Detroit Regional Chamber Poll: Roads Top List of Concerns Among Michiganders

The condition of the state’s roads and bridges tops the list of concerns among Michigan citizens, according to recently released findings of a new statewide poll commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber.
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According to the Michigan Policy Poll, the state’s roads and bridges are the biggest concern for Michigan residents. // Stock photo

The condition of the state’s roads and bridges tops the list of concerns among Michigan citizens, according to recently released findings of a new statewide poll commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“Michigan is going to be the key state in the election this year and it is important to know what is on the minds of Michigan voters,” says Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We are not interested in the national horserace. Today, it is important to understand the issues Michiganders care most about – roads, health care, jobs, and the economy – this Michigan voter poll reflects that.”

The poll was conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. of 600 Michiganders who are likely to vote in the November general election and the findings reflect a consensus among Michigan respondents on statewide and federal issues. View the full findings of the Michigan Policy Poll here.

Overall, 46.2 percent of statewide voters believe the state is on the right track. More than one third, (33.2 percent) believe Michigan is on the wrong track. Almost 21 percent (20.7 percent) had no response.

When asked in an open-ended question, “What is the most important issue facing Michigan right now?” The top four responses were: roads and bridges (29.5 percent), jobs and the economy (18 percent), education/education funding (7.2 percent), and water/sewer infrastructure (6.3 percent).

More than 86 percent of respondents feel the roads are about the same or have gotten worse in recent years. When asked, however, if Michigan’s government has enough money to fix the roads or if the state needs to raise more money, a margin of 53.3 percent of voters believe the state has enough money.

“Michigan’s elected leaders continue to lose the PR battle on additional road funding,” says Richard Czuba, founder of Glengariff Group Inc. “Michigan voters continue to believe that the state already has enough money to fix the roads as compared to needing additional revenues. As far back as 2012, we talked about how voters did not understand why Michigan needed more road money. And eight years later, voters still don’t understand why Michigan needs more money for roads.”

By a margin of 74 percent to 22.1 percent, Michigan voters strongly support providing debt-free community college tuition to any Michigan adult who is re-entering the workforce or needs to get retrained because their job has been eliminated.

Michigan voters continue to strongly support legislation (77.3 percent to 16 percent) to prohibit discrimination in employment or housing of LGBT Michiganders.

They also are very much in favor of legislation (77.5 percent) that would prohibit drivers from holding their cell phones while they are driving and require them to only use a hands-free device.

This is the second poll the Detroit Regional Chamber has commissioned by Glengariff Group Inc. ahead of the November 2020 general election. The first was conducted in July 2019 in advance of the CNN Democratic Debate in Detroit.

National issues most important to the poll participants include:

  • President Trump and his impeachment (15.2 percent)
  • Jobs and the economy (12.5 percent)
  • Access to health care (10 percent)
  • The political divide in the nation (9 percent)
  • The possibility of war (8.8 percent)

“It is a great misconception that voters are unhappy with their current health insurance coverage,” says Czuba. “Seventy-five percent of voters with employer-provided or private health insurance coverage are satisfied with their coverage. That is why 67 percent of Michigan voters choose a national health option that is not Medicare for All. Voters want a more moderated direction in the national health care debate.”

The poll was a live operator telephone survey of 600 likely November 2020 general election Michigan voters conducted from Jan. 14-18. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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