The first poll of Republican Governor Rick Snyder's approval rating since he signed Michigan's controversial "right-to-work" legislation shows a sharp drop in confidence among the state's electorate. According to the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, Gov. Snyder's approval rating now rests at 38%—a 28 point drop from his approval in PPP's last poll, taken in early November.
Furthermore, "Republicans in the legislature are even more unpopular than Snyder after their spate of last minute legislation" during the 2012 lame duck session, according to a PPP statement. The lame duck Republican caucus holds a current approval rating of 31%.
"There's not much doubt that it's the right-to-work law and his embrace of other actions by the Republican legislature that are driving this precipitous drop in Snyder's popularity," wrote PPP's Tom Jensen.
Over the past two years, the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature has passed a bevy of hard-right laws, including three right-to-work bills and stringent limitations on reproductive rights. Gov. Snyder—who ran for office as a moderate and has previously opposed right-to-work—signed the laws.
“This poll shows Michigan voters see what’s going on, and that their governor is a man with no integrity who will say anything,” said Mike Jackson, executive secretary treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights in a statement. The MRCC was the only union in Michigan to endorse Snyder during his gubernatorial run.
PPP's poll also indicates that only 41% of Michigan voters approve of the state's new right-to-work laws, compard to 51% who oppose it. Crucially, the authors of the legislation specifically designed it so that it could not be legally overturned by popular referendum. However, opponents of the laws are working to get it on the ballot anyway as a "statutory initiative" rather than a referendum.
Virg Bernero—the Democratic mayor of Lansing, Michigan, a rumored gubernatorial candidate, and an occasional guest on The Ed Show—netted 49% to Snyder's 38 in a hypothetical match up. The poll also showed that a plurality of Michigan voters believe that Gov. Snyder—whose Twitter username is "@onetoughnerd"—is not, in fact, one tough nerd.