DETROIT – By more than a 2-1 margin Michigan residents oppose the idea of building a new government financed Canada to Detroit bridge, according to a new statewide poll. The poll conducted by political consultant Dick Morris surveyed five hundred likely Michigan voters and was conducted September 19 and 20. Those polled were asked if they would support or oppose a new bridge connecting Canada and Michigan that would be owned, built and financed by the governments of Michigan and Canada. 64.5% opposed the government bridge and 27.7% supported it. Another poll question centered on Governor Snyder’s assertion that the new bridge would not cost taxpayers anything, and critics of the idea who suggest with toll revenues down taxpayers will ultimately be liable for the borrowed money. Responding to this argument, 63.1% of those polled opposed building the new government owned bridge and 27.3% supported it. The poll also asked, “Governor Snyder says that he wants a big program to build and repair roads and bridges in Michigan, and insists that the new bridge would be part of the program. Critics say he is holding our infrastructure needs hostage to getting the money for the bridge. After hearing this argument would you support or oppose building the new government owned bridge?” To that question, 66.3% oppose building the new bridge and 25.7% supported it
Another poll question asked voters if they preferred a bridge paid for by the two governments, or a second Ambassador Bridge span that is privately financed. 43.8% of the respondents favor the second Ambassador Bridge span and 28.9% prefer the government owned bridge. Those polled also answered a question about the possibility that Snyder would try to build a new bridge by executive order, without getting approval of the legislature. 81.1% of those polled opposed such a move by the Governor and 13.9% approved. Another question to the respondents dealt with toll revenues and the Mackinac Bridge. “The Mackinac Bridge was supposed to be supported by toll revenues and not cost taxpayers a dime. But toll revenues have not been enough to pay for it and the state has had to forgive $54 million to make up the difference, and since 2003, pay $5 million each year for an operating subsidy. Critics say the government bridge to Canada would also have to be subsidized just like the Mackinac Bridge. Do you agree or disagree?” 66.1% of those polled agreed and 22.7% disagreed.
This statewide poll comes a few days after the release of a single question poll conducted by the NITC proponents. Rather than asking one question, this is a comprehensive survey and includes many of the same questions that have been asked in polling conducted by Mr. Morris since March 2011. The answers from Michigan voters have remained consistent.
The poll was commissioned by the Detroit International Bridge Company. To see the entire poll and get more information on the bridge issue go to 2billionbridge.com.