-When we did our Michigan poll last weekend obviously we didn't know Carl Levin was going to announce his retirement this week, so we didn't test any other potential Democratic candidates. Our poll numbers on him do give a prism into the comparative strength of some of the possible Republican candidates though. The one who came the closest to Levin was Candice Miller, although she still trailed him 46/35. She has good statewide favorability numbers with 33% of voters rating her favorably to 25% with an unfavorable opinion.
No one else came within 15 points of Levin. Justin Amash has a 9/20 favorability rating and trailed Levin 49/34. Mike Rogers has a 16/19 favorability rating and trailed Levin 49/33. Bill Schuette has a 20/25 favorability rating and trailed Levin 51/32. And Roger Kahn had a 5/15 favorability rating and trailed Levin 50/30.
One other Republican who we didn't test on this poll but could potentially be a good candidate is former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. in December 2010 we found she had a 36/21 favorability rating and trailed Debbie Stabenow by only 4 points in a hypothetical contest.
Other notes from Michigan:
-Michigan voters support stricter gun laws in general by a 52/39 margin, and on the specific issue of an assault weapons ban they're supportive by a 54/37 margin. There is near universal support among Democrats for the assault weapons ban, and even 36% of Republicans support it. The NRA has a 38/45 favorability rating in the state.
-Barack Obama's approval rating is 48/47. Debbie Stabenow's is 51/36, continuing the trend we've found of improved numbers for her following her emphatic reelection. The late Gerald Ford has a 57/12 favorability rating in the state, including 47/18 with Democrats. Ted Nugent's favorability is 31/41- Democrats dislike him more than Republicans like him, and he's at 32/44 with independents.
-Voters in the state support Michigan over Michigan State by a 39/26 margin. 68% of Michiganders consider themselves to be Tigers fans and among them 88% think Alan Trammell should be inducted into the Hall of Fame and 86% think Jack Morris should.
-Hillary Clinton at this early stage looks like she would be a strong favorite in Michigan in 2016. She leads Paul Ryan 52/41 and Marco Rubio 51/37, in both cases margins even larger than what Barack Obama won by last fall.
-Little Caesar's and Domino's can't get any love even in their home state. 19% of Michigan voters say Pizza Hut is their favorite pizza chain to 16% for Papa John's with Little Caesar's coming in at 12% and Domino's at 8%. The big winner at 41% is 'something else.' Cottage Inn FTW.
-And finally in a measure of redemption for Mitt Romney 72% of Michigan voters say the state's trees are 'just the right height' compared to 7% who say they're too short and 5% who say they're too tall. This is a significant increase in the percentage of Michiganders who believe the trees to be the right height, suggesting that the issue has become less partisan following Romney's defeat.
Full results here