Poll shows Michigan voters divided on ballot proposals

Three of the most high-profile ballot proposals on the November ballot appear to be dividing Michigan voters, according to a poll conducted by EPIC-MRA for the Detroit Free Press and other media.

The poll shows voters divided about two constitutional amendments that would guarantee collective bargaining rights and require a vote on any new international bridge construction, plus a referendum on Michigan's emergency financial manager law.

The emergency financial manager law, which gives more expansive powers to EMs appointed by the governor, currently has 42-percent support among likely voters, while 46 percent would vote to repeal the law.

Proposal 2, which would guarantee collective bargaining rights in the constitution and essentially prevent any right-to-work legislation, currently has 48 percent support with 43-percent opposed.

Proposal 6, backed by Detroit's Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun and designed to block construction of Gov. Rick Snyder's planned second bridge from Detroit to Windsor by requiring a vote on new international bridges, has 47-percent support and 44 percent opposed.

The high negative numbers for all three proposals should be concerning for their backers, EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn told the Free Press.

"When you have a ballot all loaded up like this, people get confused," Porn said. "There's generally solid support in Michigan for collective bargaining, but people are confused about all the other impacts."

The collective bargaining proposal finds Democrats and Republicans polarized. Democrats support the measure by a 66 to 26 percent margin, while Republicans oppose it by a 63 to 28 percent margin. Independents narrowly favor the proposal, 44 to 41 percent.

Similarly, the referendum on Snyder's emergency manager law also divides voters along partisan lines. 59 percent of Republicans support the law, while 59 percent of Democrats would vote to repeal it. Independents support repealing the law by a 48 to 35 percent margin.

The ultimate fate of both of those proposals may come down to voter turnout. If Democrats show up to the polls like they did in 2008, collective bargaining rights will likely be protected and the EM law will likely be repealed. But if Republicans come out like they did in the 2010 midterms, the opposite is more probable.

Moroun's ballot proposal finds partisans less divided. 49 percent of Democrats would vote in favor of the proposal, while 49 percent of Republicans would vote against it. 53 percent of independents are in favor of it.

Interestingly, the second Detroit-Windsor bridge was initially pushed for by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, and the Democratic-controlled state legislature. Plus, it was Snyder's fellow Republicans in the Legislature that led the charge against the bridge in Lansing this year.


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