AP Photo AP Photo

A new poll is giving insight into how Michiganders feel about coronavirus, including why they trust Gov. Whitmer more than President Trump right now. 

DETROIT, MI — A new poll of Michigan voters is showing what locals really feel about re-opening the economy, Gov. Whitmer’s plan from the start and whether they wear masks like mandated. 

The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce conducted a statewide survey of 600 Michigan voters. 

Among the chief takeaways were that Michiganders trust Gov. Whitmer over President Trump when it comes to this crisis, and that it’s still too soon to reopen most of the economy. They also said times are more than tough, economically, but that the health issue is a bigger threat. 

Check out the our six takeaways from the Chamber’s survey:

1. Michiganders view COVID-19 as a legitimate health threat. A lot of Michiganders.

  • Almost all say COVID-19 is a threat to public health, but less than 10% disagree. 
  • More than half believe the threat of COVID-19 has been balanced or downplayed, and about 30% believe the threat has been exaggerated. 
  • Over half are more concerned about their health, while less than a quarter are more concerned about their financial situation. 

2. The data says Michigan voters are strongly behind Gov. Whitmer’s approach to dealing with the crisis. 

Michiganders were asked if they approve or disapprove of Gov. Whitmer’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2 out of 3 approve of her handling of the pandemic, and almost half of them say they strongly approve. 
  • 1 out of 3 disapprove of her handling of the pandemic, but only about a quarter of them say they strongly disapprove. 

Demographics show:

  • More than 9 out of 10 Democratic voters approve of the governor’s performance – with over 80% of them strongly approving. 
  • But most of Republican voters – nearly 80% – say they disapprove of the governor’s performance. Over half of them say they strongly disapprove.  
  • Independent voters strongly approve of the governor’s performance by a margin of 2 to 1. Almost a third say they strongly approve and less than a quarter strongly disapprove. 

Michiganders were asked if the state is opening up too fast, too slowly, or about right.

  • More than half believe Michigan is opening about right. 
  • About a third believe Michigan is opening too slowly. 
  • Less than 1 in 10 believe Michigan is opening too fast.    

Here’s a look at the demographics for each one:

  • Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan: half of voters  believe Michigan is opening about right, while 2 in 5 say Michigan is opening too slowly.  
  • Republican voters believe Michigan is opening too slowly.  
  • More than half of out-state voters believe Michigan is opening about right, while about 2 in 5 say the state is opening too slowly.  
  • Almost 7 out of 10 metro voters believe Michigan is opening about right while about 2 out of 10 say the state is opening too slowly.    

Michigan voters were asked if Michigan’s response has or has not been clear and easy to understand.

  • 2 out of 3 said it was clear and easy to understand.
  • 1 out of 3 said Michigan’s response was not clear and easy to understand.    

Demographics show:

  • Only Republican voters said Michigan’s response was not clear and easy to understand. 
  • By a narrow margin of about 4 to 6, voters in Macomb County believe Michigan’s response was not clear and easy.  
  • By a margin of  about 7 to 3, Independent voters said Michigan’s response was clear and easy to understand. 
  • In Northern Michigan, about 6 out of 10 voters say Michigan’s response was. 

By a margin of 7 to 3, Michigan voters strongly support opening some business by region as compared to treating all areas of the state the same. Every region of the state overwhelmingly supports opening some regions before others, except voters in Detroit. By a margin of 45%-53%, Detroit Michiganders say every region should be treated the same.

3. 80% Of Michiganders Self-Report Wearing Masks

Michiganders were asked if they wear masks when they go out in public.

  • 4 out of 5 said they wear a mask when they go out.  
  • 1 out of 10 said they do not wear a mask.  

Demographics show:

  • Almost 9 out of 10 women wear a mask compared to only 7 of 10 men who wear a mask.  
  • While 7 out of 10 of Republican women wear a mask, only half of Republican men wear a mask.    

By a margin of about 8 to 2, Michigan voters believe businesses should be required to have their employees and customers wear face masks.

