Improved Obamacare View Puts Democrat Ahead in Michigan Senate Race

Image: Improved Obamacare View Puts Democrat Ahead in Michigan Senate Race Rep. Gary Peters, left, and Terri Lynn Land

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 06:30 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Democratic Rep. Gary Peters is pulling ahead of former GOP Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in Michigan's U.S. Senate race as the number of voters who think the Obamacare rollout was a failure has been decreasing, according to Public Policy Polling.

Peters now has the support of 41 percent of those polled against 36 percent for Land, in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin. Some 23 percent of those surveyed are not sure who they will vote for.

In December, Land had led Peters by 2 percentage points.

The drag the Obamacare rollout placed on Peters' candidacy has loosened, according to Public Policy's analysis. In December, 63 percent thought the rollout was a failure compared to the current 52 percent.

Even with that shift, 48 percent of Michigan voters are still against the Affordable Care Act, compared to 37 percent who think it is a good idea. Also, while 44 percent approve of President Barack Obama, 50 percent disapprove.

The senate race shift has been most noticeable among independent voters. Land's 17 point advantage evaporated and she is now tied with Peters among independents.

Support for Land has also been undermined by attack ads, according to Public Policy. She is viewed unfavorably by 31 percent of voters, with 42 percent not sure. Peters has an unfavorable rating of 27 percent, with 47 percent not sure.

Separately, the poll found no change in the governor's race with incumbent Republican  Gov. Rick Snyder maintaining a 4 point lead over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, a former congressman. The poll showed that while Snyder was not popular— he's got a 48 percent disapproval rating— Schauer is not well known in the state, with 54 percent having no opinion about him.

Not being well known, however, has not necessarily hurt GOP incumbent Attorney General Bill Schuette. He has a slight lead for re-election over Democratic challenger Mark Totten, 36 percent to 33 percent. Some 54 percent of Michiganders have no view on Schuette.

A plurality of Michiganders describe themselves as either moderate (28 percent) or somewhat conservative (26 percent).

The April 3-6 poll surveyed 825 registered voters by phone (80 percent) or Internet (20 percent) and claims a 3.4 percentage point margin of error.

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