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MI Trump Supporters at Odds with White House Over Public Lands

Many Trump supporters in Michigan believe the country has a moral obligation to protect public lands such as Glacier National Park. (froggidonna/morguefile)
Many Trump supporters in Michigan believe the country has a moral obligation to protect public lands such as Glacier National Park. (froggidonna/morguefile)
November 9, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – President Donald Trump's supporters in Michigan do not seem to be on the same page as the person they put into office when it comes to the future of public lands.

Following a review ordered by the president, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently suggested revising protections for national monuments and that certain monuments be reduced in size.

RABA Research polled voters in key heartland states about the matter, and co-founder David Kochel says researchers found Zinke's recommendation cuts against the grain of some of the more fundamental feelings of Trump voters.

"The ethos is very much America first,” Kochel points out. “We're going to preserve our heritage, we're going to preserve our monuments and our lands. They take a lot of pride in things that are uniquely American."

Around 66 percent of Michigan Trump voters polled said they have visited a national park or monument, and 67 percent said they oppose the scaling back of national parks and monuments and the division of the resulting land for commercial development.

Trump voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had similar responses.

Kochel says it's interesting that while 70 percent of Michigan Trump voters polled support the job the president is doing, 61 percent also said they would be somewhat less or much less likely to support a candidate who favored proposals such as Zinke's.

"What we found in this poll is that, in fact, it is something that voters would act on and it might spell a bit of trouble for some candidates who want to pursue policies like Secretary Zinke has talked about," he states.

In the four states surveyed, 9 in 10 said they would either favor leaving monuments as they are today, without changing the size, or support the creation of more national monuments to protect places of historic, cultural or scientific interest.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI