Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroiter Magazine > The Partisan Divide Grows

The Partisan Divide Grows

April 12, 2023

Spread of Polarization Challenges Policy Makers

The partisanship that has been rampant in Washington, D.C. and state governments for decades is drifting into non-partisan issues that’s creating a growing challenge for the business community and policy makers.

The extreme polarization is growing increasingly pronounced and spreading to issues that are not inherently political – such as viewpoints on broader economic conditions, changes in automotive technology, and the value of education. The trend has major implications for states and businesses as they attempt to stay globally
competitive and tackle complex issues.

The Detroit Regional Chamber and its polling partner The Glengariff Group, Inc. completed a statewide poll of 600 registered Michigan voters between Feb. 10 and Feb. 13, 2023 that shed light on these trends. The information can help leaders understand the growing disconnect between data and voter perceptions and the education needed to address the issue.


Escalating Polarization Poses Challenges for Business

Voters Say a Four-Year Degree is ‘Somewhat Important,” but Not Worth the Money. Employment and Earnings Data Prove Otherwise.


Chamber Perspective


Only 5% of all jobs paying more than $64K in Michigan are held by people with an associate degree or who completed an apprenticeship, and unemployment rates for those with only a high school diploma are 2.7 times higher than those with a bachelor’s degree.


Though hardly a quarter of Michigan voters believe that a college education is “very important” to landing a successful job, as the world of work becomes more complex and global, additional skills will be needed by all.

RRichard Czubaichard Czuba, President, The Glengariff Group, Inc.

“On advanced education, a large segment of the population believes a high school diploma is enough. And on the move to vehicle electrification, a large block of voters appears reluctant. These numbers highlight the challenges leaders face in bringing voters along in these conversations.”




Voters are Split on Electric Vehicles Despite Market Share Projections and Consumer Demand. Adoption Varies by Political Party


Chamber Perspective


As a global center of the mobility industry, Michigan is among a handful of global regions poised to win as the automotive sector evolves. For the state to be successful in global competition, there must be alignment between government, business, and the public at large.


Without buy-in from the public, Michigan risks its leadership position in the highly competitive automotive and mobility sector and could fall behind in the electrification revolution underway.

Most Michigan Voters Support Investment in EV Infrastructure and Projects to Attract Jobs From Other States.