Authors Posts by Madison Grady

Madison Grady

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The most recent SoonerPoll finds that Oklahomans view public sector employees very favorably, including their public pension programs and their associations.

“At some point throughout the year, every Oklahoman will interact with or be affected by the work of our state or local government employees,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com. “How the electorate views those who perform the work of our government is important to the overall health of our democracy.”

A solid 74 percent of likely voting Oklahomans viewed state and local government employees favorably, with 12 percent having no opinion and only 13.9 percent unfavorably.  The pensions or retirement programs used by public sector employees in Oklahoma were also viewed favorably by 60 percent of Oklahomans, 23.1 percent had no opinion and 17 percent unfavorable.

The associations of public sector employees also fared well.  The firefighters’ association received the highest combined favorable rating of 79.9 percent, followed by the Oklahoma Nurses Association at 66 percent and the teachers’ associations at 61.8 percent.

Further results revealed that 73.3 percent of Republicans and 69.7 percent of Independents view state and local government employees favorably, as well as 75.5 percent of Democrats.

A majority of Oklahomans from all three parties also viewed Oklahoma’s public pensions favorably with 63.5 percent of Democrats, 54.5 percent of Republicans, and 66.7 percent of Independents.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned by the Keep Oklahoma’s Promises Coalition to conduct the survey. The scientific study was conducted from February 1-8, 2014 with 400 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of both landline telephone and cell phones. The sample was weighted by age, race, congressional district and landline/cell phone usage, and stratified using a model of likely voters.

The sample reflected the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week.  The study has a margin of error of ± 4.9 percent.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific survey from February 1-8, 2014 with 400 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of both landline telephone and cell phones. The sample was weighted by age, race, congressional district and landline/cell phone usage, and stratified using a model of likely voters. The poll was commissioned by the Keep Oklahoma’s Promises Coalition. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. For smaller subgroups, the margin of sampling error is larger.

This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The full Call Dispositions and Rate Calculations were calculated by SoonerPoll.com and is available here.

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Nearly all Oklahomans think it is important to provide better training for family caregivers, according to a new survey today released by aging advocates at the State Capitol.

AARP Oklahoma, which commissioned the non-partisan survey of 400 likely Oklahoma voters, said the results were timely since the Legislature is considering a bill that would strengthen training for family caregivers and allow patients to designate a caregiver at the time of hospital admission.

Senate Bill 1536 by Senator Brian Crain, R-Tulsa and Representative Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, was approved by the state Senate February 18th and now awaits action by a House committee, according to AARP Oklahoma State President Marjorie Lyons.

“It is clear the majority of Oklahomans want better support for the nearly 600,000 family caregivers in the state,” said Lyons, a retired nurse. “SB 1536 will ensure family caregivers get the training they need to properly care for their loved ones after they are discharged from the hospital. We are calling on the Legislature to pass this important legislation this session.”

In addition to AARP, the proposal has also been endorsed by the Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Oklahoma State Council on Aging, the Oklahoma Alliance on Aging and the Oklahoma Silver Haired Alumni Association, Lyons said.

Pollster Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com, which conducted the scientific survey, said three out of four respondents said they would support legislation allowing patients to designate a family caregiver and require hospitals to teach those caregivers how to care for a loved one after they return home from the hospital.

“The results indicate broad-based support among Republicans and Democrats for legislation to strengthen training for family caregivers,” he said. “Not a single respondent said they were against this idea and in this fractured political climate any time we see consensus of this magnitude, it should make lawmakers take notice.”

Other key findings include:

92% of respondents believe having a designated and well-instructed family caregiver could reduce costly hospital readmissions.

94.4% of likely Oklahoma voters agreed that having a designated and well-instructed family caregiver could help patients stay in their homes longer rather than being placed in a more costly assisted living facility or nursing home.

93.8% of respondents said it was important to them to be able to return and recover in their own home after being discharged from a hospital and three out of four surveyed (77.7%) said being at home with assistance from a family caregiver would be ideal when basic tasks of life become more difficult.

Two out of three respondents (66.4%) believed it to be likely that they themselves would be an unpaid caregiver in the future for a relative, spouse or friend.

