LANSING (AP) – Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s job rating this month dipped below 50 percent for the first time since she took office in January 2003, but she still holds a 20-point lead over Republican challenger Dick DeVos.

Jess Cox
Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Mackinac Bridge Authority Chairman William Gnodtke sign the agreement defining responsibilities and management roles of MDOT and the Authority on the Mackinac Bridge into law on Tuesday. The signing took place in St. Ignace, Mic

The poll released yesterday by Lansing-based EPIC/MRA shows 46 percent of the 600 likely voters polled gave the Democratic governor a positive job rating, while 49 percent gave her a negative rating and 5 percent were undecided. Granholm had a 52 percent positive job rating in July and a 54 percent positive rating in August in earlier EPIC/MRA polls.

The governor did far better in a poll released the same day by “Inside Michigan Politics” editor Bill Ballenger. In that poll of 600 registered voters surveyed Sept. 16 through Wednesday by Lansing-based Marketing Resource Group, 56 percent approved of the way Granholm was handling her job, while 34 percent disapproved and 10 percent were undecided.

Fifty-seven percent had a favorable opinion of Granholm in the EPIC/MRA poll, while 54 percent had a favorable opinion in the MRG survey.

President Bush’s job approval numbers continued to suffer, with 36 percent in the EPIC/MRA poll giving him a positive job rating – down from 41 percent in August – and 63 percent giving him a negative rating. Only 1 percent were undecided. The telephone poll was taken Sunday through Wednesday, after Bush promised in a speech last week to deal with the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina.

In the MRG poll, 40 percent said they approved of the way the Republican president was handling his job, while 53 percent disapproved and 1 percent were undecided.

Forty-two percent of those in the MRG poll said they had a favorable opinion of Bush, and 54 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, with 4 percent undecided. The same percentage had a favorable opinion in the EPIC/MRA survey.

When it came to the gubernatorial election, Granholm was ahead in both polls. Half of those surveyed by EPIC/MRA said they would back Granholm if the election were held today, while 30 percent said they would back DeVos, and 20 percent were undecided. Last month’s EPIC/MRA poll had Granholm beating DeVos 56 percent to 36 percent, with 8 percent undecided.

In the MRG poll, Granholm led DeVos 49 percent to 34 percent, with 16 percent undecided.

In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow of Lansing held sizable leads over her two potential GOP challengers in the EPIC/MRA poll.

Stabenow led the Rev. Keith Butler of Troy 49 percent to 25 percent, with 26 percent undecided. She led Jerry Zandstra, a Cutlerville resident on leave from his jobs as a minister and as program director of a Grand Rapids-area think tank, 50 percent to 22 percent, with 28 percent undecided.


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