-Speaking to his increased national stature over the first half of 2013, the leading Republican for President in Michigan is Rand Paul. 18% of primary voters in the state say he would be their first choice for 2016, followed by Jeb Bush at 16%, Chris Christie at 15%, Paul Ryan at 12%, Marco Rubio at 11%, Ted Cruz at 7%, Rick Santorum at 6%, Bobby Jindal at 4%, and Susana Martinez with less than 1%.
Paul leads based on his strength with two key groups. Among voters who identify themselves as 'very conservative,' he's at 31% with none of the other GOP hopefuls higher than 15%. And with voters under 45 he's at 28%, giving him at least a 13 point lead over the rest of the field. That appeal to younger voters suggests he may be able to replicate the strong base of support his father had with them in last year's race.
If Hillary Clinton's the Democratic candidate for President at least for now it looks like the state will remain firmly in the blue column. The only Republican who even comes within single digits of her is Christie, who still trails 44-38. The other 3 trail by margins closer to Barack Obama's 16 point margin of victory in 2008 than his 9 point victory from last fall- Clinton is up 14 on Bush at 51/37, 17 on Rubio at 53/36, and 20 on Paul at 55/35.
-Michigan is like most states in overwhelmingly supporting expanded background checks for gun purchases. 71% favor them to 21% who are opposed and the support cuts across party lines- Democrats favor them 87/7, independents do 64/25, and Republicans do 58/35.