In addition to survey results, Shapard also shared his first-hand experience after his father was recently discharged from the hospital.

“A recent and unexpected hospitalization of my 64 year-old father exposed the need for such legislation,” he said.  “My father moved from the ER to the ICU to a hospital room over the course of a week, had five doctors of various disciplines on this records, a dozen different nurses, and a long list of different medications.  It was expected that he would be released to recover at home over the next two weeks and little to no instruction was given on how to make that at-home recovery successful.”

AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl said Shapard’s story is indicative of the extra burden being placed on as many as 50 percent of family caregivers nationwide.

“Unless we make sure caregivers get more training on how to perform medical and nursing tasks following a loved one’s discharge from the hospital, we can expect hospital readmissions to continue to rise,” he said. “This will force many older Oklahomans out of their homes into nursing homes and continue to be a tremendous financial burden on the state.”

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority reported last year the state spent more than $62 million on Medicaid readmissions that occurred within 30 days of initial discharge, he said.

“Our interest in this legislation is based on increasing the flexibility a family may need in order to create more communication options for these families,” said Randle Lee, Regional Director of the Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association. “A family’s ability to designate individuals they trust to communicate with the hospital – whether the person is family or not – will enhance the quality of care for the patient with little to no increase in healthcare costs.”

Voskuhl said AARP members from across the state were at the State Capitol today urging lawmakers to pass SB 1536.

“The survey reinforces that most people want to be able to recover at home and giving family caregivers better training will make that possible,” he said.  “AARP Oklahoma will continue fighting to provide family caregivers more resources and support as one of its top priorities.”

 

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Results from the latest SoonerPoll indicate that likely Oklahoma voters are split over whether to replace the current pension system with a proposed 401k-style system.  In fact, a slight plurality opposed (44.8%) moving the public-sector employees’ retirement system to a 401k-style system for new employees, compared to 40.1% who supported it.

Likely voters were also asked “which retirement system is best” and again there was no consensus among Oklahomans, with 44.4 percent of likely Oklahoma voters preferring 401k plans compared to a near equal 44.3 percent of respondents who prefer traditional pension plans.

Further results revealed that 74 percent of likely Oklahoma voters had a favorable opinion of state and local government employees, and 60 percent had a favorable opinion of pensions or retirement programs for public sector employees in Oklahoma.

“Oklahomans like our public sector employees, but more importantly they have a favorable opinion of the pension program that provides these employees with a retirement,” said Shapard. “So, the question is, if the public has a favorable opinion of the current pension system and its performance, then why replace it?”

Question wording:

Another proposed change is switching benefits to a 401(k)-style system.  Currently, state employees pay into the retirement system to receive monthly pensions through a defined benefit plan based on a formula that takes into account their salary and duration of work.

Under the proposal, NEW employees would take part in a defined contribution plan similar to a 401(k) plan, which would provide employees with a payout when they retire based on the amount of money contributed and investment gains or losses.

Proponents say switching to a 401(k)-style system will provide cost certainty to state government outlays, at the same time providing more portability, flexibility and choice as the private sector enjoys.

Opponents say that switching could cost billions in transition costs, deliver lower investment returns than professionally managed defined benefit plans, and have higher fees which create lower retirement security for current workers and retirees.

Knowing this, would you say your SUPPORT or OPPOSE switching benefits to a 401k-style system?

1. Support  40.1%

2. Oppose  44.8%

3. Don’t know  15.1%

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific survey from February 1-8, 2014 with 400 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of both landline telephone and cell phones. The sample was weighted by age, race, congressional district and landline/cell phone usage, and stratified using a model of likely voters. The poll was commissioned by the Keep Oklahoma’s Promises Coalition. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. For smaller subgroups, the margin of sampling error is larger.

This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The full Call Dispositions and Rate Calculations were calculated by SoonerPoll.com and is available here.

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A majority of likely Oklahoma voters think the state Legislature should change Oklahoma’s current workers’ compensation system, according to a recent poll. The statewide study showed 72.5 percent of respondents felt changes should be made to the current system, thereby reducing the number of workers’ compensation lawsuits.

