Michigan Voters Say It's Time to Fix The Roads, Will Pay More Money to Do It, Chamber Poll Shows

May 19, 2014

An overwhelming majority of Michigan voters believe our roads are in horrible condition and are willing to invest more money to build and maintain better roads, according to a Michigan Chamber of Commerce poll released today.

“Increased funding to fix the roads and improve public transit is necessary to keep Michigan moving forward and this poll shows solid voter support for a major investment in transportation,” said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley.

According to the statewide poll, conducted by Marketing Resource Group (MRG), Michigan voters consider the condition of Michigan roads and bridges second, only to jobs and the economy, as the most important issue facing the state. The poll also found 80 percent have changed their driving habits, and half of the voters have either damaged their car or are personally aware of someone who has damaged their car because of the road conditions.

“Eighty-two percent of Michigan voters think the current condition of roads and bridges is bad,” noted MRG President Tom Shields, who conducted the poll. “A vast majority of voters believe Michigan is not spending enough to maintain our roads, and there is solid support for spending an additional $1.8 billion per year on road funding.”
Support for the additional funding was consistent across party lines with Republicans (59 percent support to 39 percent oppose), Democrats (71 percent support to 25 percent oppose), and Ticket Splitters (72 percent support to 23 percent oppose).

“There are no Democrat potholes or Republican potholes, there are just a lot of big potholes that are becoming giant potholes,” Studley noted. “Now is the time for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to work together to pass a broad and  comprehensive plan to fix the roads – and there is strong support among voters to do just that.”

Other key findings of the statewide poll include: 

  • 95% of the voters are concerned that the condition of the roads will damage their car.
  • 75% of likely voters think the current level of spending on roads is too low.
  • 72% favor Michigan spending an additional $1.8 billion a year for the next 10 years to maintain and improve roads and bridges.
  • 68% are willing to pay at least an additional $10 per month in taxes to maintain and improve roads and bridges.
  • 64% support a plan to repeal the current gas tax and replace it with an oil company distribution fee increase registration fees on trucks and eliminate some vehicle registration discounts.

A survey of 600 likely voters was conducted by live interview April 2-6, 2014 by MRG. A random sample of likely voters was drawn from a listed random sample of those identified as likely to vote given past voting behavior, and was stratified by county and township. In addition, voters were screened for interest in the November election. Twenty-five percent of respondents were interviewed via cell-phone. The poll has a margin of error of 4.1 percent.

An executive summary of the poll findings is available here. Additional findings may be found in this Powerpoint presentation. For additional crosstab information or actual wording of questions, please contact Tom Shields at MRG, (517) 372-4400 or toms@mrgmi.com.