Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a wide lead over businessman Donald Trump among likely Michigan voters, winning support from women, educated and non-white voters, a new Michigan State University State of the State Survey shows.
Among likely voters, 47 percent said they would vote for Clinton, a Democrat, and 28 percent said they would cast ballots for Trump, a Republican. Libertarian Gary Johnson took 11 percent and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein won 4 percent.
“Michigan looks set to remain blue this year as Trump has failed to expand his base, making conservatives hesitate to support him and turning off a diverse electorate,” said political scientist Matt Grossmann, director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, the survey’s administrative home.
Supporters of the two candidates have very different views on the direction of American society. Clinton drew majority support from those who agree that “by accepting diverse cultures and lifestyles, our country is steadily improving.” Trump’s support came primarily from those who strongly agree that “our country is changing too fast, undermining traditional American values.”
Racial attitudes have also become important in the 2016 election. Trump leads among whites who have less favorable opinions of African-Americans, Latinos and Muslims. Clinton leads among voters who believe African-Americans continue to face economic disadvantages.
“Most voters are still voting along traditional partisan and ideological lines, but a wide gulf has opened between the candidates’ supporters in their opinions on race, social change and diversity,” Grossmann said. “No matter the election result, those divides will be difficult to heal.”
Most Trump supporters say they are voting against Clinton, rather than in favor of Trump. Clinton supporters are nearly evenly split on whether they are voting for her or against Trump.
The quarterly survey interviewed 886 adults, 746 of them likely voters, producing a margin of error of 3.3 percent among all respondents and 3.6 percent among likely voters. The survey was conducted Sept. 1-Oct 30 over cell phones and landlines.
Likely voters were more likely to say that they will back Democratic candidates for Congress, with 45 percent voting for Democrats and 32 percent voting for Republicans.
“The results not only provide a view of voter attitudes in anticipation of next week’s election, but also will help researchers understand how Michiganders make their choices in this historic campaign,” said Charles Ballard, MSU economist and director of the survey, which has tracked the opinions of Michigan’s adult population since 1994.