The Presidential Primary. Snyder's Legacy. The Future of EMs. The Pundits Weigh In.

It's the inaugural survey of The Pundit Poll

Lansing, MI -- Monday February 22, 2016 -- The inaugural survey of the recently unveiled Pundit Poll asked key Michigan political insiders to weigh in on four of the hottest topics in Michigan today: the upcoming presidential primary, Governor Snyder and the legislature’s handling of the Flint water crisis, and the future of Michigan’s emergency management law.

The Pundits were asked:  “The Michigan presidential primary will be March 8, exactly one week after Super Tuesday. By the time it happens, how relevant will Michigan's presidential primary be for either party?”

And no question the answer is relevant, with just over 86 percent answering that by the time voting occurs March 8, the results will be either “relevant” or “very relevant” to the country’s presidential decision. Thirteen percent of Democrats think the primary will not be relevant, with 17 percent of Republicans concurring.

“This is great news for TV station advertising departments and all the armchair campaign managers on Facebook,” Matt Resch, President of Resch Strategies, said. “While the national presidential campaigns continue to surprise, political observers we asked think those surprises will bring relevance to Michigan’s upcoming vote.” 

When it came to Flint and the water crisis there, the Pundits were asked:  “Knowing what we know now about the water situation in Flint, what will Rick Snyder's legacy be?”

Not good, was their answer. Almost half, at 49 percent, think Governor Snyder’s ultimate legacy will be “weak” or “pretty bad.”  Only 11 percent of those responding think his legacy will be “strong,” and 35 percent think his legacy will be “decent.” 

“I’m not sure anyone is surprised by the current evaluation of the Governor’s legacy,” Dennis Denno, of Denno Research, said. “That said, it will be interesting to track this question over time as the crisis evolves and the fallout continues.”
Not a single Democrat thinks the Governor’s legacy will be “strong.” 27 percent of Republicans think his legacy will be “weak” or “pretty bad.”

Looking at the shelf life for legislative partisanship on the issue of aid to Flint, 70 percent of the Pundits were optimistic and thought it would last until summer recess or the end of the year. A cynical 4 percent—all Democrats—gave bipartisanship about “one more week.”

In passing out grades to the national press corps on coverage of the Flint crisis, the Pundits’ own partisan leanings came through. 48 percent said Flint coverage has been “very good” or “good,” powered by a 96 percent approval rating by polled Democrats. 35 percent said the national coverage has been “poor,” driven by a 63 percent “poor” rating from those in the GOP.

Lastly, what’s the future of Michigan’s emergency manager law?  The Pundits were asked whether the future was A) strong, B) there will still be a few, but not as many as before, c) future doesn't look good for them, or D) emergency managers will quickly become history in Michigan.

A majority—58 percent—said there will still be a few emergency managers, but not as many as before. 32 percent said the future doesn't look good. 

The Pundit Poll is a new survey on the latest political news and issues in Michigan. The survey uses emails to collect the compiled and confidential responses from political strategists, consultants, and insiders across Michigan, with the goal of offering an insider’s look at the political issues facing the state. A full list of the nearly 100 pundits in the poll can be found here.

This was a Resch Strategies/Denno Research survey of Michigan political experts, pundits, and members of the media. 97 respondents were invited and 81 responded. The survey was emailed Wednesday Feb. 17 and the survey was closed Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.