PPP's first Michigan poll in six months finds that the GOP has made gains of 7-8 points in the races for Governor and Senate. Rick Snyder, who trailed Mark Schauer 42/38 for reelection as Governor in June, now holds a 44/40 advantage. And Terri Lynn Land, who had lagged Gary Peters 41/36 in the race to replace Carl Levin, now holds a 42/40 advantage.
Snyder won by an overwhelming margin in 2010 because he dominated with independents and had an unusual amount of crossover support from Democrats. He's still nowhere near where he was with those groups 3 years ago, but he's making progress. In June he trailed Schauer 39/37 with independents but now he's back out to a 10 point lead with them at 44/34. And while he was winning just 10% of the Democratic vote in the spring, now he's back up to 15%.
The news isn't all great for Snyder though. Although his approval rating is up from its 40/52 standing on our last poll, it's still under water at 42/49. A big part of the reason for Snyder's lead continues to be Schauer's continuing low name recognition- only 36% of voters have an opinion about him. The silver lining for Schauer about that fact is the undecideds for Governor are strongly Democratic leaning- they voted for Obama 54/33 last year- so he may gain ground as he comes better known.
The other cloud for Snyder in these numbers is that his signature right to work law remains unpopular as we approach the one year anniversary of its passage. Only 40% of voters support it to 47% who are opposed, pretty much mirroring Snyder's approval figures. And 45% say they would vote for a ballot measure to repeal the law, compared to 39% who say they would vote to uphold it.
Terri Lynn Land may not have been the GOP's first choice of a Senate candidate, but she starts out the race with pretty good favorability numbers for this political climate. 34% of voters in the state see her positively to 23% with a negative opinion. Peters remains mostly unknown, with 57% saying they don't have an opinion about him one way or the other. The big shift in this race over the last six months has come with independents. They were basically tied in June, but Land has now opened up a 17 point lead with them at 47/30.
Michigan appears to be headed for close races up and down the ballot next year. Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette starts out with just a 2 point lead over Democratic challenger Mark Totten at 40/38.
Full results here