News from Progress Michigan

August 3, 2020

Contact: Sam Inglot,

New Poll Tracks Michiganians’ Attitudes around Issues, Candidates

Monthly Lake Effect newsletter finds support for Whitmer, vote by mail

MICHIGAN – On Monday, Progress Michigan released the latest edition of Lake Effect, a monthly newsletter produced in conjunction with Public Policy Polling.

“There’s definitely some interesting information in this month’s poll,” said Lonnie Scott, Executive Director at Progress Michigan. “The people of Michigan continue to recognize Gov. Whitmer’s excellent leadership on COVID-19 and Trump’s failure to protect us. The majority of voters also seem to understand what Sen. Barrett didn’t, that wearing masks indoors is important. When it comes to voting by mail, we see unsurprisingly that thoughts about the process mostly fall around party lines— Dems and progressives know the system is safe and secure, but we need to continue to build confidence and educate voters about their rights.”

Full results of the poll can be found here. Some highlights include: 

  • 53 percent of respondents plan to vote in person on Election Day, while 41 percent already voted by mail.
  • 42 percent of those polled are very concerned about their absentee ballot being counted, 17 percent were somewhat concerned, and 36 percent were not concerned at all.
  • 49 percent believe mail-in voting is vulnerable to fraud, while 40 percent think the system is adequately designed to prevent fraud.
  • 44 percent of respondents approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 51 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, 40 percent view former Vice President Biden favorably, while 46 percent view him unfavorably.
  • Democrats lead in both major races this year, with Biden leading Trump 49-43, and Senator Gary Peters leading challenger John James 47-39.
  • When asked whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer or President Trump has handled the COVID-19 pandemic better, 55 percent sided with Whitmer, compared to 37 percent who said Trump.
  • Opinions on school reopening were mixed—31 percent said schools should fully reopen, 29 percent said schools should reopen in a limited way, and 31 percent said schools should remain closed and stick to online learning.
  • 74 percent of respondents support requiring everyone who is medically able to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces. Only 20 percent oppose.
  • 45 percent support reinstating stay home orders, while 43 percent oppose.
  • 48 percent of respondents oppose Trump’s decision to send federal troops to Detroit, while 44 percent support the measure.
  • 57 percent believe police departments should reform their use of force policies, compared to 31 percent who oppose.
  • 43 percent of those polled support reallocating funding for police to other sources including education and mental health care, while 41 percent are in opposition.
  • The Democratic Party has a favorable-unfavorable rating of 42-46 among those polled, compared to 37-50 for the Republican Party and 17-22 for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.