The Washington Times - September 4, 2012, 11:32AM

Voters in Michigan — where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was born and raised — prefer President Obama in the upcoming presidential election, a new poll says.

Results of a Public Policy Polling survey of likely Michigan voters released Tuesday show the president ahead 51 percent to a 44 percent. Only 45 percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of Mr. Romney, while 49 percent hold an unfavorable one.


Michigan’s electorate also doesn’t accept Mr. Romney — a former one-term Massachusetts governor who has lived in Bay State for decades — as one of their own, as only 34 percent consider him to be a Michigander to 57 percent who don’t.

Michigan is a Democratic-leaning state but one Mr. Romney hopes to win in November.

Mr. Romney’s opposition to the president’s bailout of the state’s automotive industry isn’t helping his image with Michigan voters, the poll suggests. Fifty-three percent voters say Mr. Obama has been better for the automotive industry in the state, compared to only 31 percent for Mr. Romney. Overall, 80 percent of Michigan voters say the candidates’ record on the automotive industry is important to them.

While it’s PPPs first poll of “likely voters,” a survey of registered voters taken by the pollster in July found Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney by 14 percentage points.

PPP surveyed 815 likely Michigan voters from Friday to Sunday. The margin of error for the survey is plus-or-minus 3.4 percent.