News Column

Right-to-work Support Hurts MI Governor's Approval Rating

Dec. 18, 2012

Paul Egan

A poll by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling finds support for Gov. Rick Snyder has plummeted since he changed his position on right-to-work legislation Dec. 6 and backed its fast-track approval in the lame duck Michigan Legislature.

The poll, released today, found 38% of Michigan voters approve of Snyder and 56% disapprove, PPP said in a news release.

That marks a significant drop from PPP's last poll on Snyder, the weekend before the Nov. 6 election, when 47% of voters surveyed approved of Snyder and 37% disapproved.

"There's not much doubt that it's the right-to-work law and his embrace of other actions by the Republican Legislature that are driving this precipitous drop in Snyder's popularity," the polling firm said in a news release.

"Only 41% of voters in the state support the right-to-work legislation, while 51% are opposed to it."

Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Snyder, said the governor "is always focused on doing the right not, not the easy thing."

"This isn't about him, it's about making the tough decisions that will move Michigan forward, creating jobs and keeping our kids here," Wurfel said. "He's hopeful that like before, citizens will realize that after they see our state's continued positive comeback."

The poll also found Snyder trailing every Democrat PPP tested him against -- trailing 49-38 to 2010 opponent, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero; 47-39 to U.S. Rep. Gary Peters; 46-38 to Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing; and 44-39 to former U.S. Rep. Mark Shauer of Battle Creek.

The automated telephone poll of 650 Michigan voters was conducted Dec. 13 to 16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Of the sample, 38% described themselves as Democrats; 28% as Republicans; and 34% as independents or something else.

Some critics say PPP's automated polling system is less reliable, but the firm uses a larger sample and defends the accuracy of its track record in postings on its website.

After saying for nearly two years that right to work was too divisive and not on his agenda, Snyder came out in favor of it and signed it into law five days after the legislation was introduced.

Right-to-work legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.


Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 the Detroit Free Press

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