For Immediate Release

Contact: Selma Tucker, Director of Marketing and Communications
Public Sector Consultants
(517) 484-4954

SEPTEMBER 2014 POLL—WE ARE YOUNG

Public Sector Consultants Inc. (PSC) recently celebrated its 35th year as a Michigan corporation, which means we have officially entered middle age—we can’t be lumped into the coveted 18–34 age bracket anymore! As Michigan voters prepare for the fall and start paying attention to the general election, PSC and Denno Research asked them to consider a gamut of relevant topics ranging from debates to immigration and privacy. Between September 11–13, 2014, 600 likely voters were surveyed with a margin of error of plus/minus 4 percent, including 120 respondents by cell phone. Perhaps apropos to PSC’s graduation to middle age, younger voters in particular differentiated themselves on these topics.

Governor Snyder and Democratic challenger, Mark Schauer, have debated about whether or not to debate, eventually deciding on a moderated town hall meeting. Earlier in the month, PSC wondered—does it really matter? The survey results answer: probably not much. A majority of Michigan voters (56 percent) feel that a debate among candidates will have little or no effect on their decision. These feelings were consistent among men and women as well as Democrats and Republicans. But among younger voters (age 18–34), there was a slight majority (52 percent) that felt it would have a moderate or large effect on their decision.

The debates weren’t the only questions where voters were evenly mixed:

  • Respondents believe that the Michigan legislature has the same effectiveness with term limits as it had without (35 percent see no difference between now and the pre-term limit era, while a third say term limits made the legislature more effective, and a third said the pre-term limit legislature was more effective. How’s that for clarity!)
  • By a slim margin, respondents believe that the state should actively recruit military veterans to live or attend college in Michigan through special programs (51 percent).

Survey respondents finally came out of their shell on questions of privacy and what entity is truly responsible for Michigan’s K–12 education system, and extending Medicaid benefits to legally immigrating children.

  • When asked whom they trust more with their private information, nearly half of Michigan voters (45 percent) said neither the government nor private business. While slightly more trusting, 38 percent of younger voters trust neither group, compared to 45 percent of those age 65 or older. Democrats (29 percent) are about twice as likely to trust the government compared to Republicans (13 percent), while Republicans (44 percent) were about twice as likely to trust private business compared to Democrats (18 percent).
  • Respondents believe that the State Board of Education is ultimately accountable for Michigan’s K–12 education system (41 percent). Far fewer named the governor (19 percent), the Michigan Legislature (15 percent), or state superintendent (6 percent), with little meaningful variation between demographic subgroups.

Finally, in honor of the season, we asked Michigan voters what signaled the arrival of fall. Almost half (43 percent) consider students going back to school, with attending a college football game (14 percent) and raking leaves (14 percent) the closest challengers, ahead of visiting an apple orchard or pumpkin patch (12 percent) and purchasing cider and donuts (11 percent). And because we just couldn’t resist, we also know that two out of every three Michigan voters expect Michigan State to beat Michigan in the “big game” this year (sorry, big brother!).

Results of the survey are available on PSC’s website (www.pscinc.com). PSC and Denno Research will be releasing four additional questions from the same poll discussing immigration later next week.

METHODOLOGY

This survey was conducted on behalf of Public Sector Consultants by Denno Research. Between September 11 and September 13, 2014, 600 respondents in the state of Michigan were surveyed, with a margin of error of plus/minus 4 percent. Participation was stratified based on census data and past voter behavior.  In an attempt to reach younger voters who do not have a landline, 120 respondents (20 percent) were from cell phone users. A screen was employed to include only those participants who said they would vote, either at the polls or by absentee ballot, in the November 2014 general election. All numbers are rounded and may exceed 100 percent.

For attribution purposes, please recognize all the organizations involved in this project:

  • Public Sector Consultants (PSC)
  • Denno Research

The results of the poll can be viewed in its entirety here.

Public Sector Consultants is Michigan’s most respected, connected, and dedicated research and program management firm, with specialties in governance and regulation, health care, education, energy, and environmental policy. PSC is committed to providing objective research and sound solutions to the public and private sector.

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