The city of Detroit benefits from countless national news stories about the Motown comeback, but at the grassroots city voters lack enthusiasm for Mayor Mike Duggan as he heads into his re-election campaign.

According to a new poll by Denno Research, less than half of voters say they are ready to vote for the incumbent in the November general election. Duggan’s re-elect number is at 46 percent while his main opponent at this early stage, state Sen. Coleman Young II, son of the former mayor Coleman Young, is at just 21 percent. One-third of respondents said they are undecided or they declined to answer.


“Clearly, Mayor Duggan is the favorite going into this race, but this isn’t going to be a slam dunk,” said Kyle Melinn, editor of MIRS Newsletter, which commissioned the poll.  “These numbers show that Sen. Young starts with a bit of base support, which makes him Duggan’s most serious challenger at this point.”

Duggan captured the support of all white voters who stated a preference in the poll. His 25percentage point edge over Young stands at about 30 points with seniors and voters on the city’s east side.

“While Coleman Young might have a million-dollar name, but with only 21% support, he will need to raise over a million dollars to get Detroiters to vote for him for mayor,” said Dennis Denno, President of Denno Research.  “But while many say that Detroit is on the comeback, Detroit voters might not be ready to give all the credit to Mayor Duggan either.”

With eight months before the election, and the possibility of more candidates joining the campaign, race is a surprisingly small factor in a city with an overwhelmingly black population.

The survey found that just one-quarter of voters say it’s important that the Motor City have an African-American mayor. Of those who express that sentiment, less than half – 44 percent – say they favor Young, who is black. Duggan who became the first white mayor in decades in 2013 would still receive 27 percent of the vote from those who place an emphasis on having a black mayor.


Photos: Duggan, WXYZ-TV screenshot; Young, Fox2 News