PollerCoaster 2020: Michiganders Oppose Stay-at-Home Protests, Trust Biden More than Trump

Crooked Media/Change Research Michigan Poll: May 11-17, 2020


Key Takeaways:

  • 48% of Michiganders are more worried about opening up the economy too soon than waiting too long, and 41% agree that we must take all possible precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus.

  • The majority of Michiganders oppose stay-at-home protests (53% to 45%); 46% strongly oppose the protests, compared to 30% who strongly support.

  • When Michigan voters were asked who they think would do a better job at making healthcare more affordable, improving education, and sympathizing and emphasizing with people who are suffering, the plurality chose former Vice President Biden over President Trump.


Michiganders concerned about their health and the health of their loved ones -- and the national debt


The majority of voters are very or somewhat concerned about the national debt (71%), the health of their loved ones (67%), and their health (53%). 48% of voters are also very or somewhat concerned about the stock market, 42% about their mental health, and 41% about losing their health insurance. One-third of voters expressed concern about paying their rent/ mortgage and losing their job.


Despite these economic stresses, the plurality of voters were more concerned about opening up the economy too soon than waiting too long (48% to 43%). These differences are largely driven by partisanship; 87% of Democrats are worried about opening up too soon and 82% of Republicans are worried about waiting too long.


The plurality of voters (41%) also say we must take all possible precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus. 32% of voters say everyone is making too big a deal of the virus, and that we should return to our normal way of life. The other 27% say we should observe precautions for a little while longer, then reopen. The majority of Democrats agree that we should take all possible precautions, the majority of Republicans agree that everyone is making too big of a deal of the virus, and Independents are split about evenly between the three choices.


Majorities disapprove of President Trump’s handling of coronavirus (53 to 46). Trump’s coronavirus approval is lower among voters who know someone who’s gotten sick from the virus. Interestingly, Trump’s coronavirus approval is 10 points lower among 2016 Trump voters who do know someone who’s gotten sick from the virus than among 2016 Trump voters who don’t. The same trend holds among partisan bystanders (those hostile to both parties or neutral to both), where the difference is 14 points.


The majority of voters oppose the stay-at-home protests


The majority of Michigan voters are opposed to stay-at-home protests, and opposition is much stronger than support. We showed respondents two versions of this question with identical text, but one also included an image of armed protesters on the capitol steps. On both, support was 44-45%, while opposition was 53-54%. In each, though, strong support was in the low 30s, and strong opposition was in the high 40s. Again, this broke down along partisan lines, but with more Republican opposition than Democratic support.

This graph reflects respondents who were not shown an image of armed protesters.


Voters trust Biden more than Trump on almost every issue


Michiganders believe Biden would do a better job than President Trump on a variety of key issues, such as making healthcare more affordable (44% trust Biden vs. 34% who trust Trump) and making good decisions about when and how to relax social distancing measures (45% Biden vs. 40% Trump). Other key issues voters trust Biden on more so than Trump include improving education (46% trust Biden vs. 36% trust Trump), telling the truth (43% Biden vs. 36% Trump), and sympathizing and emphasizing with people who are suffering (47% Biden vs. 36% Trump).


Voters who say they are undecided in the 2020 general election trust Biden more than Trump on many of these issues by even wider margins than the rest of the electorate -- although majorities of undecided voters still decline to state a preference. 9% more undecided voters think Biden would do a better job than Trump at managing the coronavirus, 14% more think Biden would do a better job than Trump at making healthcare more affordable, and 21% more think Biden would do a better job than Trump at sympathizing and emphasizing with people who are suffering.


The one area where voters trust President Trump more than Biden is on issues related to the economy. This is true even though Biden’s message that Trump is focused more on supporting corporations and the wealthy than small businesses and American families does well both among the general electorate and with undecided voters.


Poll Toplines


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Change Research surveyed 3,070 likely general election voters, including an oversample of the most persuadable voters, whom we recruited by building a model of voters likely to rate Trump between 2 and 9 out of 10. The margin of error as traditionally calculated is ± 1.9% for the full sample. Change Research reaches voters online. Post-stratification was done on age, gender, ethnicity, education, and 2016 presidential vote.

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