Peters Holds Slight Lead Over Land In Race For US Senate
Lansing, Michigan (Tuesday, July 15, 2014) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder still holds a significant lead over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, but has still not broken the 50 percent favorable threshold for voters, an important milestone for any gubernatorial re-election campaign.
In the latest Vanguard Public Affairs survey of the Michigan electorate – conducted by Denno Research – likely voters gave Snyder a 43-35 advantage over Schauer, with 22 percent saying they were still undecided, said TJ Bucholz, Vanguard Public Affairs President.
“While the Snyder team would like their favorable to be above the magic 50 percent number, I think this poll is good news for the Governor overall,” Bucholz said. “However, there are still a large number of undecided voters and if Mark Schauer can influence them, this campaign could still be a horse race.”
More than 44 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Governor, but nearly 40 percent gave him an unfavorable rating, indicating that Snyder is a polarizing political figure for the electorate statewide, said Dennis Denno, President of Denno Research.
“Eight-five percent of Republicans said they would vote for Snyder, while 73 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Schauer, so Schauer still has a chance to win if he can convince his Democratic base to come to the polls in high numbers,” Denno said. “While Snyder has not been able to win over a majority of independent voters, with only 43 percent who said they would vote for him, Schauer only received 25 percent of independents, with another 32 percent undecided.”
After four years of office, almost a third of independents are unsure on Snyder, a potentially good sign for Schauer if he can win them over. Gender also does not seem to be factoring into this race, with 46 percent of males and 41 percent of females saying they support Snyder.
“Some of the details in this poll demonstrate that Mark Schauer could gain ground, but his window is shrinking,” Bucholz said. “If Mark Schauer cannot pull to within the margin of error in polls by Labor Day, his campaign will have an uphill battle to achieve a win in November.”
One interesting number for Snyder is the percentage of Detroiters in this poll who have a favorable opinion of him – nearly 28 percent of Detroiters post “Grand Bargain” (the deal Snyder helped to broker that preserved worker pensions and protected Detroit Institute of Art assets from bankruptcy creditors) say they have a favorable opinion of him. While the sample sizes for geography in this poll are small and should only be considered directional, Bucholz said it’s a trend line that may carry additional good news for Governor Snyder on Election Day.
“Traditionally, Governor Snyder’s favorable number has been minuscule in Detroit, but if this trend holds more broadly for him, it could spell trouble for Mark Schauer in a critical base region for Democrats,” Bucholz said. “Our results may be an early indicator that voters in Detroit are pleased with recent political developments in their city, and that might pay dividends for Snyder in November.”
The July 2014 Vanguard poll also shows US Representative Gary Peters with a slight lead over his GOP opponent Terri Lynn Land in the race to replace Carl Levin in the United States Senate, 40 percent to 37 percent over Land.
“Gary Peters holds a lead, as he does in most statewide polls, but he’s still within the margin of error in our poll,” Denno said. “I think the Peters team would prefer their lead to be wider, obviously.”
Peters wins over 79 percent of Democrats and Land also wins over 79 percent of Republicans, but with the valuable independent voters, Land holds a slight lead, at 35 percent versus 32 for Peters. More than independent voters are undecided, and most likely this race will be determined by them, he said.
“(Land) is actually losing with female voters, 36 percent versus 39 percent for Peters, and that’s worrisome if you’re Terri Lynn Land, who was tried to market herself to women broadly across the state,” Bucholz said. “She has to step up with women and independents to define herself as a candidate. Hiding isn’t working and her trust level with voters could easily slip as a result if she continues to duck her opponent’s calls for public forums and debates.”
Vanguard Public Affairs surveyed 600 likely Michigan voters, conducted by Denno Research, between July 9 and 11, with a margin of error of plus/minus 4 percent, and the participation was stratified based on census data and past voter behavior. 120 respondents (20%) were from cell phone users, in an attempt to gather younger voters who do not have a land line. A screen was employed to include only those participants who said they would vote, either at the polls or by absentee ballot, in the November 2014 General Election. All numbers are rounded and may exceed 100%.