A new poll from WDIV and Detroit News shows Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan governor asking lawmakers to triple tax credit for low- and moderate-income workers Whitmer leading former Detroit police chief in reelection bid: poll Virginia's Youngkin gets the DeSantis treatment from media MORE (D) leading in the state's gubernatorial race set for later this year.
Whitmer was the preferred candidate of 48.6 percent of respondents. Her strongest Republican competitor, James Craig, was the preferred candidate of 39.1 percent of respondents. Another 11.7 percent of respondents said they were undecided.
The poll shows that respondents viewed Whitmer favorably, with a margin of 47.6 percent favorable to 39.6 percent unfavorable.
In terms of the job being done by Witmer, 56.2 percent of Michigan voters said they approve, compared with 48.3 percent in the fall. The most recent poll also showed that 38.7 percent of voters disapprove, compared with 44 percent in the previous poll.
The survey indicated that the improvement in Witmer's ratings was driven largely by independent voters. Just more than half of independents disapproved of her performance in September 2020, a figure that was down to 27.9 percent in the latest poll.
In terms of approval among independents, Whitmer has also seen a 45-point improvement from minus 11 percent to plus 34.4 percent, WDIV reported.
When asked about the upcoming election, nearly 40 percent of respondents said they would vote to reelect Whitmer, 41.7 percent wanted someone new and 12.2 percent said it depends.
The survey was conducted from Jan. 3 to Jan. 7, ahead of Michigan's primary election, which is set to take place on May 3.
It included a sample of 600 people and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.