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EPIC-MRA Says Whitmer’s Lead Is 5; Target Insyght Says 4

October 30, 2018

Two polls released Thursday suggest the governor’s race may not be sewn up for Gretchen Whitmer, with one having her lead over Bill Schuette at 5 points and a second having her lead at 4, slightly outside the poll’s margin of error.

EPIC-MRA’s poll, published in the Detroit Free Press and its media partners Thursday morning, show Attorney General Schuette down 46 to 41 percent to Whitmer based on a 600-person sample and a margin of error of 4 percent. 

According to EPIC-MRA President Bernie Porn the shift occurred because of a new mix of Schuette campaign ads and ads from groups that support him on issues that Whitmer had been winning on. 

Up until this latest survey, Whitmer held a lead on the top three issues of infrastructure, education and health care. Schuette is making some inroads according to Porn.

Schuette is winning with 26 percent of those who say infrastructure is their top issues compared to Whitmer’s 24 percent. On education, she leads those voters getting 28 percent of their vote to his 10 percent. On taxes, long one of the bedrocks of his campaign, he wins those voters 15 percent to 3 percent. Health care goes to Whitmer 16 to 10 percent. He wins the job vote 17 to 6 percent.

Breaking down the top issues along gender lines, 27 percent of the women rank infrastructure No. 1 while 22 percent of the men agree. Ten percent of the men rank taxes important while 7 percent of the females agree. More women than men rank health care very vital by a 4-point margin.

When you rank the candidates based on the favorable or unfavorable scale you find Schuette, on jobs, receiving a 49 percent favorable rating and 26 percent unfavorable rating. On infrastructure it’s 37 percent favorable and 39 percent unfavorable. Education shows a wide gap with 55 percent unfavorable for him and 1 percent unfavorable. Health care is also a 24-to 54-percent spread, but on taxes its 64 percent plus and 22 percent minus.

Whitmer clocks in getting 55 percent favorable marks and 22 unfavorable on education. It’s plus 38 to 30 percent on infrastructure, 43 to 29 percent on health care, 22 to 52 percent on jobs and 22 to 50 percent on taxes.

“She was up 47 to 33 [in September] and she dropped a couple of points and he picked up 10 points among those who cite infrastructure as their top issue,” Porn said. “It’s now 43 to 44.”

Porn also noted older white male voters are breaking more strongly for Schuette. 

Target Insyght’s new 800-person survey taken Oct. 22-24 has Whitmer up 48 to 44 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

According to Ed Sarpolus, president of Target Insyght, the shift is due to who’s presently in the mood to vote. This week, GOP motivation was up.

“We’re at a point where it’s all about turnout,” Sarpolus said. “Ads aren’t going to change many votes. It’s all about who’s motivated to turn out on Election Day.” 

The EPIC-MRA poll released this morning was quick to be touted by the Schuette campaign as well as the Republican National Committee. 

“Just like in 2016, Michigan Republicans are surging as we are only 12 days away from Election Day,” said Michael Joyce, Indiana and Michigan Communications Director for the Republican National Committee. “Our message of results due to Republican leadership from Lansing to Washington is resonating with voters, and we will continue to outwork our opponents on the ground until the polls close on November 6th.” 

The two surveys also showed other races at the top of the ticket tightening up. 

The Attorney General race is a virtual tie with EPIC-MRA, which found 39 percent supporting Democratic nominee Dana Nessel and 39 percent supporting Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt), the GOP nominee. Target-Insyght found the race to be a 4-point Nessel lead, just outside the margin (45 to 41 with 6 percent undecided). 

In the Secretary of State race, EPIC-MRA has Democratic nominee Jocelyn Benson holding a 4-point lead over GOP nominee Mary Treder Lang. Target Insyght has the Secretary of State race at 48 percent for Benson and 38 percent for Treder Lang. 

EPIC-MRA even has what was presumed to be a yawning gap between U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Delta Twp.) and GOP nominee John James closing to within 7 points (49 to 42 percent). Target Insyght had the U.S. Senate race at a 10-point lead for Stabenow 53 to 43 percent.

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