U-M Survey: Leaders Unhappy with Michigan’s Direction


Fewer than half of Michigan leaders think the state is headed in the right direction, says a new survey by the University of Michigan. The local leaders cite issues with road funding, state tax policies, and general dysfunction in Lansing as reasons for their concerns.

"The drop in optimism about the state's direction is found among officials across all political parties," says Tom Ivacko, administrator of the survey. "Most surprisingly, given the Republican Party's monopoly on Michigan's state government, the largest drop in local leaders' support is found among Republican local leaders."

Ivacko says 46 percent of local officials say the state is headed in the right direction, down from 55 percent in 2014, marking the first time since 2012 that fewer than half of the leaders believe the state is headed in a positive direction.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s performance was rated good or excellent by 54 percent of those surveyed, up from 52 percent in 2014. The Michigan legislature was rated good or excellent by 23 percent of participants, down from 28 percent a year ago.

Respondents said bright spots in the state include right-to-work legislation, Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy, the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, and management of the state’s budget.