(Posted April 29) Michigan’s three top political leaders scored poorly in a pair of polls released this week. Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow all fall short of “meeting the mark,” any way you look at it.
Political insiders across Michigan increasingly feel that Snyder’s ultimate legacy will be “irreparably damaged” by the ongoing Flint Water Crisis. That’s according to a survey conducted by Resch Strategies/Denno Research of Michigan political experts, pundits and members of the media. The survey was emailed to 100 potential respondents on April 14, and 82 responded by the close of the survey on April 15.
When asked “Knowing what we know now about the water situation in Flint, what will Rick Snyder’s legacy be?” 60% think Snyder’s legacy will be “weak” or “pretty bad.” Only 2% of those responding think his legacy will be “strong,” and 34% think his legacy will be “decent.”
Back in February, the “pundits” were asked the same question, and it’s clear that as time passes they are becoming less optimistic about Snyder’s lasting legacy. Those who think his legacy will be “positive” or “decent” has fallen by 10% during the past two months. At the same time, pundits who feel his legacy will be “weak” or “pretty bad” has increased by 10%. A full list of the 100 pundits can be found at www.thepunditpoll.com.
Also this week, freshman U.S. Senator Gary Peters was revealed to have the lowest approval rating of any U.S. Senator. His senior colleague, Debbie Stabenow, did better, but not by that much considering that this is her 16th year in the body, and she’s been a member of Congress (Senate as well as House) for two decades. That’s according to Morning Consult (MC), a media and survey technology company based in Washington, D.C., which polled more than 62,000 voters across all 50 states.
At 38% approval, Peters ranks at the bottom of all 100 senators. MC notes that over a third of all respondents did not have any opinion of Peters. The news wasn’t all bad for Peters — his disapproval score was 28%, which ranked him somewhere in the middle of the pack in the senate.
Stabenow scored 48% approval — 10% higher than Peters — but that placed her 63rd out of all 100 senators. Her disapproval score was relatively better — 34%, which meant all but 18 senators were viewed more unfavorably than she was. Overall, both Peters and Stabenow have stayed fairly consistent since MC released its last ratings in November, 2015.
Among other findings in the MC survey: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is still the most popular senator in America with an approval rating of 80%.
Other senators didn’t fare so well — Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) took a hit. His approval dropped five points to 45%, and his disapproval increased eight points to 41% Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is doing better — his approval went up three points to 55%, and his disapproval went down to 30% since last November.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remains the most disliked senator among his own constituents — his disapproval is 49%. Only he and Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) have higher disapproval than approval ratings.
Amazingly, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is currently facing indictment on corruption charges, saw his ratings improve by five points since November while his disapproval dropped four points.
Morning Consul’s rankings were calculated from interviews with 62,288 registered voters across the U.S. in a weekly online poll between January of this year and April 17. Voters were identified based on their zip codes and other factors. Each state’s sample was weighted based on gender, age, and race, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. Sample sizes varied from state-to-state, from 5,456 registered voters in California to only 157 registered in Wyoming. Margins of error varied, but in the case of Michigan, it was + or -2% in a sample size of 2,510.