POSTED: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 12:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 12:19pm
CNN — Are the auto bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler motoring President Barack Obama to a lead in the swing state of Michigan?
A new poll indicates President Barack Obama holding a double digit lead over Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the state. According to an EPIC/MRA survey, 47 percent of likely voters in Michigan support the president, with 37 percent backing Romney and 16 percent unsure.
The poll, done for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV, was conducted Saturday-Tuesday, entirely after the Democratic National Convention, which was held last Tuesday-Thursday, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The auto bailouts were prominently showcased during all three nights of the convention, as was Romney's opposition to Washington's role.
The federal government's assistance of auto giants was started under President George W. Bush in 2008, but the next year Obama grabbed the keys to the program, managing and funding the bailouts of GM and Chrysler. Romney opposed the government bailout and pushed for a privately financed, managed bankruptcy of the two automakers.
The auto bailouts could have an impact on the race in Michigan, home to the domestic auto makers, and in neighboring Ohio, a battleground state which is also a major base for the auto industry.
Some surveys conducted prior to the two parties' political conventions indicated a closer contest in Michigan.
According to the new poll, the president holds a nine point advantage among independent voters, with a very high 37 percent unsure. The survey also indicates the president holding a two point margin among men and a 16 point lead among women. And Obama has the lead in three crucial suburban counties (Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne) near Detroit.
Romney, and his wife Ann, were both born in Michigan, and Romney's father served as a popular two-term governor of the state in the 1960's.
Romney last campaigned in the state late last month, at a rally with running mate Rep. Paul Ryan in Commerce, Michigan. The president last campaigned in the state in April.
The EPIC/MRA poll was conducted September 8-11, with 600 likely voters in Michigan questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.