Thursday, September 23, 2010

Michigan Miscellaneous

-Barack Obama's approval rating with this fall's likely voters in Michigan, where he won by 16 points in 2008, is only 42%. 54% disapprove of his job performance. Part of Obama's unpopularity with this fall's voter pool is a function of many folks who voted for him in 2008 not planning to vote this year but beyond that just 79% of people who did vote for him continue to support the job he's doing, a larger degree of lost support than we're seeing for him in most states. Independents disapprove of him by a 2:1 margin, 32/64.

-Republicans lead the generic Congressional ballot in the state 48-41, thanks mostly to a 44-24 advantage with independents. That can't be good news for Mark Schauer or Gary Peters, or for Democratic prospects of holding onto Bart Stupak's seat. The lack of competitiveness in the Governor's race really has the potential to stifle Democratic turnout and cause the party to lose other key races further down the ballot. What we're seeing in Michigan is a strong contrast to places like Texas and Colorado where a strong top of the ticket for Democrats has the potential to mitigate losses in other races.

-It is a very good thing for Debbie Stabenow and even Carl Levin that they don't have to stand for reelection this year. Levin's approval is a negative 40/48 spread and Stabenow's is even worse at 38/50. Independents are nearly as down on Stabenow as they are on Obama, with 60% of them disapproving of her and only 32% giving her good marks. With those kinds of numbers Stabenow seems likely to face a reelection contest in 2012 more reminiscent of her hyper competitive 2000 win than her relatively easy 2006 reelection- but if there's one thing we've learned this cycle it's that the political climate can see quite a dramatic shift in a short period of time.

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