Public Policy Polling (3/18-20, “Michigan voters,” no trendlines):
Virg Bernero (D): 47
Rick Snyder (R): 45
These “do-over” questions from Public Policy Polling are, of course, off in hypothetical-land and don’t have an immediate application (other than to encourage high-information partisan types like us to find a convenient desk and start pounding our heads on it). But they are certainly remarkable, and starting to put together, brick by brick, a real picture of the pendulum swinging back incredibly rapidly among fickle midwestern swing voters. Today, it’s Michigan’s turn, where they find that if the 2010 gubernatorial election were re-done, Democratic mayor of Lansing Virg Bernero would edge out Rick Snyder.
In a way, that’s even more startling reversal of fortune than PPP’s previous results in Wisconsin and Ohio, as Snyder ran as a centrist and superficially reasonable guy, instead of an out-and-proud jackass like John Kasich and Scott Walker, and wound up winning by 18 points instead of squeaking by. (Although the composition of the electorate seems to have changed a lot since 2010, suggesting a lot of Democrats sat on their hands that year and are now asking themselves why… PPP’s electorate went only 49-43 for Snyder, with 8% didn’t vote/don’t remember.)
The problem for Snyder is that he isn’t governing the way he campaigned; 36% are now saying he’s “too conservative,” and that has dragged his overall approval rate down to 33/50… one of the shortest honeymoons ever, as now he’s in almost as bad a shape as Jennifer Granholm was when she left office. Snyder’s on the wrong end of public opinion on all the prominent policy questions: there’s 49/37 support for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing collective bargaining rights, 59/32 support for collective bargaining for public employees, and 32/50 opposition for Snyder’s probably-unconstitutional attempt to take over and dismantle faltering municipalities. The one bit of good news that Snyder can take away from this: he’s recall-eligible after only six months in office, but voters are leaning against that, with 38% in support and 49% against.