press release


News from Progress Michigan

March 31, 2015

Contact: Sam Inglot,

POLL: Top Reason for Opposition to Proposal 1 — Voters Believe Middle Class Already Paying Their Fair Share

Opposition to ‘Safe Roads’ Ballot Proposal Not Driven by Anti-Tax Electorate 

LANSING — Progress Michigan today released results of a Google Consumer Survey showing opposition to Proposal 1 is largely driven by voters’ sentiment that the current proposal may be asking too much of middle class families, not opposition to taxes. Respondents largely rejected education cuts to pay for road repairs.

Overall, 58.8 percent of respondents indicating a “No” vote stated their vote was driven by a belief that middle class families were already paying their fair share and corporations should pay more to fix roads.

“Unfortunately, in December the legislature opted to kick the can down the crumbling road rather than making the tough choices their constituents put them in office to make,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Michigan voters know we need to invest more in our state’s infrastructure and are willing to pay their fair share, but for middle class families who have been asked time and again to pay more while wealthy corporations get billions in unaccountable tax giveaways, voters may be saying it’s time for someone else to cover the bill.”

According to the Progress Michigan/GCS survey, opposition to the proposal amongst voters who said they were ‘very likely’ to vote in May was at 44.1 percent; after presented with the ballot language raising the sales tax by 1 percent, opposition moved to 52.4 percent. Despite this opposition, many undecided voters remain up for grabs—particularly amongst voters less likely to turn out.

Of those stating they were ‘likely’ to vote in May, 43.7 percent indicated a “No” vote and 33.3 percent indicated they were undecided. Amongst voters who were unsure if they were voting, 48.6 percent indicated they were undecided and 42.2 percent indicated they were a ‘no’ vote.

When asked why they were a “No” or undecided vote for the “Safe Roads” ballot proposal, the majority of respondents indicated they believed middle class families were already paying their fair share and that corporations should pay more to fix our roads. This belief was strongest amongst “No” voters, with undecided voters largely indicating they did not have enough information.

At the end of their survey, Progress Michigan asked “No” voters why they believed someone would vote against the “Safe Roads” proposal; a large majority of these responses indicated a lack of trust that the money raised would in fact go towards road repair and school funding.

“We need to fix our roads and to do so takes needed investments, not further cuts to education or critical state services,” Scott continued. “If Proposal 1 is in fact defeated in May, we hope the legislature understands their constituents expect a comprehensive solution that involves asking wealthy special interests to pay their fair share.”

See attached press release for graphical breakdowns of the polling information.


Editor’s Note:  The Progress Michigan/GCS survey was fielded March 16-19, 2015 of 2,876 Michigan residents 18 and over (+/- 1.8). Of voters indicating they were either ‘very likely’, ‘likely’, or ‘unsure’ if they were voting in May, the sample represents 1,253 responses (+/- 2.8), all others were screened out of the survey. Of those indicating they were ‘very likely’ to vote, the sample represents 707 responses (+/- 3.4). Only no/undecided voters (n=871, +/- 3.2)  were asked follow-up question related to the reason of their vote.

Proposal 1 Poll Results

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