On the evening before the Democratic candidates for President debate face-to-face in Flint, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoys a 25 point lead in Michigan over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. That’s our finding from a brand new and “exclusive” WXYZ-TV 7/Detroit Free Press Poll conducted by EPIC MRA of Lansing.
If the Michigan Democratic Presidential Primary election were held today, Clinton would secure 56 percent of the likely Michigan Democratic vote compared to Sanders’ 31%. Thirteen percent are still undecided.
“Bernie Sanders has a long uphill road to climb if he is going to catch or surpass Hillary Clinton in Michigan,” says Channel 7 pollster Bernie Porn.
Several factors seem to be helping Clinton among the 400 Michiganders surveyed by EPIC MRA. Seventy-two percent believe the former First Lady has the best chance of winning in November if she is selected as the Democratic Party nominee for U.S. President. That’s a far cry from only 17% who think Sanders could win the General Election.
Seventy-one percent are convinced that Clinton has “the right kind of experience” to be the political leader of the United States compared to Sanders’ 17%. The majority of respondents also give Clinton the nod on protecting America, being a strong leader and working for bipartisan solutions in Washington. The only area where Sanders barely polls better than Clinton is on trust. 40% say Sanders is more trustworthy than Clinton who gets 39%.
But one issue where Michigan Democrats strongly differ with Republicans is on GOP candidate Donald Trumps’ call to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. until America can better protect itself from terrorist attacks.
A whopping 82% believe Muslims should be welcomed to the U.S. Only 15% of likely Democratic voters disagree. That’s a big difference from the GOP Michigan Presidential Primary survey we released earlier this week in which 61 percent of Republicans favored Trumps’ position.
On the topic of education, a majority of Democrats, 66%, like Sanders’ call for the federal government to provide free college tuition for students. Twenty-eight percent don’t like the proposed stock market tax.
Clinton also does better than Sanders with educated and religious voters, union members, Michiganders over age 35, African Americans and women. The real tally will take place Tuesday, March 8, when the voting polls open at 7 a.m. across the state for the Michigan Primary.
Our Channel 7/Detroit Free Press survey was conducted February 27-29. Thirty percent of the respondents answered questions on their cell phones. The poll has a plus or minus margin of error of 4.9%.