Poll: Clinton holds lead in Michigan as election nears

Latest EPIC-MRA poll puts Clinton 7 points ahead of Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, third presidential debate
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to hold a lead over Donald Trump in Michigan, according to a new poll taken only weeks before voters will choose the 45th president of the United States.

The EPIC-MRA poll released Thursday morning shows 41 percent of voters would choose the Democratic candidate if the election was held immediately. Thirty-four percent said they would vote for Trump, the Republican businessman. That put Clinton’s lead well outside the poll’s plus or minus 4 percent margin of error.

Nine percent of poll respondents said they would choose Libertarian Gary Johnson, 3 percent supported the Green Party’s Jill Stein and 13 percent were undecided.

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When factoring in the poll’s margin of error, all of the figures were virtually the same as those from an EPIC-MRA poll conducted earlier this month.

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Six-hundred people across the state took the poll between Oct. 22 and Oct. 24, a few days after the candidates met for their final debate. Forty-nine percent of respondents said Clinton won that debate, with only 28 percent giving it to Donald Trump. However, 71 percent of respondents said the outcome of the debate would not influence the way they planned to vote.

>>PDF: EPIC-MRA poll

In fact, many Michigan residents have already cast their ballots. As of Wednesday, 560,000 absentee ballots had been returned, according to state officials. Four years ago, that number was 450,000, which works out too an increase of about 23 percent.

WHY VOTERS ARE CHOOSING CLINTON OR TRUMP

Among the reasons respondents provided for why they were voting for Clinton were her experience (16 percent) and agreeing with her stance on the issues (7 percent), as well as her qualifications (6 percent).

Other reasons voters sided with Clinton were directly related to their opposition to Trump. Respondents said he’s not qualified (8 percent), insane, race, rude/crass or unintelligent (each 4 percent), bigoted or dishonest (both 3 percent), or scary (2 percent), among other things.

When asked why they were choosing Trump over Clinton, 9 percent of respondents said they wanted a change. Eight percent cited his business rather than political background. Seven percent said it was because he’s honest or blunt. Six percent liked him because he is pro-life and five percent said they agreed with him on the issues.

The top reason Trump supporters opposed Clinton focused on her trustworthiness: 32 percent said they think she is a liar, crook or criminal. That’s a perception she’s been battling throughout the campaign. In the poll earlier this month, 38 percent listed it as the reason they were choosing Trump over her.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of Decision 2016

THE NATION AND MICHIGAN

A 61 percent majority of people polled said the country was headed in the wrong direction, while only 27 percent said it was headed in the right direction. Fifty-two percent responded positively when asked how well President Barack Obama was performing in his job and 47 percent responded negatively.

It was a statistical split on whether poll respondents thought Michigan was on the right track, with 43 percent saying it is and 42 saying it isn’t. However, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder got a 64 percent negative job rating and only a 34 percent positive response.

Respondents said the issue that concerned Michigan voters the most was improving the economy, with 26 percent ranking that as their top concern. Residents also said they were concerned about improving education (14 percent), national security and terrorism (9 percent), stagnant wages and the rising cost of living and stopping trade agreements that cause jobs to leave the country (each 7 percent), and reducing the national debt (6 percent). Several other responses came in at 5 percent or less.

BEHIND THE SURVEY

The majority of those surveyed, 77 percent, identified as white. 11 percent identified as black, 2 percent as Asian, 2 percent as Latino and 2 percent as mixed race.

A total of 42 percent identified as Democrats and 36 percent Republicans. Nineteen percent said they were independent. However, 39 percent described themselves as conservative, 35 percent moderate and 18 percent liberal.