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A big factor trapping people in unemployment? The answer may surprise you.

To get and keep a job, you need a reliable way to get there.

If you lose your job – particularly if your income was low to start with – affording and maintaining a reliable vehicle is difficult, maybe impossible. And without a reliable vehicle, it’s harder to get or keep a job. Especially in areas, like much of Southeast Michigan, where public transportation is limited to non-existent. It’s a vicious cycle making it harder for people to work their way out of poverty.

Michigan Works!, the workforce development agency that connects job seekers with employment, anecdotally reported the scenario above to be a common one, and a new survey (PDF) by my firm for the Region 9 Prosperity Initiative puts numbers to this story.…

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ObamaSmirk

Acting like the President helps — Obama’s approval hits 50%

So why did he wait until after the election?

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll is making news with President Obama at an approval ratings 50% for the first time in over a year. Other polls show his rating improving as well. Look at Gallup or Pew. It seems the rise is not just a blip in one poll but consistent across the organizations measuring presidential approval. The press has noticed and seems to be crediting an improving economy. USA Today, for example, writes, "Good economic news appears to be fueling Obama's improved ratings in a string of recent polls."
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KeepCalmAndGOTV

Neck and neck polls. I voted and so should you.

Your vote and work could make the difference

I suspect Chris is doing his GOTV work this morning, so I thought I would throw up a quick update. In case you missed it, three polls came out yesterday showing the governor’s race neck and neck:

Again, it could go either way — your vote matters today. And here’s a video to remind you why:

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Snyder-SchauerDebate

Who is going to win the governor’s race?

Is Schauer tied with Snyder? Down by 5? Somewhere in between?

This may be old hat for some of you, but people keep asking me what’s going on with the polling in the Governor’s race and I thought I would put together a little primer. For reference, just in the last week, NYT/CBS has had Schauer up by 1 point, while the Detroit News/WDIV has Snyder up by 5. A couple weeks ago, we saw two polls come out in the same day, one with Schauer up 3, one with Snyder up by 8. EPIC-MRA’s current poll has Snyder up by two, when last week they had him up by 8.…

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Michigan GOP pollster Steve Mitchell keeps polling until he gets the answer he is "comfortable" with. Again.

Michigan GOP pollster Steve Mitchell keeps polling until he gets the answer he is “comfortable” with. Again.

Back in September, Harry Enten wrote a piece on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog taking GOP pollster Steve Mitchell to the woodshed for adjusting his polling when he didn’t get the answer he wanted. Mitchell had polled several races in Michigan and, when the numbers didn’t agree with what he thought they should be, he went back to the phones to poll some more until he got an answer he liked.

Here’s what Enten said in his post titled “Pollsters Shouldn’t Take Mulligans”:

I was troubled by a survey released Monday by Mitchell Research in Michigan. It wasn’t that the results — which showed Democratic Rep.…
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New PPP poll has Peters up by 14 points over what's-her-name and Schauer tied 48-48 with Snyder

New PPP poll has Peters up by 14 points over what’s-her-name and Schauer tied 48-48 with Snyder


Photo by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

I always look forward to Public Policy Polling (PPP) polls because they are one of the most accurate pollsters in the country. They have a new poll out, done for the League of Conservation Voters, that has some very good news for Democrats.

First, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate is crushing his opponent Terri Lynn something-or-other by a full 14 points, 39-53. Over half the people in the poll had an unfavorable opinion of Land, including over a fifth of Republicans. However, climate change deniers seem to really like her. When asked if Land’s statement that she doesn’t think humans are causing climate change, 14% said that would make them more likely to vote for her.…

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UPDATED: New Progress Michigan poll has Schauer up by 3, Republican pollster has Snyder up by 2. Need any more reason to GOTV?

UPDATED: New Progress Michigan poll has Schauer up by 3, Republican pollster has Snyder up by 2. Need any more reason to GOTV?

See update below.

If you are sitting around wondering if it’s worth your while to get involved in the massive Get Out the Vote (GOTMFV) effort in the last two weeks of this election, two polls out this week should give you the nudge that you need.

First we have a poll by Republican pollster Mitchell Research & Communication that shows Gov. Snyder ahead by a scant 2 points with a margin of error of 3.23%. In other words, a statistical dead heat. And that’s a Republican pollster’s numbers. By the way, that same poll has Gary Peters with an 13 point lead while what’s-her-name has resorted to tweeting about how well she ran “the DMV” in Michigan even though there’s no such thing as a Michigan DMV.…

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Pam Byrnes in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Republican Tim Walberg in MI-07

Pam Byrnes in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Republican Tim Walberg in MI-07

I have been gnashing my teeth for months over the lack of polling in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District. I have a personal stake in this race because I live in the 7th District and having Tim Walberg as my Congressman causes me no end of angst. So, I’ve been out at least once, more often twice, a week knocking doors for Pam Byrnes because I think she’d be a terrific member of Congress and a true representative of the 7th District.

As a side note, I’ve been really enjoying the MiniVAN app on my iPad which lets me canvass without walk sheets or even a clipboard.…

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AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: Eric Schertzing making it competitive in MI-08, DGA releases new ad going after Rick Snyder

AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: Eric Schertzing making it competitive in MI-08, DGA releases new ad going after Rick Snyder

Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing released an internal poll today showing him within striking distance of Republican Mike Bishop. Schertzing is down just 5 points, 42-37, in a poll with a 4.9 point margin of error. In the same poll, when respondents were read “a balanced series of positive messages about both candidates”, the two are tied at 43-43.

This is a race that deserves more attention than it’s getting (which is why I’ll be posting an interview with Schertzing next week.)

In other MI-08 news, Schertzing and Bishop were supposed to debate at a Livingston County forum tonight but Bishop pulled out at the last minute today so no debate.…

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AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: Pam Byrnes endorsed by U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, Schauer tied with Snyder in yet another poll

AFTERNOON GRAB BAG: Pam Byrnes endorsed by U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Schauer tied with Snyder in yet another poll

Pam Byrnes, the Democratic candidate in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District received a key endorsement of her race to unseat Tea Party Caucus member Republican Tim Walberg. This morning was endorsed by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce who call her “a champion of women’s economic priorities”.

Here’s the endorsement statement from Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce:

Pam Byrnes understands Michigan needs a robust platform for the creation of quality jobs to support and rebuild our middle class. She is also a champion of women’s economic priorities, receiving a one-hundred percent rating from the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.…
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