POLITICS
12/18/2012 12:12 pm ET | Updated Dec 18, 2012

Rick Snyder's Approval Rating Drops After Signing Right-To-Work Law, Poll Shows

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's (R) popularity has dropped precipitously since he signed right-to-work legislation, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

Snyder's approval rating has sunk to 38 percent, down a net 28 points since November, PPP found.

Snyder's ratings have fluctuated throughout his term, diving in 2011 after he took office before slowly improving throughout 2012 across several polls.

"Just last month when we took a first look at the 2014 landscape we talked about how much Rick Snyder had improved his popularity during his second year in office and how he led a generic Democrat for reelection by 6 points, even as Barack Obama won the state comfortably," PPP's Tom Jensen writes. "Last week he threw all that out the window."

Michigan's new right-to-work law has outraged union supporters and sparked contentious protests.

The governor told the Detroit Free Press' editorial board that he was improving public perception of Michigan and that the right-to-work law would benefit the state's economy.

A majority of Michigan voters feel favorably toward labor unions and oppose the right-to-work law, PPP found, and a referendum on the law would lose, 40-to-49. Another poll, by the Lansing-based EPIC-MRA, found general support for right-to-work laws, but a nearly even split in opinion on implementing those laws in the state.

A recall against Snyder didn't receive enthusiastic support in PPP's survey, with a plurality of voters opposed to ousting him before the end of his term.

But there are signs that Snyder could face a heightened challenge in 2014. Four potential Democratic candidates tested against him -- Lansing Mayor Virgil Bernero, Rep. Gary Peters, former Rep. Mark Schauer and state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer -- all bested the governor in hypothetical head-to-head matchups. In PPP's November poll, Snyder had a 6-point lead against a generic Democratic opponent.

The PPP poll surveyed 650 Michigan voters using automated phone calls between Dec. 13 and Dec. 16, with a 3.8 percent margin of error.

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