WASHINGTON D.C. – Michiganders likely to vote in the 2022 general election are ticked off at the direction of their state and at Governor Whitmer specifically. Fifty-seven percent of voters feel Michigan is off on the wrong track, and Whitmer isn’t faring much better with her image underwater – 54% unfavorable and 44% favorable.
“While most Governors in the country – regardless of party affiliation – came out of the pandemic with strong marks for their leadership, Governor Whitmer appears to have used it as an opportunity to make voters like her less,” remarked pollster Brent Buchanan, CEO of Cygnal, a national polling firm ranked as most accurate. “Heck, only 41% believe Whitmer should be re-elected. That’s a rough place to be seventeen months from Election Day.”
Against a generic Republican, Whitmer trails 41% to 52%. In the suburbs, she runs behind 39% to 55%. Female voters buoyed the Governor to victory in 2018 yet the race is R+1 with women. This is incredible considering nationally a generic Republican is behind thirteen points with females who voted in 2020.
Governor Whitmer’s hypocritical decisions to fly to Florida then botching the response along with breaking her own overreaching COVID rules have impacted voters’ opinions. Eighty-eight percent of Michiganders have seen, read, or heard about “Governor Whitmer’s secret private jet trip to Florida at the same time she was telling Michiganders not to travel there.” Voters younger than age 50 are fifty-six percent less likely to vote for Whitmer because of the trip debacle.
The secret private dinner that violated the Governor’s own COVID occupancy regulations does even more damage. It makes voters fifty-six percent less likely to vote for her. Among suburban women, the number is fifty-three percent less likely. For context, suburban women traditionally do not respond to negative stories or messages as strongly as the population as a whole.
“Michigan is a battleground state; Joe Biden won by three points, while Gretchen Whitmer won by ten points in 2018. If the election were held today, based on the negative feelings toward the Governor and the state’s direction, both would lose,” Buchanan added.
Cygnal’s survey of likely 2022 Michigan voters is based on a projected turnout model inline with historical midterm election voter trends. Fox News’ exit poll in 2020, a much larger turnout than is expected next year, showed Michigan voters were forty percent conservative and twenty-nine percent liberal. Cygnal’s poll is forty-four percent conservative and twenty-seven percent liberal.
The toplines can be found below. You can download the crosstabs here by right-clicking the link.