Michigan Radio/PSC poll finds support for redistricting changes, and for recreational marijuana use | Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio/PSC poll finds support for redistricting changes, and for recreational marijuana use

Sep 8, 2015

Michigan Radio and Public Sector Consultants conducted a poll of 600 likely voters from Aug. 4-8 about how they felt financially, possible changes in redistricting, and the potential legalization of recreational marijuana.

In terms of those saying they're better off, Jeff Williams, CEO of Public Sector Consultants says things look relatively "rosy" for Michigan. More than half say they're "about the same," and around a quarter of them say they're "better off."

"'Better off' typically tops out around 30% or 40%. So at 24%, we're getting close to ... things looking normal," says Williams.

In our poll, those who said they were "better off" were starkly separated by age groups.

Forty-four percent of those age 18-34 said "better off," vs. only 8% of those 65+ who said they were "better off." 

Williams said he thinks they're seeing a difference between income and wealth in the answer to that question.

"Folks that have a lot of assets are still feeling the pain of bank accounts and stock market accounts recovering from 2008," says Williams.


The poll found that there is a strong majority support for overhauling the current redistricting process, but there is also clearly a need to educate voters on this issue.

It's no surprise that a majority of Democrats say they want to change how redistricting works in Michigan – after all, their party wasn't in control the last time the political maps were redrawn in 2010 – but it was a surprise to hear that 54% of Republicans thought it should change too.

"Overall, the general distrust in government – that kind of general sense that politics is too political for our taste ... there's something that says it should be a little bit of a cleaner or fairer fight, and I think we're seeing that cut across party lines," says Williams.

People generally support the idea of an independent commission – a commission made up of both Republicans and Democrats – to redraw the political maps in the state.

Recreational marijuana use

In our poll, we presented Michigan’s likely voters with a choice between the existing potential ballot proposals that seek to legalize recreational marijuana or to not legalize recreational marijuana essentially maintaining current law. 

Williams says recreational legalization is not a slam dunk in the near future in Michigan – mostly because there are three competing ballot proposals floating around – but in a 3-5 year horizon, he sees it passing in Michigan when people coalesce around one idea.

"When you break it down, three options to get to 'yes'? The 40% 'no' will carry the day," says Williams.

Here are top line results of our most recent Michigan Pulse poll (see full results here):