News from Progress Michigan

June 1, 2020

Contact: Sam Inglot,

New Poll Examines Attitudes about Police Brutality, COVID-19

Voters worry about police brutality, continue to support Gov. Whitmer’s COVID response and support vote by mail

MICHIGAN – This week, Progress Michigan and Public Policy Polling published the latest edition of Lake Effect, a monthly research newsletter tracking the opinions of Michigan voters about a wide variety of issues and public figures.

“The polling is clear: Black lives matter to the people of Michigan,” said Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “Voters are also fed up with Donald Trump and his administration’s complete failure to protect our public health during this pandemic. Michiganians understand the importance of listening to the experts, prioritizing people over profits, and pursuing COVID-19 solutions that work for everyone, not just the wealthy. We’re grateful for Gov. Whitmer’s continued leadership and tireless efforts to keep the people of our state safe.”

Full results of the survey can be found here. Some key takeaways include:

  • 57 percent of respondents believe police brutality against African Americans is a very serious problem, compared to 27 percent who say it is a somewhat serious problem and 13 percent who say it is not much of a problem.
  • When asked whom they trust most to handle the COVID-19 crisis, 52 percent of respondents answered Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 24 percent said they trust President Donald Trump the most, and 17 percent said they trust the Michigan legislature the most.
  • When asked whether Gov. Whitmer or President Trump has done a better job handling the pandemic, 55 percent said Gov. Whitmer has handled it better, compared to 37 percent who prefer President Trump’s response.
  • 54 percent of respondents oppose attempts by Republican lawmakers to strip Gov. Whitmer of her emergency powers. 39 percent support their efforts.
  • 44 percent of respondents believe Michigan is moving at about the right pace toward a full reopening, while 37 percent say the state is opening too slowly and 14 percent say the process is moving too quickly.
  • 67 percent of respondents support requiring everyone who is medically able to wear masks in indoor public spaces. Only 23 percent oppose.
  • 57 percent of respondents believe every registered voter should be sent an absentee ballot application, and 55 percent believe voting by mail is a safe, secure system.
  • When asked how best to make up for the budget deficit caused by COVID-19, 32 percent said they’d like to increase taxes on the wealthy and 27 percent support ending corporate tax breaks, compared to 20 percent who favor cutting social services and 7 percent who would rather raise the income tax.
  • Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden holds a 50-44 lead over President Trump in Michigan, while Sen. Gary Peters holds a 48-39 advantage over Republican challenger John James.