Poll: Michigan Voters Say Improving Schools and Infrastructure Are Top Issues

Michigan voters say improving K-12 public schools, investing in the state’s roads and bridges, closing the skills gap, and making sure Michigan has the right tools to lure businesses and jobs are their top priorities for state leaders to focus on to make Michigan more competitive, according to a new poll commissioned by Business Leaders for Michigan.
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Red seal poor stamped on a form, mark d and fountain pen. Macro shot.
Michigan voters say improving K-12 public schools is the most important issue facing the state, according to the results of a poll commissioned by Business Leaders for Michigan. // Stock Photo

Michigan voters say improving K-12 public schools, investing in the state’s roads and bridges, closing the skills gap, and making sure Michigan has the right tools to lure businesses and jobs are their top priorities for state leaders to focus on to make Michigan more competitive, according to a new poll commissioned by Business Leaders for Michigan.

On a scale of 1-10, poll respondents rated improving K-12 schools an 8.63; fixing roads and bridges were rated 8.33; election security rated 8.26; and ensuring workers have the proper education and skills rated 8.2.

“Michigan voters agree that investments in education, infrastructure, people, and job growth are key to a competitive economy,” says Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “With an election around the corner, now is the time to focus on what’s important to make this state better tomorrow than it is today.”

Other issues that garnered high ratings with participating voters included offering favorable incentive packages to workers (7.93) and attracting more people to Michigan (7.26).

More than 39 percent of the respondents say the governor and Legislature are most important to fixing Michigan’s challenges.

The voter poll of 600 likely voters also shows Michiganders are optimistic about the state’s economy and even more bullish about their own personal economic situation, even in the face of national economic uncertainty.

About 41 percent of those polled feel optimistic about Michigan’s economic direction, 32 percent are pessimistic, and 23 percent are indifferent. That optimism grows when voters are asked about their own financial situation, with more than 62 percent saying they feel optimistic about their own economic situation, as opposed to nearly 20 percent saying they feel pessimistic and 15 percent indifferent.

Voters also say they have the same or better job opportunities compared to their parents, with nearly 44 percent saying they’re better, about 29 percent saying they’re about the same, and 22 percent saying the opportunities are worse. Nearly 58 percent of Black voters say their opportunities to find a good-paying job today versus their parents are better, compared to 41 percent of white voters.

Voters across the spectrum also expressed the importance of having the ability to have their voices heard in well-run elections, ranking that among their top priorities to improve the state’s competitiveness. Reflecting that sentiment, while Democrats and Republicans have shared different ideas on what they mean by election security, the state Legislature also has come together to pass a series of bipartisan election bills including preprocessing absentee ballots and new requirements for ballot drop boxes.

The Glengariff Group Inc. conducted the survey of likely 2022 General Election voters. The 600 sample, live operator telephone survey was conducted Sept. 6-11, and has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95 percent level of confidence. Twenty-six percent of respondents were contacted via landline telephone. Seventy-four percent of were contacted via cell phone.

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