Only one person loves Moroun, poll finds

By Doug Schmidt, The Windsor Star

Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun has been in the news a lot lately, but how many people really, really like the billionaire businessman?

Only one person, according to a new Michigan poll.

That’s right. Of 600 Michigan voters polled by Marketing Resource Group Inc. only one person viewed Moroun in a “very favorable” light.

Moroun is so disliked, the opinion poll takers said, that having his name associated with two Michigan state referendum proposals in the upcoming elections could mean their rejection at the ballot box.

The poll asked residents to indicate the extent of their awareness of key political individuals and whether their overall impression was favorable or unfavorable. The names presented included President Barack Obama, Gov. Rick Snyder, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Moroun.

The results revealed that Michigan voters had a higher favorable opinion than unfavorable opinion of every person tested, except for Moroun. The favorable opinions ranged from a high of 52 per cent for Obama to a low of five per cent for Moroun. The billionaire’s “unfavorable” number was five times higher, at 25 per cent.

A big opponent of the proposed publicly owned bridge crossing, Moroun paid for the signature collection to put Proposals 5 (a two-thirds vote needed to raise taxes) and 6 (requiring a statewide vote on all bridges and tunnels) on the Nov. 6 Michigan ballot. He is bankrolling the campaign to pass Proposal 6.

“The perception of Mr. Moroun could have an effect on how voters view his ballot proposals,” said Paul King, director of research for MRG.

Moroun’s numbers are worst in his own backyard, where the voters know him best, reports MRG. In the City of Detroit, he was 13 per cent favorable and 41 per cent unfavorable, and in Oakland County, he was at five per cent favorable and 42 per cent unfavorable.

Outside of Detroit, in the balance of Wayne County, only eight per cent viewed him favorably, and 40 per cent viewed him unfavorably. In the entire Detroit metropolitan area, among those voters who know Moroun, 60 per cent have an unfavorable impression of him and only 13 per cent have a favorable one.

“Our poll shows Proposal 6 leading by 13 per cent state-wide, but losing 46 per cent to 45 per cent in the Detroit suburbs where Mr. Moroun’s negative perception is the highest,” said King.

The poll was conducted Sept. 10 to 15 among 600 likely voters statewide, a fifth of whom live in households with cellphones only.

The poll’s margin of error is estimated at plus or minus four per cent.

MRG is headed by Tom Shields, a spokesman for a business lobby group that backs the new international crossing.