The lead contaminated water crisis in Flint has taken its toll on the historic city, its people and public opinion about Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
In an exclusive WXYZ/Detroit Free Press Poll conducted by Lansing-based EPIC MRA, a solid majority, 69%, of state residents don’t like the way Snyder has handled the crisis.
The statewide survey of 600 likely Michigan voters is the first significant poll taken since Snyder apologized to Flint residents in his State of the State Address and international attention has focused on the man-made tragedy.
Snyder’s handling of Flint even took a beating across political lines. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats disapproved of the job he has done for Flint, only 6% support him. Among independent voters, 69% give Snyder a thumbs down compared to 25 % who give him a thumbs up. And in his own Republican Party, 49% give Snyder low marks for the Flint situation , 37% who give him a passing grade.
Bernie Porn, President of EPIC MRA, summed it up this way:
“Governor Snyder has taken a solid hit because of the Flint water crisis. Almost 7 in 10 voters give him a negative rating but for now they are giving him the benefit of the doubt and not tossing him out of office.”
When respondents were asked if Snyder should resign from office, 61% said no, 29% said yes and 10% were undecided. Porn added, “As the investigations into what went wrong in Flint continue, that number could change.”
However, even Snyder’s overall job rating has suffered since our last poll in October of 2015. At that time, nearly half of Michiganders, 49% – 40%, gave the Governor a favorable job rating. Today, only 39% - 58% give him a positive rating with 3% not sure.
On the national front, the people of Michigan give President Barack Obama a 46% approval rating of his job performance. Fifty-three percent don’t like what he is doing and only 1% haven’t made up their mind.
And if the next presidential election were held today and the two nominees were GOP businessman Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State would lead 43% to 41% with 16% undecided. It’s still early in a marathon up-and-down race for the White House.
The poll was taken January 23 – 26 for our statewide media partners in Detroit, Lansing, Flint and Grand Rapids. It was also conducted with 30% of mobile phone users.