EAST LANSING (WWJ) - According to a new survey out of Michigan State University, Michigan residents are feeling optimistic about the economy — and our nation’s President.
The university’s annual State of the State Survey, conducted in June, gives President Barack Obama a nine-point lead over GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
“No single survey is perfect,” said MSU’s Director of Surveys, Dr. Charles Ballard. “But what we’ve seen in the last couple of months — all of the surveys indicate that President Obama is leading; and not just by one or two percentage points, but by six or 10 or even 14 points in one that came out from the Detroit News just the other day.”
Ballard said the auto industry bailout continues to shape opinions locally.
“The fact that the auto industry’s doing so much better and that Governor Romney’s comments seemed to indicate that he would have been OK with a different outcome, I think that’s made a difference,” said Ballard. “All indications are that, right now, Romney has an uphill battle in Michigan.”
The MSU survey – the largest of the three – was taken before the national party conventions, at a time when 30 percent of those questioned were undecided. Republicans were more likely than Democrats to still be making up their minds, said Ballard.
If the undecided voters follow party lines, Ballard said, Obama’s lead would be 49 percent to 43 percent.
Ballard said they also asked a series of questions about consumer confidence, including, “How do you think you’re doing right now?”
When it came to how Michiganders feel about their financial situation, over 54 percent called it “excellent” or “good,” Ballard said.
That’s the highest reading since 2005, but still below the levels recorded in the late 1990s.
Ballard said the survey showed Michiganders are feeling just slightly better about their governor.
“Governor Snyder’s approval ratings have never been super high. When he first came to office (his ratings were) in the 44 range, and then his numbers dropped,” said Ballard. “But in the last couple of surveys they’ve bounced back. This time, they’re 38 percent favorable. These are not great numbers but they’re a little bit better than before.”
MSU’s State of the State Survey has been conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research since 1994. IPPSR is a unit of MSU’s College of Social Science.