Michigan road potholes

Stock photo of a Michigan road in an extreme state of disrepair.

(The Center Square) – A new statewide poll from the Detroit Regional Chamber found that Michiganders' top issues are inflation and fixing roads.

The poll was announced as the Chamber’s 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference started. The poll found that by a margin of 19.1%-72.8%, voters in every demographic said the economy is on the wrong track.

When asked about top concerns, registered voters responded:

  • 33% – Economy/inflation.
  • 13.4% – Roads/infrastructure.
  • 10.9% – Roe v. Wade/abortion.
  • 8.3% – Government leadership.

The Chamber’s polling partner, The Glengariff Group Inc., polled 600 registered Michigan voters between May 9-13, 2022.

“This poll is enlightening as we enter the 2022 mid-term elections and will shape the discussions at the Mackinac Policy Conference, which will focus on the changing role of business in polarizing times,” Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah said in a statement.

Among the 72.8% of voters who said the economy was on the wrong track, 44% cited inflation and cost of goods, 9.8% cited gas prices, and 2.3% cited a lack of jobs.

For the 28% that say they are doing worse, they cite inflation. About 76.9% of those who say they are doing worse specifically cited increased costs.

“Voter motivation is looking similar to what we saw in 2018 and 2020 with high levels of motivation among Michigan voters," Glengariff Group President Richard Czuba said in a statement. "The threat of overturning Roe v. Wade has provided a jolt of motivation to Democratic voters while Republican voters remain highly motivated by their inflation concerns. A key to 2022 will be how these two different issues intersect among Independent voters.”

The poll follows record 40-year high inflation and high gas prices. The American Automobile Association says Michigan’s average statewide gas price per gallon is $4.61.

Several problems plague Michigan, including rough roads, high electricity costs, and a waning workforce comprised of less than half of its 10 million residents.

“The combination of the increase in retirements driven by the pandemic, continued strong consumer demand for goods and services, and the general shortage of high-skilled talent most in-demand by Michigan employers are the key factors in the ongoing labor shortage,” the Chamber said in a statement.

The poll precedes the November election where the state’s top three positions – governor, secretary of state, and attorney general – and all seats on the GOP-dominated Legislature will be decided by voters.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.