The Detroit Regional Chamber, one of the oldest and largest chambers of commerce in the country, today released findings from a statewide poll of registered voters in Michigan that provides insights and data on Michigander’s perception of the economy, how they’ve reacted to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, public health and economic challenges, and political issues facing the state.
“In advance of the Mackinac Policy Conference and after conducting polls throughout the pandemic, the Chamber wanted to gauge how voters feel about Michigan’s health, economy, and political situation,” says Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the DRC.
“The polling shows that the last 18 months have exacerbated divisions, and finding consensus on how to best control COVID-19 and move Michigan forward has become even more challenging. That is why events where business, civic, and government leaders can convene with civility like the Mackinac Policy Conference are so critical now.”
Key findings from the poll include 31.8 percent of those polled believe the economy is on the right track compared to 57.7 percent believing it is on the wrong track. Among vaccinated people, 40.9 percent said it was on the right track, while 9.7 percent of unvaccinated voters believe the same.
When asked about their degree of concern regarding inflation, 85.8 percent said they are concerned, with only 12.6 percent responding they are not concerned. Broken down to specific responses, 52.8 percent of those polled are very concerned about inflation, and 33 percent are somewhat concerned.
When asked whether they support allowing businesses to require proof of vaccination for employees and customers, 44 percent said they would support a mandate, while 51.9 percent would oppose it. Strong support for a mandate measured at 28.8 percent, while 41.7 percent strongly opposed.
Those aged 65 or older were the only age group to have majority support for employment and business mandates, with 69.4 agreeing. Those aged 30 to 39 offered the lowest percentage of support at 32 percent. The political breakdown shows democratic voters support the potential mandate, while independent and republican voters oppose it.
Legislation that would prohibit private employers from requiring that employees get vaccinated as a condition of employment had 47.9 percent support and 46.8 percent opposition. This issue saw the greatest split in partisan breakdowns, with only narrow support from Republicans and narrow opposition from Democrats.
Employed voters that oppose the prohibition and support mandatory vaccinations were asked if they would look for another job if their employer did not require vaccinations — 15.5 percent of those employees said they would look for another job, while 77.4 percent said they would not.
Employed voters that support the prohibition and oppose mandatory vaccinations were asked if they would look for another job if their employer did require vaccinations — 42.4 percent of those employees said they would look for another job, while 48.8 percent said they would not.
Regarding vaccine requirements to enter a business, those polled were read two different statements.
“I do not support vaccine restrictions to enter businesses. Getting a vaccine should be an individual choice,” was selected by 51.2 percent.
“I support vaccine requirements to enter businesses. If you choose not to get vaccinated, you should not be allowed to put everyone else’s health at risk,” was selected by 44 percent.
When asked if they would be more or less likely to go to seven different locations — restaurants, bars, small businesses, movie theaters, concerts, sporting facilities, and flying by airplane — if that location required proof of vaccination. Of the seven, only bars would be relatively split at 28.3 percent more likely, and 31.8 percent less likely.
The Glengariff Group Inc. in Lansing, the DRC’s polling partner, completed this statewide poll of 600 registered Michigan voters between Aug. 30 and Sept. 3, 2021.
“The divisions we have seen throughout the pandemic are becoming more pronounced. Republicans and Democrats fundamentally see different problems and different paths forward,” says Richard Czuba, president of Glengariff. “Voters remained highly engaged and report a high motivation (9.1) to vote in the 2022 election, which indicates we are likely to see the same high level of turnout as in 2018 and 2020.”