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Like many political observers, Michigan’s policy insiders – Republicans, Democrats and Independents – expected candidate Hillary Clinton to win the White House, a new survey of the state’s legislative and administrative policymakers shows.

Few saw President Donald Trump as the likely winner of the 2016 presidential vote in online survey fielded by Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR.)

Overall, 92 percent of Michigan policy insiders predicted Clinton would be president. Among the 402 people who answered the online panel survey, just 8 percent forecast a Trump win.

Among Republicans, 85 percent forecast a Clinton win. About 16 percent of Republican policy insiders expected Trump to be the winner. Of Independents, 95 percent projected Clinton and 99 percent of Democrats held that she would win.

The Michigan Policy Insiders Panel (MPIP) survey, in conjunction with the University of Michigan’s Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP,) was conducted between Oct. 19 and Nov. 1, ending just a week before the Nov. 8, 2016 election.

A short report of results and an appendix is published on IPPSR’s website at

The research is aimed at understanding how policymakers learn about state problems, develop influence and interact to develop solutions to problems. The latest results come from the second round of MPIP questions emailed to 537 panel members.

When asked who they preferred for president, 63 percent of those responding and identifying themselves Republicans, Democrats or Independents, favored Clinton.

“Nearly 100 percent of the Democrats were strongly united behind Clinton, while only 41 percent of Republican elite were behind Trump,” said IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann.

Policy insiders were also asked their attitudes about political issues, including higher or lower levels of government services, business regulation for environmental protection and support for police protection.

In each, they expressed views more centrist than the more sharply divided U.S. population. On average, they favored:

  • More government services even in the face of increased spending.
  • More government regulation of business to protect the environment.
  • Police actions to curb crime. They were neutral on the questions of policy using too much force and media and public attention making it difficult for police officers to do their jobs.
  • Social change, neutral on statements that the country was changing too fast or that it was steadily improving with diverse cultures and lifestyles.

On questions about political parties, policy insiders said Democrats were more likely to speak up for disadvantaged people and respond to social problems. Republicans were cited for keeping government in its proper role and both parties were seen as equally able to speak up for values.

IPPSR focuses on public policy, political leadership and survey research. Besides the MPIP, it is home to Public Policy Forums, the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the State of the State Survey and the Office for Survey Research.