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Michigan Forecast: Warm to Trump, Cool to Snyder and Hot Economy in 2019

Russ White
Arnold Weinfeld and Charley Ballard

As 2018 comes to a chilly close, Michigan’s residents warmed to President Donald Trump, cooled to outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder and look forward to a sunny economy in 2019.

President Trump’s favorable ratings continued to climb, with 34.4 percent of Michigan residents giving him an “excellent” or “good” review, according to results from Michigan State University’s latest State of the State Survey (SOSS.)
At the mid-term mark, Michigan gave Trump its most favorable ratings ever, says MSU economist and SOSS Director Charles Ballard.

Jon Whiting is technical director of the State of the State podcast.

“However, Trump’s ratings were lower than Presidents Bill Clinton or Barack Obama ever received,” Ballard said. They were higher than recorded for President George W. Bush during his second term of office.

Snyder’s ratings cooled as he prepared to leave the governor’s office, with 28.5 percent of those answering the survey calling his performance “excellent” or “good.”

The two governors before him – Govs. Jennifer Granholm and John Engler – saw their lowest SOSS ratings as they left office.

“Gov. Snyder has avoided that fate,” Ballard says. “His last set of ratings are well below his best, but also not his worst.” His highest ratings, 44.5 percent favorable, came shortly after he entered office, declined to their lowest point in 2011 and peaked again in fall 2015. They’ve averaged below 30 percent during the past two years.

Russ White produces the State of the State podcast.

These results reflect 955 interviews completed between Sept. 24 and Dec. 3. The telephone and landline survey carries a margin of error of ±3.17 percent.

Michigan residents called their current economic circumstances strong, and projected they would be even better off a year from now, in one of the best forecasts in a decade, Ballard says. Still, the financial assessments were slightly below the levels of consumer confidence recorded during spring 2018 SOSS interviews.

Among those who answered interviewer calls:

•More than half, 55.9 percent, called their current financial situation “excellent” or “good.” Another 32.2 percent called their current finances “just fair,” 6.8 percent called them “not so good” and 5.1 percent assessed them as “poor.”

•Not quite half -- 47.6 percent -- said they were better off this year than last year. About a third were “about the same” and 19.9 percent were “worse off.”

•63.2 percent said they’d be better off a year from now. Twenty-one percent predicted their circumstances would be “about the same” and 15.8 percent projected they’d be “worse off.”

“For all three of these measures of consumer confidence, the ratings are much better than in 2006-2011, but they are still lower than in 1999,” Ballard says.

SOSS is hosted by MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, a policy and research unit within the College of Social Science. Calls are made by IPPSR’s Office for Survey Research, which offers a broad array of survey and data-collection services for MSU faculty and students, and for nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

IPPSR's State of the State Podcast is broadcast over MSU Today, airing Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 105.1 FM and AM 870.  


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