Obama +4 in Michigan, Obama at 44% — Denno Research

Here again is another poll showing Obama leading by 4 points but his support level of 44% is incredibly low. This time in the state of Michigan.  The polling outfit, Denno Research, is run by the chief of staff of a Democrat state legislator, so read what you will into any “house bias.” Romney leads by 9 with Independent 39 to 30.  If Undecideds break 2/3 for the challenger Romney would be at 49.1% and Obama would be at 48.5%:

A new statewide poll shows a tight race between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, as well as growing enthusiasm among Republicans for their nominee. Released Wednesday, the poll of 600 likely voters showed Obama leading Romney in Michigan, 44.2 percent to 40.5 percent, but Romney also within the sampling error of 4 percentage points — meaning it’s a tight race.

The poll was conducted by the Michigan polling firm Denno Research and commissioned by Grand Rapids-based Lambert, Edwards & Associates, which also has offices in Lansing. Dennis Denno, president of Denno Research, also is chief of staff to state Sen. Virgil Smith Jr., D-Detroit.
The poll shows Obama had gained a lead over Romney since Denno’s last state poll in June, when both candidates were tied at 40 percent. However, the most recent poll was conducted before last week’s vice presidential debate and Tuesday’s presidential debate. About 13.5 percent of voters were undecided.

The research also revealed a significant swelling of support among Republicans for Romney. In the latest survey, 44 percent of Republicans said they were very excited to vote for the Michigan native, compared to 16 percent in the June survey, before Romney was formally nominated by his party. By contrast, 48 percent of Democrats reported being very excited to vote for Obama, up from 39 percent in June.

As reported at MLive.com:

Among voters identifying themselves as independents, Romney had 38.5 percent to Obama’s 29.8 percent, with 26.6 percent unsure. Romney was up among men overall, 43.3 percent to 40.7 percent, but trailed Obama among women, 47 percent to 38.2 percent.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 44.2
Mitt Romney 40.5
Undecided 13


  1. Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    Would be interested to see the DRI breakdown and how it compares to 2008 and 2004. Obama not being able to clear 45% is terrible news for him.

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      You and me both. I linked to every source I had on the poll. No other data available.

  2. M.Remmerde
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hmm…I wish I had Michael Barone’s number. I’d call him to ask this: In 1980, did the late (huge) surprise shift from Carter to Reagan begin with a big increase in undecideds in the polling in the last 3 weeks?

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know the answer to that. Data wasn’t nearly as public as it is today and most of the people who have that data aren’t around any longer with the exception of maybe Barone.

      • Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        doing some sleuthing and looking at some of the other statewide polls from 4-6 months ago. (Obviously things can change) but their break down looks to be across a couple of polls D-43% R-36% I-18% Unknown-3%

    • William Jefferson Jr.
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      According to Gallup, Carter lost vote share over the last 3 weeks. He polled at 44% on Oct. 13 and finished with 41% on election day.

      Clinton saw a similar drop in vote share. This is VOTE SHARE, not who picks up independents. The last 3 weeks of 1996, Clinton’s Gallup averages were:

      Oct. 15-21: 52%
      Oct. 22-28: 51.5%
      Oct. 29- Nov 4: 50%
      Election day: 49%

  3. Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    Michael Barone is from Detroit. No one understands Michigan voting patterns better than Barone. I would pay good money just to listen to Barone discuss in detail what will likely happen in MI.

  4. Brian
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Living in a quiet little corner of SE Michigan (Wayne County, outside of Detroit), yard signs are just now starting to pop up – and they’re overwhelmingly in favor of Romney. Very significant majority of houses have no signs at all, but the ones that do are almost all for Romney. I go for strolls through my neighborhood every few days…maybe 3-4 Obama signs, total, and probably upward of 20 Romney signs, along with a handful of others with “Protect Religious Freedom” signs – wonder who those folks will be voting for?

    I wouldn’t get my hopes up about the mitten overall, though. Detroit’s influence on statewide politics is waning, but it’s still got enough union drones and welfare queens to team up with the “liberal academics” in Ann Arbor and East Lansing to make the state blue. Doesn’t help that the state GOP is a feckless bunch of squishy losers. This isn’t like Wisconsin with powerhouses like Ryan, Walker, and even Priebus boosting Romney in a traditionally blue state. There’s nobody in Michigan even approaching that level of gravitas.

  5. Greymarch
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    hey Brian. Where in Wayne county do you reside?

    If Dave Brandon ever leaves UM, I could see him leading a GOP comeback in MI.

    • Brian
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:24 am | Permalink | Reply


      And I agree on Brandon. I think he’ll be finished at U-M in time to run for governor in 2018.

  6. zang
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    Some pollsters push leaners to pick someone, others do not. The number of undecideds in a poll will depend somewhat on how hard the pollster pushes for an answer.

  7. Timothy
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    If voters are truly undecided at this point, they’re most likely going to vote for Romney or stay home. There’s little chance that voters don’t have an opinion of the incumbent.

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is very true. I also think the incumbent is more likely to have soft support. In a stronger economy without a foreign policy crisis, I would think that the challenger would have more soft support. But in this instance, I think there are a substantial number of people that, when they have a ballot in front of them, will decide to go for Romney. I think that happened in 1980.

      If the President loses 2-5% of his support on election day, he’s finished. And I’d guess we’ll also see many people decide they don’t like Romney and they’ll sit out.

      • Pete
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Another poll showing incumbent stuck (this time under 45%) 3 weeks before an election? Not good. Not good at all.

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