New Poll: 70% Support Collective Bargaining in Michigan

News from Progress Michigan, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center & Lake Research Partners | |

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
CONTACT: Jessica Tramontana,, 517-974-6302
Kate Folmar,, 202-223-2373

Voters want Lansing politicians to focus on creating jobs and improving education, not changing rules on collective bargaining

LANSING – Following yesterday’s election, Progress Michigan and the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) released new polling information today showing strong support for collective bargaining in Michigan. A strong majority of Michigan voters (70%) continue to support the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively over wages, benefits, and working conditions, including a majority (55%) of those who voted No on Proposal 2.

“Michigan voters support collective bargaining because they believe it helps provide people the good wages and benefits that can support a family and build the middle class in Michigan,” wrote Celinda Lake and David Mermin in a polling memo from Lake Research Partners. “Although voters ultimately rejected Proposal 2, their vote was not a vote against collective bargaining. The most common reason for voting against Proposal 2 was that voters were convinced not to change the constitution… With the election behind us, voters overwhelmingly (83% agree, 64% strongly agree) are ready for politicians in Lansing to get to work creating jobs and improving education, not changing rules about unions or collective bargaining.”

According to the new poll, there is bipartisan support for the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively, including strong majorities of Democrats (85% support, 5% oppose) and Independents (77%, 18%), and a plurality of Republicans (48%, 35%). Moreover, for many No on 2 voters, Proposal 2 was not about collective bargaining rights, with 41% of No voters saying their main reason for voting No was because they were against changing the constitution.

“Despite a massive $30 million misinformation campaign by corporate special interests, it’s clear Michiganders overwhelmingly support collective bargaining,” said Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “Moving forward, any attempt by Lansing politicians to pass new laws that undermine this basic right would be a serious mistake. It’s time for our elected leaders to get their priorities straight and focus on creating good jobs and investing in education to give our kids a better future.”

The support for collective bargaining in Michigan mirrors the values voters have expressed elsewhere. In Idaho, voters rejected laws that were designed to hurt working families and public education. In California yesterday, voters rejected a measure that would have hurt working families and created special exemptions for billionaire businessmen. Corporate interests spent more than $60 million there in an effort to silence the voices of working families.

“Spending on ballot measures nationally will reach upwards of $1 billion this year,” said Justine Sarver, executive director of that Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. “That trend was crystal clear in Michigan where millions of dollars were spent to oppose collective bargaining rights for Michigan’s middle class families. Yet, research shows us that Michiganders continue to support collective bargaining for good jobs that can help support families and build the middle class – despite distortions made by the wealthiest in the state.”

The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners for Progress Michigan and BISC on November 5, 2012. The survey included 500 Michigan voters, using live interviews on November 5-6, 2012. The margin of error is +/-4.4%.

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Editor’s Note: A copy of the polling memo by pollsters David Mermin & Celinda Lake is embedded below.

Memo: Michiganders strongly support collective bargaining

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