EAST LANSING, Michigan -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton increased her 3 percent lead Wednesday night to 5 percent Thursday night according to the latest Fox 2 Detroit/Mitchell Poll of Michigan. In the four-way ballot question that includes Libertarian Party candidate former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, it is Clinton 46% - Trump 41% - Johnson 7% - Stein 3% while 3% are undecided. Clinton has a 5 percent lead in the two-way race (50%-45%).
The survey was conducted by Mitchell Research & Communications November 3, 2016 and includes 1,007 likely Michigan voters. Data collection was by IVR (automated) telephone interviews and by delivery of an identical survey to the mobile devices of 18-40 year old registered voters. Only the responses of those who said they were voting or had already voted in the election were included in the results. The Margin of Error is + or – 3.1% at the 95% level of confidence.
“The key to Clinton’s increase is the movement among white women 45 and older. On Thursday night she improved with that group and her lead increased. Using a new methodology for polling 18-44 year old voters, we were able to capture the strong support Johnson and Stein have with younger voters. This stronger support for the two third-party candidates is an important reason Clinton dropped 1 percent and Trump 2 percent. This is not a major change, but enough to put Clinton on much stronger footing going into the election on Tuesday. Clearly, the campaigns still think Michigan is in play, which is why both candidates will have been in Michigan between Friday and Monday. However, Clinton is still in the stronger position,” Steve Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Research & Communications said.
In terms of key demographics
Clinton’s support dropped with women by 1 percent but Trump dropped 2 percent, so Clinton’s lead (48%-39%) increased from Wednesday (50%-42%). Trump’s lead with men had dropped 1 percent Tuesday and Wednesday from 46%-44% to 45%-44%, and he now trails by 1 percent (45%-44%).
Clinton leads with 18-29 year olds (47%-31%) and 30-44 year old voters (43%-34%). Johnson and Stein are both taking votes away from Clinton and Trump with younger voters. Johnson has 14% of the vote among 18-29 year olds and 12% among 30-44 year olds. Stein is getting 7% and 4% among those two groups. Clinton’s big lead Thursday with 65 + voters (58%-37%) was a drop of 3 percent from the previous night. Trump’s lead with 45-64 year old voters was the highest ever (55%-38%) Wednesday, but dropped on Thursday (52%-41%), mostly because he lost some support with white women in the age group.
Both are getting about 92% of the vote from their own party’s voters. Trump’s lead with ticket-splitters dropped from 60%-16% to 48%-30%.
By race, Trump’s lead with white voters (47%-41%) dropped slightly from Wednesday (48%-42%) while Clinton’s lead with African-Americans Wednesday (79%-19%) improved on Thursday (80%-12%). She continues to have a strong lead with Hispanic/Asian and other ethnicity voters (52%-29%).
By area, Clinton leads in the city of Detroit (86%-8%). Clinton was ahead in the Tri-County area (Wayne outside of Detroit/Oakland/Macomb) on Wednesday (48%-43%), but Trump is now ahead (48%-47%). Trump’s lead outside the metro Detroit area on Wednesday (48%-43%) fell by 4 percent Thursday to 43%-42%.
Other key findings
• Clinton’ favorable stayed the same but her unfavorable moved up 4 percent to 43% Favorable-53% Unfavorable. Trump’s ratio improved slightly from 40%-56% to 41%-54%.
“It is easy to get wrapped up in changes within demographic groups, but the bottom line is the race solidified at 3% Tuesday and Wednesday, but as white women 45 years and older moved back to Clinton, her lead increased. Now, we will have to see if she will hold onto her lead or if Trump will be able to gain back momentum. However, Clinton now seems to be poised to win Michigan’s coveted 16 electoral votes,” Mitchell concluded.
Mitchell Research & Communications used a sample of registered voters in the November 2016 Michigan General Election. Our goal is to spread as wide a net as possible to assure we survey voters who may not have voted in elections for a long time. A double filter was used to determine that we were surveying only likely voters.
• First voters had to say they were registered voters. If they were not, the phone call ended.
• Then, they were asked if they were definitely voting, probably voting, not sure yet, or definitely not voting in the November General Election, or if they already voted by absentee ballot. If they were “definitely not voting” the phone call ended.
Federal law only permits us to call land lines when using automated phoning. Any surveys that don’t specify if they use cell phones do not use them. We also survey 18-40 year old registered voters through their mobile devices. Only likely voters’ responses are included in the results. Data is weighted to reflect likely voter turnout by gender, age, and race.
Steve Mitchell is CEO of Mitchell Research & Communications, an East Lansing, Michigan based national polling and consulting company. He is currently political pollster for FOX 2 Detroit. He has polled with great accuracy for the media in Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Illinois, and California.
An examination of RealClearPolitics.com will show that in final polls before the election in races for president, U.S. Senator and governor in Michigan, his final poll results have been off by an average of only 2.75% from actual results 2008-2014.
Mitchell can be reached at 248-891-2414; firstname.lastname@example.org; @stevemitchell40 on Twitter