Survey of 500 Likely Voters
March 20, 2006
March 27, 2006--The latest Rasmussen Reports poll in the race for governor of Michigan shows Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm and Republican Dick DeVos tied, 44% to 44%. This confirms the tightening of the race first reported last month.
In January, Granholm held a double-digit lead.
Faced with a flailing auto industry and bleak job prospects, the incumbent has been unable all along to get a toehold above the 50% level of support. Even in January, when she enjoyed a double-digit advantage over DeVos, Granholm peaked at 49%.
Granholm's lead disappeared in February following announcement of major lay-offs by Ford and GM (and following the Governor's State-of-the-State Address). Last week's news that General Motors will offer all unionized employees a buy-out to leave their jobs isn't likely to improve the economic mood in a state so closely linked with the auto industry.
Granholm is viewed favorably by 48% of all voters, unfavorably by 43%, with 10% Not Sure. DeVos is viewed favorably by only 37% and unfavorably by 29%, with 34% Not Sure. For Granholm, those numbers are little changed. For DeVos, they represent an improvement over last month.
Governor Granholm is doing slightly better now with Democrats, with 71% casting their lot with her versus the 66% support we saw in February. DeVos enjoys 81% support from the GOP.
The rolling average of the last three Rasmussen Reports polls also highlights the tightening of the race. For the three polls ending in February, Granholm held an eight point advantage, 47% to 39%. Now, with the most recent three polls, that edge has been cut in half, 46% to 42%.
The three-poll rolling average is less volatile than single poll results and sometimes helps determine whether changing poll results represent real change or merely statistical noise. In this case, it appears that there has been real and significant movement in the race.
Asked about other issues of the day, 42% of the state's likely voters told us they favor a ban on abortion except when the life of the mother is at risk, 44% oppose such a ban.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) believe that most politicians will change their vote on an issue to secure a campaign contribution. Only 25% favor public funding of political campaigns, an idea opposed by 55%.
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Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports March 20, 2006. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points at the midpoint with a 95% level of confidence (see Methodology).