-Hillary Clinton still leads her top potential opponents for 2016 in Michigan, but the margins are a good deal closer than they were 6 months ago. Clinton is up 43/40 on Chris Christie, 46/42 on Jeb Bush, 48/39 on Rand Paul, and 49/38 on Ted Cruz. This is the first time Cruz has been tested, but Clinton's average lead of 5 points over Christie, Bush, and Paul is quite a bit down from an average lead of 13 points over that trio when we polled the state in June. The decline in Clinton's leads mirrors what we found for Democrats in the races for Governor and Senate on this poll.
Rand Paul narrowly leads the Republican field in the state with 18% to 16% for Chris Christie, 15% for Ted Cruz, 10% for Jeb Bush, 8% for Marco Rubio, 7% for Paul Ryan, 5% for Scott Walker, 4% for Bobby Jindal, and 2% for Rick Santorum. Christie win the moderates (31% to 15% for Paul and 8% for Cruz) and Cruz wins the voters identifying themselves as 'very conservative' (27% to 18% for Paul and 10% for Christie), but Paul leads overall because he's up with folks identifying as 'somewhat conservative' (21% to 10% for Cruz and 9% for Christie).
-One place where things are continuing to look pretty positive for Michigan Democrats is how voters feel about the legislature. Opinion about the Democrats is pretty closely divided, with 40% rating them favorably to 42% with an unfavorable opinion. Meanwhile the Republicans remain incredibly unpopular with only 28% of voters giving them positive marks to 57% who hold a negative view.
Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot by an 8 point margin at 46/38. What that will amount to in terms of seats gained given gerrymandering in the state is unclear but it's obvious voters continue to be displeased with how legislative Republicans have conducted business since the last election.
-As we're finding most everywhere Michigan voters strongly support raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour- 57% would support such a move to only 35% who are opposed. It has overwhelming support from Democrats (87/8), a majority of independents (51/40), and even a little more than a quarter of Republicans (27/64).
Brady Hoke's approval rating with Michigan fans has dropped a net 33 points from what it was in February 2012, right after his high successful first reason. Then 64% of the fan base approved of the job he was doing to only 6% who disapproved. Now he's down to 43% approval with 18% of fans disapproving of him. Unsurprisingly Mark Dantonio is much more popular with the Spartan faithful, 66% of whom think he's doing a good job to only 10% who disapprove. Guess a few people must have been really upset about that Notre Dame game.
John Beilein led Michigan to its most successful season in 20 years last spring, but he still has only a 42% approval rating with Wolverines fans to 3% who disapprove. There are probably a couple reasons for that- for many people who identify as Michigan fans that still mostly just means Michigan football fans so they don't know much about basketball. And also Beilein's low key style- which endears him to the most hardcore of Michigan fans- just keeps him from having a very high profile with the overall fan base. Tom Izzo has a 75/8 approval rating with MSU partisans.
-66% of Michiganders identify themselves as Lions fans. Among those who do Jim Schwartz has pretty strong numbers, with 50% approving of the job he's doing to 13% who disapprove.
Full results here