POLL: Presidential race tightens in Michigan, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 7 points

Posted at 6:00 AM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 05:18:10-04

With just over a week to go before the General Election, the race for U.S. president is tightening up slightly in Michigan. 

Democrat Hillary Clinton now leads Republican Donald Trump by 7 points, 41% to 34%.  Libertarian Gary Johnson has 9% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein polls at 3%.  And there are still 13% who say they haven’t made up their minds yet. 

That’s the latest results of our new and exclusive WXYZ-TV-7/Detroit Free Press Poll conducted by EPIC MRA for our statewide media polling partners in Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing and Detroit. 

In our early October survey of 600 likely Michigan voters, Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State was beating New York businessman Trump by double digits, 43% to 32% in a four-way political contest including Johnson and Stein. 

Bernie Porn, president of Lansing-based EPIC MRA, made this observation about the most recent numbers. “Although the race is now down to single digits again, keep in mind that among those voters who are enthusiastic and most likely to vote, Clinton leads by a 10 – 15 point range.”  And he adds, “Her voters are more positive about voting for her.  Trumps voters are voting more against Clinton than they are for him.”

Another factor for Michiganders sizing up the major party candidates coming down the homestretch might have been the heavily watched presidential debates.

Forty-nine percent believe Clinton won their last face-to-face encounter compared to 28% for Trump. Ten percent said neither one of the candidates won, 9% chalked it up as a tie. When pressed on the question, 18% claimed that Clinton’s debate performance made them “more likely” to vote for the former New York Senator. Ten percent said the same about real estate magnate Trump but 71% indicated that the debate “didn’t influence” their vote at all.

When it comes to issues Michigan voters are most concerned about, “improving the economy and providing jobs” tops the list, followed by “improving education” and “national security/terrorism.” 

Voters feel better about Michigan’s economy than the national economy and believe both have bottomed out and are now improving.   More respondents like President Barack Obama than dislike him and the majority, 52%, approve of his job performance. Conversely, our survey found that more voters dislike Governor Rick Snyder than like him and only 34% approve of the job he is doing in office. 

Given all of these dynamics, Channel 7 pollster Bernie Porn says, “With such little time left, it will be real tough for Donald Trump to make a comeback in Michigan!”

Our exclusive WXYZ-TV 7/Detroit Free Press poll was conducted October 22 – 24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0%.  Thirty percent of likely voters were interviewed on their mobile phones.


Thinking about the four major candidates running for President, would you/did 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: 41%
Total Vote Trump: 34%
Total Vote Johnson: 9%
Total Vote Stein: 3%

If the election for President were held today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican or Hillary Clinton the Democrat?

Total Vote Clinton: 45%
Total Vote Trump: 37%

Did you watch the final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last Wednesday night?

Yes, watched the debate: 64%
No, did not watch the debate: 36%

Who do you think won the debate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Clinton Won: 49%
Trump Won: 28%

Did the debate make you more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, or, would you say the debate did not influence your vote one way or the other?

No influence: 71%

More likely to vote for Hillary Clinton: 18%

More likely to vote for Donald Trump: 10%

What is the main reason why you are voting for Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump?

Experience: 16%
Agree with her on issues-views: 7%
Qualified: 6%

In voting for Hillary Clinton, would you say you are voting more FOR Hillary Clinton, or are you voting more AGAINST Donald Trump?

Voting for Hillary Clinton: 65%
Voting against Donald Trump: 30%

What is the main reason why you are voting for Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton?

For a change: 9%
Non-politician/business background: 8%
Honest-blunt: 7%

In voting for Donald Trump, would you say you are voting more FOR Donald Trump, or are you voting more AGAINST Hillary Clinton?

Voting for Donald Trump: 44%
Voting against Hillary Clinton: 43%

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: 61%
Right direction: 27%
Undecided: 12%

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: 43%
Wrong track: 42%
Undecided: 15%

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: 56%
Total Unfavorable: 38%

Rick Snyder
Total Favorable: 37%
Total Unfavorable: 52%

Hillary Clinton
Total Favorable: 32%
Total Unfavorable: 61%

Donald Trump
Total Favorable: 32%
Total Unfavorable: 61%

Overall, how would you rate the job being done by Rick Snyder as Michigan’s Governor – would you give him a positive rating of excellent or pretty good, or a negative rating of just fair or poor?

Total positive: 34%
Total negative: 64%

Of the following list of national problems and issues that Michigan voters say they are concerned about the most, which one problem or issue concerns you the most?

26% Improving the economy and providing jobs
14% Improving the quality of education
9% National security and terrorism
7% Stagnant wages and the rising cost of living
7% Stopping trade agreements that send U.S. jobs overseas
6% Reducing the national debt
5% Controlling government spending
5% Improving the nation’s infrastructure
4% Addressing crime and drugs
4% Immigration
4% Race relations
3% Controlling high national taxes

Thinking about the national economy, do you believe the national economy…
45% Has bottomed out and is now improving
27% Has not yet bottomed out and will still get worse
23% Has bottomed out but has not yet started to get better
4% Undecided/Refused

Thinking specifically about the Michigan economy, do you believe Michigan’s economy…
55% Has bottomed out and is now improving
24% Has bottomed out but has not yet started to get better
17% Has not yet bottomed out and will still get worse
4% Undecided/Refused