MRG (R) Michigan 2012 Presidential PollInside the numbers:
- Barack Obama-Joe Biden 47.5% [49%] (44%)
- Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 42.3% [42%] (44%)
- Undecided 8%
Paul King, MRG's director of survey research, said a big concern for Romney is Oakland County, the suburban Detroit swing county where Obama was leading 54 percent to 38 percent.
"They seem to be falling in the president's direction, which is not good news for the Romney campaign," he said. "If Oakland County goes big for one candidate or another, typically the state of Michigan does the same."
The last time a GOP presidential candidate won the vote-rich county was 1992, when President George H.W. Bush narrowly held it but lost the statewide election to Bill Clinton. Romney grew up in the county, and it is a place where Republicans want to do well.
Among self-described independents, Obama was leading 45 percent to 38 percent, with 16 percent undecided.
The federal government's rescue of the auto industry continued to enjoy significant support in this auto-heavy state. Sixty-one percent said they supported it, and 32 percent opposed it.
The federal health care law evenly split the potential electorate, with 45 percent in favor and 47 percent against.
Though Obama and Romney were about even among male voters (Obama had a 3-percentage point edge), the president enjoyed a 7-point lead with female voters. "We've seen a larger difference in past elections," King said. Romney needs to win over more men to offset women favoring Obama. Women 55 and older have helped Romney narrow the gender gap a bit despite younger women - particularly age 18-34 - backing Obama in droves, King said.
Fifty-two percent of respondents had a favorable impression of Obama, and 44 percent had an unfavorable impression. That is about the same as March, when he had a 53 percent favorability rating and 44 percent unfavorablility rating. A question on Romney's favorables was not asked.
Fifty percent approved of the job Obama is doing, while 46 percent disapproved. Those numbers are similar to six months ago, when he had a 50 percent approval rating and 45 percent disapproval rating.
Romney was up in the Flint-Saginaw-Bay City market (50-38), Cadillac-Traverse City-Sault Ste. Marie (44-41) and Upper Peninsula-northern Michigan (56-44). Obama fared better in metropolitan Detroit (52-39), Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-west Michigan (46-44) and Lansing-Mid-Michigan (47-40). The surprises? Obama doing well in west Michigan - a GOP stronghold - and Romney faring better in Interstate 75 stretch linking Flint, Saginaw and Bay City.