The economy's hit Michigan harder than most places and Democrats in the state were defeated badly in last month's election. Nevertheless Barack Obama leads all of his top prospective Republican opponents for reelection in the state and with the exception of Mitt Romney, the margins are all in double digits.
Obama has decent approval numbers in Michigan with 50% of voters giving him good marks to 45% who are unhappy with his job performance. Democrats are pretty universally still happy with him, with 90% expressing approval. Republicans strongly disapprove of Obama but not quite to the extent that Democrats like him- 85% of them give the President bad marks. Independents split slightly in favor of Obama, approving of him by a 47/44 margin.
Compared to the Republican field Obama's numbers look stratospheric. Only Romney is viewed favorably by a plurality of voters in the state, with 39% holding a favorable opinion to 37% with an unfavorable one. Beyond him the GOP field ranges from slightly unpopular (Mike Huckabee's 37/40 favorability) to very unpopular (Newt Gingrich's 28/50), to extremely unpopular (Sarah Palin's 34/60). What might be most striking for the Republicans beyond Romney is their numbers with independents. Huckabee's net favorability with them is -14 (29/43), Gingrich's is -39 (20/59), and Palin's is -40 (28/68).
At this point it looks like Michigan would be a swing state in 2012 only if Romney secured the nomination. He trails Obama 47-43 in a hypothetical contest. Obama crushes the rest of the Republican field by margins pretty comparable to what he received against John McCain in the state in 2008- it's 12 points over Huckabee at 51-39, 15 over Gingrich at 52-37, and 21 over Palin at 56-35.
There's not a lot of variability across the four match ups with Democratic voters- Obama gets 87-91% of his own party's voter regardless of the Republican. There are major differences with independents though. Obama leads Romney by just a single point with them but that margin expands to 21 points over Huckabee, 27 over Gingrich, and 36 over Palin.
PPP's final Michigan poll in 2008 found 8% more Democrats than Republicans. This poll finds the number of voters in the state identifying themselves with each party as equal. That fact, combined with Obama's large leads with independents, suggests that a fair number of Michigan Democrats have left the party over the last couple years and are now identifying as independents. However they're still voting Democratic, even if they no longer consider themselves to be members of the party.
One final note- just as a what the heck we tested Governor elect Rick Snyder in a head to head with Obama. Voters in the state strongly like their new Governor, giving him a 48/26 favorability rating. Talk of the White House might be a little premature though- Obama leads him 49-38 in a hypothetical contest.
Full results here