News Story

Poll Shows Solid Opposition To Detroit Bailout

State Rep.: 'I am not going to bail out the City of Detroit on the backs of the families and taxpayers of Northern Michigan'

A poll conducted earlier this month revealed that, by a 55-38 percent margin, Republican voters in Michigan oppose Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to send $350 million in state funding to help bail Detroit out from its bankruptcy. According to the poll results the proposal is just as unpopular among Independents, who opposed it by a 54-39 percent margin.

Commissioned by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the poll was conducted on April 9 by Mitchell Research & Communications. Of the 1,460 respondents surveyed for the poll, 93 percent said they were “definitely” going to vote in November. The poll has a plus or minus 2.56 percent margin of error.

Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, and Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, are vying against each other in Michigan’s 37th State Senate district Republican primary. Capitol Confidential asked both candidates how they would vote on the extra Detroit money. Both said they would oppose it.

“The voters in the City of Detroit chose the officials who got the City of Detroit into its current situation and it is the City of Detroit that needs to face up to its financial problems,” Rep. Schmidt said. “I am not going to bail out the City of Detroit on the backs of the families and taxpayers of Northern Michigan.”

Rep. MacMaster said he has made no secret of his continuing opposition to any bailout of Detroit.

“I still don't see why Michigan taxpayers should continue to financially help Detroit,” Rep. MacMaster said. “My constituents in Northern Michigan are not in favor of any bailout. I would much rather see the money put towards road repair in the state.”

Under Gov. Snyder’s plan, the state would send $350 million, or $17.5 million a year for 20 years, to Detroit. The governor’s office did not respond with a comment for this article.

Overall, of the 1,460 respondents who participated in the survey 49 percent said they were opposed to the bailout, while 44 percent said they support it.  Of those opposed, 24 percent said they were “strongly opposed” and more than one-third (35 percent) of those identified themselves as Democratic voters or said they lean Democratic.

Of the 44 percent who said they support the bailout, 56 percent identified themselves as Democrat voters.

Those surveyed identified themselves as follows: 38 percent said they were Democratic voters, 36 percent said they were Republican voters and 19 percent said they were Independents. The breakdown of respondents by geographic area was as follows: Detroit, 4 percent; Wayne County other than Detroit, 12 percent; Oakland County, 12 percent, Macomb County, 9 percent; Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and the Thumb area, 12 percent; Monroe, Washtenaw, Ingham and Jackson counties, 19 percent, West Michigan, 22 percent, Northern Michigan/U.P., 11 percent.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.