  • Strong Republican voters rate the lowest – a little over half believe business should be required to have employees and customers in face masks.  
  • 96% of Strong Democratic voters believe face masks should be required. 
  • 4 out of 5 Independent voters believe face masks should be required.  
  • More than 9 out of 10 voters over 65 support the mask requirement, and 7 out of 10 voters ages 18 to 29 support the mask requirement.

4. Michiganders say they’ll approach the economic future ‘gradually.’ There’s no rush to ‘re engage.’

Michiganders ranked their comfort level visiting different locations during the pandemic, If they were to open next week. 10 represents being the most comfortable and 1 being the least comfortable place to visit.

The numbers show small, essential interactions are prioritized over large crowds. The exception, of course, is the desire to be social in small groups again.

7.4Grocery store
6.9Your doctor’s office
6.6Small group gatherings of 10
6.0Hospital for a medical procedure
5.8Smaller retail sore
5.3Church and religious service
4.5Universities
4.4K-12 schools
4.3Sit-down restaurant
3.9The mall
3.6Movie theatre
3.2Sporting event
3.0Concert 

Demographics show:

  • Republican voters are substantially more prepared to interact in all of these settings as compared to Democratic and Independent voters.
  • African American voters by a wide margin will be the most reluctant to engage in any of these settings – more so than voters over the age of 65.

5. 7 out of 10 Of Michigan Voters Say Protests Send The Wrong Message

Michiganders were asked if recent protests occurring at the State Capitol sent the right message or the wrong message. By a margin of 2 to 7, Michigan voters believe the protests send the wrong message.

Demographics show:

  • There is no region of the state that believes the protests send the right message.  
  • The only voters who think the protests send the right message are Strong Republican voters  
  • Strong Republican men believe the protests send the right message.  
  • Republican women believe the protests send the right message 
  • Independent voters think the protests send the wrong message

6. Who Do Voters Trust On COVID-19?

Voters were given 10 different sources of information and asked to rate them on a one to 10 scale for how much they trusted each source to give them accurate information on COVID-19. Medical providers were, far and away, the most trusted sources of information.     

8.7Your doctor
8.2 Medical professionals 
7.0Dr. Anthony Fauci 
6.1Gov. Gretchen Whitmer 
6.1Your friends and family 
5.3 Your local newspaper or local tv news 
4.5National news like NBC, CBS, and ABC 
4.4President Trump 
4.3Cable news like CNN, FOX, and MSNBC 
2.4Posts on social media like Facebook

President Trump and Gov. Whitmer receive strongly different ratings based on party affiliation. While Independent voters rate Governor Whitmer at 6.1, they rate President Trump at only 4.2.

  1. President Trump And The National Response Numbers Look The Same

Michiganders were asked if they approve or disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Only 2 out of 5 Michiganders say they approve of the President’s handling of the pandemic, but only 1 in 4 of them say they “strongly approve” of his strategies
  • More than half of Michiganders disapprove of the President’s handling of the pandemic, and nearly 1 out of every 2 of them says they “strongly disapprove”

Demographics show:

  • 9 out of 10 Democratic voters disapprove of the President’s performance – with over 80% of them strongly disapproving. 
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 Republican voters approve of the President’s performance – with almost 70% of them strongly approving
  • Independent voters disapprove of his performance by a margin of 4 to 5. Less than a quarter of Independent voters strongly approve of his performance while about a third of Independent voters strongly disapprove of his performance. 

Michiganders were asked if the nation is opening up too fast, too slowly, or about right.

  • Almost half of Michigan voters believe the nation is opening too fast. 
  • About one-third believes the nation is opening about right. 
  • Less than a quarter believe the nation is opening too slowly. 

Behind the Scenes of the Poll 

The 600 sample, live operator telephone survey was conducted on May 12 through 16, 2020, and has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence.  60% of Michiganders were contacted via landline telephone.  40% of Michiganders were contacted via cell phone telephone.

View the full findings of the poll at: detroitchamber.com/MIvoterpolldata.