Changing Gears is a public media project about the future of the industrial Midwest. Each week, reporters Dan Bobkoff in Cleveland, Niala Boodhoo in Chicago and Kate Davidson in Ann Arbor cover issues of interest to the Great Lakes region. Changing Gears also sponsors public events and conversations.
On Friday, the latest poll from Quinnipiac University declared the Ohio primary too close to call between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Pennsylvania’s former Sen. Rick Santorum.
It showed Santorum with 35 percent of likely Republican voters, and Romney at 31 percent. On Monday, Santorum had a 36 percent to 29 percent lead, a day before the Michigan primary. About 34 percent of Ohioans surveyed said they could still change their minds
“At this point, the Buckeye State is too close to call and is clearly a two-man race between Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mitt Romney,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Turns out, the Midwest didn’t do so hot. No Midwestern states were in the top 10, and Illinois had one of the lowest scores of all states. But buried deep in the data, we noticed that opinions of states varied hugely depending on who was being polled. And, since we spend a lot of time in the Midwest talking about how to attract young people, we wondered how the poll results would be different if you just looked at people aged 18-29. So we put together some charts. As you can see, the results are a little surprising. Tennessee? Really?
A new poll out Monday shows the Michigan Republican primary race is tightening. Public Policy Polling says former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is down to four percent.
PPP’s earlier poll showed Santorum with a 15 percent lead over Romney, raising the prospect that the Michigan born candidate was in danger of losing his home state. It was one of two polls showing Santorum ahead.
Romney’s gain is coming as he spends more time in Michigan ahead of next Tuesday’s primary.
Says PPP: “What we’re seeing in Michigan is a very different story from Florida where Romney surged by effectively destroying his opponent’s image. Here, Romney’s gains have more to do with building himself up.”
Santorum has double digit leads among Protestant voters, union members, evangelical Christians, Tea Party members, people describing themselves as “very conservative” and men.
The State of Steubenville Ohio governor John Kasich delivers his State of the State address tonight. But instead of giving the speech at the state capitol, he’ll be at a public school in Steubenville. Partner station WCPN Ideastream explains why.
Detroit panel to meet in public A judge says there will be no more secret meetings to determine the fate of Detroit. A state-appointed panel is looking into the city’s finances to determine whether the city should be put under the control of an emergency manager. Now, partner station Michigan Radio reports the panel’s meetings must be held in public.
700 jobs short Google is celebrating its fifth birthday in Ann Arbor. When the company first opened its Ann Arbor office in 2006, it was huge news for the state. The company said it would hire 1,000 workers in the first five years. The actual number is closer to 300. (We tried asking Google: “Where are the rest of our jobs?” The search didn’t turn up anything useful.)
Honda, like Toyota, has suffered through a lot in the past year — sluggish sales, the Japanese tsunami and earthquake, and floods in Thailand. But it’s vowing to get its mojo back and plans to do so by revving up its American production.
This morning, Honda said it will invest $98 million at its engine plant in Anna, Ohio, the one you’ve probably driven by Interstate 75. The investment comes on top of a $120 million investment at Honda’s transmission plant in Russells Point, Ohio.
The money is going to build a new engine and transmission family called “Earth Dreams.” The transmission plant will make what are called Continuously Varying Transmissions, or CVTs, which don’t have gears but shift up and down smoothly, and the engine plant will produce parts for those transmissions. Continue reading “Honda, Trying To Get Its Mojo Back, Revs Up Ohio Engines”
In the Midwest, it’s hard to get around without a car. These days, people are holding onto them longer. The average vehicle is almost 11 years old and used cars prices are on the rise. All this adds to the pressure on the bottom rung of consumers: people with bad credit. For many, the only way to finance a car is at a Buy Here-Pay Here lot. Here, dealers loan to deep subprime customers at interest rates up to 25%.[display_podcast] Continue reading “Buy Here-Pay Here: Get a Ride, Don’t Be Taken for One”