  In our survey of 600 likely Michigan voters, 61% think Clinton won the first debate compared to 12% who think Trump came out on top.  Fourteen percent said neither candidate won. 

Nine percent are convinced it was a tie. Only about one-fourth believe the debate has made them more likely to cast their ballot for Clinton.  Most say it has not influenced their decision at all.

But what has influenced voters are the surrogates campaigning around the nation on behalf of the nominees.

“Clinton has improved among African Americans and millennials primarily because of the popularity of her surrogates,“ says Porn.  “Look at First Lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders' popularity with the voters.” 

Mrs. Obama has the highest favorability numbers at 63%, followed by Sanders at 55%, President Obama, 55%, and former President Bill Clinton’s 50%. Trump’s most popular surrogates are vice presidential candidate Mike Pence with 29% and Trump’s wife, Melania, at 23%.  

Senator Sanders, who won the Michigan Presidential Primary, is campaigning for Clinton in Michigan today. 
When asked their biggest concern nationally, the largest number of respondents, 23%, said improving the economy and providing jobs was #1, followed by improving education and national security. Fifty-three percent think Michigan has “bottomed out and is now improving.”  

The main reason Michiganders are voting for Clinton is because of her experience. And the leading cause for Trump’s support is because voters see him as a non-politician with a business background.

The WXYZ-TV 7/Detroit Free Press Poll was conducted October 1 – 3, has a plus or minus margin of error of 4.0% and included 30% of mobile interviews.


Thinking about the four major candidates running for President, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, Gary Johnson the Libertarian candidate, or Jill Stein the Green Party candidate?

Total Vote Clinton: 43%
Total Vote Trump: 32%
Total Vote Johnson: 10%
Total Vote Stein: 3%
Undecided: 12%

Who do you think won the debate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Clinton Won: 61%
Trump Won: 12%

Did the debate make you more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
More likely to vote for Hillary Clinton: 22%
More likely to vote for Donald Trump: 6%

Now, I would like to read the names of political figures. For each one, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person.

Barack Obama
Total Favorable: 54%
Total Unfavorable: 42%

Rick Snyder
Total Favorable: 35%
Total Unfavorable: 55%

Hillary Clinton
Total Favorable: 40%
Total Unfavorable: 52%

Donald Trump
Total Favorable: 27%
Total Unfavorable: 66%

Tim Kaine
Total Favorable: 26%
Total Unfavorable: 27%

Mike Pence
Total Favorable: 29%
Total Unfavorable: 30%

Jill Stein
Total Favorable: 12%
Total Unfavorable: 26%

Gary Johnson
Total Favorable: 17%
Total Unfavorable: 33%

Bernie Sanders
Total Favorable: 55%
Total Unfavorable: 36%

Michelle Obama
Total Favorable: 63%
Total Unfavorable: 29%

Melania Trump
Total Favorable: 23%
Total Unfavorable: 44%

Bill Clinton
Total Favorable: 50%
Total Unfavorable: 43%

On a scale of zero to 10, where 0 means you are not enthusiastic at all, and 10 meaning you are extremely enthusiastic about voting in this year’s election, what number from 0 to 10 best describes how enthusiastic you are about voting in the November presidential election?

Rating 0 to 3 | 29%
Rating 4 to 6 | 19%
Rating 7 to 8 | 15%
Rating 9 to 10 | 36%
Undecided | 1%

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

Wrong track: 60%
Right direction: 30%
Undecided: 10%

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

Right direction: 45%
Wrong track: 44%
Undecided: 11%