A slim majority of voters in Michigan approve of the job Barack Obama's doing as President and he leads all of his potential opponents for reelection in the state.
50% approve of the job Obama's doing to 46% who disapprove. His numbers are holding up decently well because 89% of Democrats remain in his corner. Independents split against him by a 41/53 margin and only 8% of Republicans think he's doing a good job but the largest number of voters in a Michigan Presidential year electorate are going to be Democrats so if Obama can keep the base in line his numbers are going to be pretty solid overall.
The only Republican who's competitive with Obama is Mitt Romney. The President leads him by 5 points at 47-42. This is the third time PPP has looked at an Obama/Romney match up in Michigan and the results have been pretty consistent- in March Obama led by a 48-41 margin and in December it was a 47-43 advantage. Romney actually leads Obama 45-34 with independent voters but he only takes 9% of Democrats and that may not be enough crossover support for a GOP candidate to win in Michigan.
One issue where voters are clearly on Obama's side over Romney's- and one that has the potential to scuttle Romney's chances of winning the state further down the line- is the auto bailout. 51% of voters think that it's been a success to only 30% who disagree. And asked more specifically whether they think the bailout's been a good thing for Michigan 66% of voters say it has been with only 18% dissenting. Romney's opposition to the popular bailout will give Obama a good card to play if that ends up being the match up in the general election.
Against the rest of the Republican field Obama leads by margins similar to his 2008 margin of victory in the state. He's up 15 on Rick Perry at 50-35, 16 on Michele Bachmann at 53-37, 17 on Herman Cain at 50-33, and 18 on Sarah Palin at 54-36.
Michigan is a rare state where Palin actually is not the potential Republican nominee who fares worst against Obama. That dubious designation goes to home state candidate Thad McCotter, who trails the President by 19 points at 50-31. McCotter is unknown to most voters, with 58% expressing no opinion about him. He does not get good reviews from the folks who do offer an opinion with only 13% rating him favorably to 29% with a negative opinion. Even among Republicans he's on negative ground at a 17/22 favorability spread. Clearly McCotter buzz is a nonexistent phenomenon.
If Republicans nominate Romney they have a chance in Michigan, although he'll have to come from behind. If they go with anyone else Obama appears likely to duplicate his double digit victory from 2008.
Full results here