MSU scholars review MI poll results, Presidential campaign

Feb 1, 2016

How do Michigan residents feel about the economy and President Obama these days? Hundreds of Michigan residents shared their views for the latest State of the State survey.  We look over the results with survey director Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann of MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.


Current State’s the first to bring you the results of the latest State of the State survey. It comes courtesy of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. About a thousand Michigan residents participated in the survey by phone.

The survey contains new data about how Michigan residents feel about the economy, Governor Snyder and  President Obama.

Current State talks with the survey's director, Dr. Charles Ballard, and the new director of the institute, Dr. Matt Grossmann.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

On recent drop in consumer confidence

“A very small drop. We asked people ‘How are you doing currently?’ and 58% said their current household financial situation is excellent or good. That’s down from 60% in our previous survey. But for me, the main thing is that these numbers are way higher than they were not that long ago - and among the highest in a decade. Seven or eight years ago, those numbers were in the low 40s at the worst time of the Great Recession.” -- Charles Ballard

On Rick Snyder’s approval rating

“At the end of 2015 - and it’s very important to note the time frame because the Flint story really didn’t burst on the scene until after this - his numbers actually ticked upward to about 42%. That’s one of the best ratings he’s had while in office. But I think the big story here is that his sort of serves as a benchmark to see how much effect the Flint story will have on his approval. ” -- Charles Ballard

On how political messaging is changing

“We’ve been looking at what words are used in campaigns for fifty years or so. The most common Democratic message is “the people vs the powerful”. You usually hear Democrats run away from the words “liberal” and socialist”, but that might be changing a little bit this year as some of [Bernie] Sanders’ comments have defended those labels.” -- Matt Grossmann

On Iowa caucus tonight

“The big question with Iowa is always ‘Who shows up?’. We have these polls with a margin of error, but tonight the voters will actually show up and reveal who took the trouble to go out to a caucus on a cold night - with no margin of error.” -- Charles Ballard

On Bernie Sanders’ message

“You’re hearing a message similar to the one that President Obama used. He’s pledged not to run a negative campaign, but it’s clear he’s implying that [Hilary] Clinton is less able to take on Wall Street.” -- Matt Grossmann