Poll: Majority would vote no on Proposal 1

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A poll released Tuesday shows two-thirds of those surveyed would vote no on Proposal 1 if the election were held immediately.

Sixty-six percent of the 600 people surveyed by EPIC-MRA rejected the proposal that aims to provide more money to fix roads.

Twenty-four percent said they would vote yes on the proposal and 10 percent were undecided. The poll was conducted from March 28 through March 30.

Proposal 1 would, among other things, raise the state sales tax to 7 percent and trigger other laws that will devote about $1.2 billion annually to roads.

>>Online: The ballot language as provided by the Secretary of State (pdf)

The proposal goes before voters on May 5.


24 Hour News 8 took the EPIC-MRA numbers to the people behind Safe Roads YES!, the campaign promoting the measure. With their numbers down and the election is just around the corner, their reaction is not to trust the poll numbers.

“If you look at Michigan history, political history, it is littered with ballot proposals that the polls predicted a particular outcome and just the opposite happened on election night,” said Roger Martin of Safe Roads YES!

Martin says polls don’t consider the people most likely to vote for Proposal 1 — the voters the campaign is targeting through direct messaging and other methods.

The opposition, the Coalition Against Higher Taxes and Special Interest Deals, is leery of polls, too — but for a different reason.

“Certainly I don’t think voters should take it for granted that this is going to fail on May 5th,” said the campaign’s Scott Hagerstrom. “The other side has millions of dollars. They have the bully pulpit of the governor’s office. A lot depends one who turns out to vote.”


Despite support from Gov. Rick Snyder and dozens of interest groups, the Lansing wheeling and dealing that lead to Proposal 1 has been knocked as convoluted.

The measure raises the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent and drops the current gas tax and sales tax on fuel in favor of a single higher levy. It also provides more funding for items like education, mass transit and local government.

A closer look at the poll numbers show that 32 percent of those who say they won’t vote for the proposal believe taxes are too high already.

The poll also found 18 percent of the 600 likely voters surveyed say there’s just too much in the proposal. Another 5 percent don’t believe roads will get fixed with those dollars.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Download the full EPIC-MRA statewide poll results (Word file)

Safe Roads YES! has been running campaign advertisements focusing on safety, but just 2 percent of the people who say they’ll vote for Proposal 1 think road funding is a safety issue.

Safe Roads YES! campaign officials say to look for a change in messaging soon, but not in reaction to polling numbers. They are just moving to the next phase of their message.

So what is phase two going to look like?

“You wait and see,” Martin said.

The opposition expects voters to send a message of their own on election day.

“So that on May 6th elected officials in Lansing get to work and actually go about the business of fixing our roads,” said the opposition coalition’s Hagerstrom.

The poll also shows Gov. Snyder’s favorability and job rating numbers have slipped, likely as a result of pushing Proposal 1. In January, Snyder had a 54 to 36 percent favorable rating, where it is now 46 to 39 percent favorable. His job rating was 50 percent positive and 48 percent negative in January, and is now 47 percent positive and 49 percent negative.

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