www.mybaycity.com December 15, 2018
Columns Article 11422

TRUMP APPROVAL: President's Ratings in Michigan Rise in MSU Poll

December 15, 2018
By: Dave Rogers

At the mid-term mark, Michigan gave President Trump its most favorable ratings ever, said MSU economist and SOSS Director Charles Ballard.

If Michigan is a bellwether for national politics, Republicans have cause to celebrate the new year.

However, state GOP politicos have cause to cry into their champagne glasses rather than raise them in tribute to outgoing Governor Rick Snyder.

President Trump's favorable ratings continued to climb, with 34.4 percent of Michigan residents giving him an "excellent" or "good" review, according to results from Michigan State University's latest State of the State Survey (SOSS.)

At the mid-term mark, Michigan gave Trump its most favorable ratings ever, said MSU economist and SOSS Director Charles Ballard.

"However, Trump's ratings were lower than Presidents Bill Clinton or Barack Obama ever received," Ballard said. They were higher than recorded for President George W. Bush during his second term of office.

Snyder's ratings cooled as he prepared to leave the governor's office, with 28.5 percent of those answering the survey calling his performance "excellent" or "good."

The two governors before him -- Govs. Jennifer Granholm and John Engler -- saw their lowest SOSS ratings as they left office.

"Gov. Snyder has avoided that fate," Ballard said. "His last set of ratings are well below his best, but also not his worst." His highest ratings, 44.5 percent favorable, came shortly after he entered office, declined to their lowest point in 2011 and peaked again in fall 2015. They've averaged below 30 percent during the past two years.

These results reflect 955 interviews completed between Sept. 24 and Dec. 3. The telephone and landline survey carries a margin of error of ±3.17 percent.

Michigan residents called their current economic circumstances strong, and projected they would be even better off a year from now, in one of the best forecasts in a decade, Ballard said. Still, the financial assessments were slightly below the levels of consumer confidence recorded during spring 2018 SOSS interviews.

Among those who answered interviewer calls:

More than half, 55.9 percent, called their current financial situation "excellent" or "good." Another 32.2 percent called their current finances "just fair," 6.8 percent called them "not so good? and 5.1 percent assessed them as "poor."

Not quite half -- 47.6 percent -- said they were better off this year than last year. About a third were "about the same" and 19.9 percent were "worse off."

63.2 percent said they'd be better off a year from now. Twenty-one percent predicted their circumstances would be "about the same" and 15.8 percent projected they'd be "worse off."

"For all three of these measures of consumer confidence, the ratings are much better than in 2006-2011, but they are still lower than in 1999," Ballard said.

SOSS is hosted by MSU"s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, a policy and research unit within the College of Social Science. Calls are made by IPPSR's Office for Survey Research, which offers a broad array of survey and data-collection services for MSU faculty and students, and for nonprofit and for-profit organizations. SOSS is open to questions about Michigan's attitudes and opinions from all individuals and groups.

IPPSR 's State of the State Podcast is broadcast over MSU Today, airing Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 105.1 FM and AM 870. It's also featured on radio stations on the air and over the internet, on SoundCloud at http://soundcloud.com/stateofthestatepodcast, over iTunes, on Facebook, Twitter, and the IPPSR website at ippsr.msu.edu as part of the Michigan Policy Wonk blog. ###

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