-Michigan voters are opposed to gay marriage but when you add civil unions to the mix a majority of people in the state support form of legal recognition for same sex couples.
Only 33% think gay marriage should be legal compared to 53% who think it should continue to be illegal. Democrats narrowly support it (48/36), while independents are narrowly opposed (36/50). Tipping the scales is near unanimous opposition among Republicans, 10/78.
Asked whether they support gay marriage, civil unions, or no recognition for gay couples though 62% express favor for granting more rights with 29% saying their choice is full marriage rights and an additional 33% preferring civil unions. 35% oppose giving gay couples any rights.
This is becoming a theme in our polling- voters are willing to give gay couples the legal rights associated with marriage but they're not willing to put the term 'marriage' on it. It seems to be a semantic issue more than anything else.
-Kwame Kilpatrick may be out of jail but he's not getting a free pass in the court of public opinion. Only 4% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him to 77% with a negative one. That makes him the second most unpopular person PPP has ever polled on, putting him behind only former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who we found a -75 spread (8/83) for last year. Kilpatrick's numbers make him more unpopular than folks like John Edwards in North Carolina, Levi Johnston in Alaska, and Charlie Sheen nationally who also rank among the least appealing folks we've looked at.
The current occupant of the Mayor's chair in Detroit, Dave Bing, is viewed positively by voters around the state. 36% have a favorable opinion of him to 15% with an unfavorable one, and 49% have no opinion. He's popular across party lines with Democrats (31/21), Republicans (37/9), and independents (42/11) all giving him good marks.
We looked at former Detroit mayors Dennis Archer and the late Coleman Young as well. Archer has Bing-like polling numbers with 36% of voters seeing him positively and 16% unfavorably. Like Bing, Archer is well respected across the line with Democrats (37/20), Republicans (32/12), and independents (38/14) all seeing him in a good light.
Young has more Kilpatrick-like poll numbers, even more than 13 years after his death. Only 17% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 49% with a negative one. He's reviled by Republicans (6/62) and independents (7/57), while Democrats pretty much split evenly on him (32/33).
There are two clear and very different categories the last 38 years of Detroit mayors fall into when it comes to how they're seen across the state.
-Absence apparently does not make the heart grow fonder, at least when it comes to the image of recently departed Governor Jennifer Granholm. She continues to be a pretty unpopular figure in the state with only 39% of voters saying they like her while 54% view her in a dim light. Those numbers are almost identical to the ones Rick Snyder's getting for his job performance right now- serving as Governor of Michigan is not the job you want right now if you hope for people to like you.
-Voters must not be very happy with the Michigan House of Representatives back in Republican control, because they say if they could vote today they'd support Democrats for the legislature by a 47-36 margin. A lot of Democratic voters jumped ship last year but now 94% say they would support their party's candidates if the election was today, compared to only 88% of GOP voters committed to their party. Republicans do lead by a 6 point margin with independents but that represents a significant shift from the blow out advantages GOP candidates tended to have with them in the state last year. Democrats would probably retake control of the House if they won the popular vote by this much next November.
Full results here