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Influential Michigan Democrats Say Obama's Auto Bailout Will Resonate at Polls

In our first Blue Mitten survey, most respondents say they agree that President Barack Obama's support for the 2009 auto bailout will help him in Michigan in the November election.

Democratic Michigan insiders said President Barack Obama’s auto bailout will help his chances in the state in the November election: that’s the finding of this week’s inaugural Blue Mitten survey of influential Democrats.

Twenty-nine Democrats from the southeastern Michigan area were asked using an automated survey tool what they thought about how the auto bailout will affect Obama’s standing among Democrats and independents in Michigan.

Eighteen responses were collected.

All of the respondents said they agree or somewhat agree the bailout will help Obama win over Democrats in Michigan. Obama and other Democrats have said the 2009 federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler saved jobs.

“His decisiveness on this issue is palpable compared to his opponent's ever-changing position,” one respondent said.

Respondents were almost as decisive in saying the bailout will help Obama win over independent voters in Michigan, with 72 percent saying they agree and the remaining 28 percent saying they somewhat agree.

One respondent believes “saving all of those jobs will surely influence voters.”

But not all share that view.

“It depends a lot on how independents feel about the Affordable Care Act and how strongly they agree or disagree with the plan,” one respondent said.

Democratic influencers also say that Mitt Romney’s opposition to the bailout has hurt his standing among Republicans in Michigan. In 2008, Romney wrote an editorial in The New York Times—entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”—that argued against giving federal money to the auto companies.

A little more than half—55 percent—agreed that Romney’s stance against the bailout will hurt him within his own party in the state. Another 17 percent said they somewhat agree. But the remaining 28 percent said they were neutral or said they disagree or somewhat disagree.

“I think Republicans will follow him regardless of what he does,” one respondent said.

Nevertheless, most respondents believed that Obama’s support for the bailout will resonate at the polls in November.

“GM and Chrysler are alive as a result of this President's efforts,” one respondent said. “A million jobs were saved. Our state economy is turned around as our anchor industry thrives again. How could any Michiganian NOT support the President? It would be downright ungrateful.”

“Every Michigan voter knows someone whose job was saved by the loans to GM and Chrysler and the admitted benefits to Ford,” another respondent said.

The Blue Mitten Survey

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in Michigan. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between July 26 and Aug. 1, 2012.

Patch will be conducting Red Mitten and Blue Mitten surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in Michigan. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Associate Regional Editor John Hetzler at john.hetzler@patch.com.

Blue Mitten roster: Vicki Barnett, State House Rep; Joanne Braund, Secretary, Royal Oak Area Democratic Club; Rose Christoph; Dorian Coston, candidate for State Rep;Colleen Crossey, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Gary Cynowa, President of the North Macomb Democratic Club and District 10 Precinct Delegate; Judy Daubenmier, chair of Livingston County Democrats; Shawn Desai, Democratic Candidate for State Representative 47th District; Gretchen Driskell, Mayor of Saline; Gene Farber, West Bloomfield Township Board Trustee; Marcia Gershenson, Oakland County commissioner; Fred Hoffman; Mitzi Hoffman, former Chair, Royal Oak Area Democratic Club; Marilyn Krok, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Kathi Kuehnel, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Carmella Langley, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Erik Lindquist; Deb Lobring; Jeff Long; Daniel Marcin, candidate for U.S. Representative; Gwen Markham, candidate for Oakland County commissioner; Jim Nash, Oakland County commissioner; Kevin Shopshire, member of Livingston County Democrats; Mike Smith, candidate for White Lake Township Supervisor; Walt Sobczak, Oakland County Democratic Delegate; Mark Steckloff; Regina Strong, candidate for State Rep; Scott Warheit, Royal Oak Crime Prevention Council, and 2011 candidate for Royal Oak City Comission; Karen Zyczynski, Oakland County Democratic Delegate

Christopher August 08, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Well said, of course owning half the company may not be what they once thought it was or was going to be.
Christopher August 08, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Agreed, and this is one of the most interesting elements of the bailout and its impact on politics. If Obama had not bailed them out, would the unions have voted Republican? Hardly. The Republicans haven't won Michigan in years, notice the national media never speaks of us because we go Democrat no matter what, and our electoral votes keep shrinking.
Christopher August 08, 2012 at 05:40 PM
The problem with the CEO compensation argument is that years ago the communists (unions, etc.) complained about the same thing, so almost all of the public companies tied CEO compensation to share price. So, if the company did well, and all of its shareholders (union pensions, employee 401k's) did well, the CEO got paid. Because most CEO's aren't dumb, they managed to a higher share price and got paid even more than before.
Christopher August 08, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Another Myth - Corporate Tax Breaks : Most of these are for investment in capital goods or equipment, like buildings and machines, which create more jobs. Some are from states and municipalities attempting to keep or get large employers. Michigan has done this for years to keep auto jobs here, and the breaks benefit the worker as much, if not more than the executive. Here's a hypothetical. If they move an auto plant to Alabama, they will certainly have workers who can run the plant. We've automated the skill out of 90% of the jobs. But they may not have the senior leadership, so the plant manager and his/her team move to Alabama and 2,000 union employee's in Detroit get laid off. So be careful when you spew hate on corporate tax breaks.
Joe Blowski August 08, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Christopher your accurate and insight full comments will mean nothing to the Conyers/Stabenow/Levin crowd who have generationally voted with their union card and will never be convinced by such pesky inconvenient things like facts. I'm NOT anti-union; I'm anti-STUPID and to think that the UAW and the SEIU has anyones best interest at heart besides their own ( note I did NOT say their members) is shortsighted at best and down right stupid at worst. Numbers like the state's bond rating or the unemployment rates in RTW states mean nothing to them.....

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