Forty-seven said they had a favorable opinion of the two-term senator from Lansing, while 38 percent had an unfavorable view and 13 percent were undecided.
Republicans say she’s vulnerable because her favorability rating is below the critical 50 percent level.
Still, the latest telephone poll by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA also shows Stabenow would beat former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Holland if the race were held now, 47 percent to 38 percent, with 15 percent undecided.
Hoekstra’s one of five Republicans running for the Senate. Charter school executive Clark Durant didn’t officially join the race until after the Aug. 13-16 poll was completed, and the survey didn’t include matchups with any the other three GOP candidates then in the race: former Kent County Probate Judge Randy Hekman, Roscommon businessman Peter Konetchy and Midland resident Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan.
A fifth of the respondents didn’t recognize Hoekstra’s name, even though he ran for governor last year after 18 years in the U.S. House and came in second in the GOP primary. Twenty-seven percent said they had a favorable opinion of him, while 19 percent had an unfavorable view and 33 percent were undecided.
State Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer said it was important to note that Stabenow beat Hoekstra by 18 points among independents, taking 45 percent to his 27 percent.
“Michigan families really want a leader who fights for them instead of Pete Hoekstra, who works for a Washington lobbying firm and wants to end Social Security and Medicare,” Brewer said. “That’s why I think Debbie Stabenow has opened up a wide lead over Pete Hoekstra and is the choice of independent voters.”
Hoekstra campaign spokesman Brian Jones said the poll clearly showed Stabenow’s in trouble.
“Today’s polling results show that after a decade in the Senate, Michigan voters are clearly fed up with Debbie Stabenow’s continued support for higher taxes, runaway government spending and job-killing regulations,” Jones told The Associated Press in an e-mail.
The overall poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.