According to a new poll conducted by Pulse Research, and commissioned by U.S. Term Limits (USTL), a supermajority of Michigan voters supports keeping the state’s current 6 and 8-year term limits, while believing legislators’ new attacks on the law are coming from self-serving motives.
The poll, which was conducted from October 29-30, found that 69 percent of Michigan voters oppose changes to term limits which would enable legislators to stay in office longer. Opposition is bipartisan: 75 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Independent voters say the current limits should remain in place.
In assessing the motivation of legislators who want longer term limits, 70 percent of voters believe the legislators are doing it to benefit themselves personally, while just 19 percent think it is being done to benefit the people of Michigan.
USTL National Field Director Scott Tillman, a Grand Rapids resident, heralded these results as proof the people of Michigan are not buying what legislators are selling on term limits.
“Lee Chatfield, Mike Shirkey and the Chamber of Commerce are only coming after term limits to feather their own nests,” Tillman said. “U.S. Term Limits will do everything in our power to stop this undemocratic power grab and defend the will of Michigan citizens.”
The survey also found that attacking term limits is a political liability for politicians and interest groups in Michigan. By a 46-16 margin, voters say they are less likely to vote for state legislators who try to lengthen their own term limits. By a 52-9 margin, voters view the state Chamber of Commerce less favorably upon learning it seeks to lengthen term limits. And, by a 54-10 margin, voters are less likely to back Mike Shirkey for Governor of Michigan in 2022 after learning he is leading the effort to dismantle term limits. These trends hold up across all political and demographical groups.
In 1992, Michigan citizens passed with 59% of the vote an amendment to the State Constitution limiting State House members to six years in office and State Senate members to eight years. Term limits have worked very well, checking the power of incumbency and making Michigan the only state in America with 100 percent of its legislative elections contested.
Still, this success story hasn’t stopped some lawmakers and lobbyists from trying to lengthen or repeal term limits. Every few years, an effort crops up among Lansing insiders to either let politicians keep power longer or abolish term limits altogether. U.S. Term Limits always leads the fight to stop these efforts and safeguard the people’s term limits.
U.S. Term Limits is the largest grassroots term limits advocacy group in the country. We connect term limits supporters with their legislators and work to pass term limits at all levels of government, particularly on the U.S. Congress. Find out more at termlimits.org.