While another 18.7 percent didn’t know if the change would reduce the number of lawsuits, only 8.7 percent disagreed with the potential change to an administrative-based system. Legislation to change the state’s workers’ comp system has passed the Oklahoma state Senate and is now headed to the state House for further consideration.

“Oklahomans believe the current court-based system pits employees against their employers, and creates a non-productive environment for accomplishing what should be most important which is taking care of injured workers,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.

Impact on workers

Within the same poll, a 71.4 percent majority said they agree that “injured workers are worse-off because the workers’ compensation system relies heavily on lawsuits to resolve disputes.” Only one in ten respondents disagreed.

When asked if the current court-based system is failing injured workers, 72.4 percent of Oklahoma likely voters agreed, with slightly less than one in ten disagreeing. Democrats were slightly more likely, 72.9 percent, to agree that the current system is failing injured workers than Republicans.

Another 61.8 percent feel that workers would benefit if Oklahoma moved from a court-based system to an administrative system, including 61 percent of Democrats, 70.1 percent of African Americans, and 80.2 percent of Hispanics.

Impact on businesses

The current court-based system’s impact on business was also tested in the poll. Sixty-six percent of respondents also said they felt that the current workers’ compensation system is unfairly hurting Oklahoma businesses, with only 13.1 percent disagreeing.

Republican and Independent respondents were most likely to agree, 69.5 and 68.8 percent respectively, but Democrats only trailed at 63.2 percent.

When presented with the difference between court-based systems and administrative systems, a 58.8 percent majority of respondents said they felt moving to an administrative system in Oklahoma would reduce costs on Oklahoma businesses. Another 31.6 percent of respondents indicated that they had no opinion.

“As these results indicate, a strong majority of Oklahomans have a desire to see their state institutions operate efficiently,” Shapard said. “When confronted with the facts, Oklahomans prefer efficiency.”

Support for the potential change ran high among Republicans throughout the survey, with Democrats only slightly trailing in support, but never below 50 percent in any of the questions asked.

Results rarely differed among respondents with regard to age, household income or education. Lower income respondents were more likely to not know if an administrative system would reduce costs, but support the potential change just as much as higher income respondents.

For the most part, women respondents were more supportive of the potential change, with 75.4 percent agreeing the change would reduce the number of lawsuits and 77.1 percent agreeing that injured workers were worse-off because the current system relies heavily on lawsuits.

Federal, state and local government workers and union workers, or those living in a union household, both agreed, 76.8 and 78.3 percent respectively, a change of the current workers compensation system would reduce the number of lawsuits.

This study was commissioned by the State Chamber Research Foundation. SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the study between February 19 and February 28 using live interviewers by telephone. The scientific study of 324 Oklahomans included both landline and cell phone participants. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who was at home. In the cell sample, the person who answered the phone, provided that person was an adult 18 years of age or older, was asked the survey questions. The study has a margin of error of ± 5.4 percent. The full Call Dispositions and Rate Calculations were calculated by SoonerPoll.com and is available here.

 

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In Thomas, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahomans seem to love their governors, whether male or female, Republican, or Democrat.  At least the last few anyway.

The latest SoonerPoll results show Governor Mary Fallin, the state’s first female governor, with a 65.0% combined favorability rating.  Of the near two-thirds with a favorable opinion, 29.6% responded with ‘very favorable’ toward the Governor and 35.4% with ‘somewhat favorable.’  Those with an unfavorable opinion were 24.4%, and 10.7% did not have an opinion.

The same love was also shown for Governor Brad Henry during his tenure with approval ranging from 62% to as high as 83% during the five years SoonerPoll tracked his approval rating, even when his views or decisions were contrary to those of the Oklahoma public.

During 2011, Fallin’s first year as governor, SoonerPoll measured the Governor’s approval rating which hit a high of 69.3%, but was never below 58%.

Republicans overwhelmingly favored the Governor with an 85.2% in combined favorability.  Of those, near half (48.2%) responded ‘very favorable.’

Results also show nearly half of all Democrats, 48.5%, had a favorable opinion of Fallin, with 39.3% unfavorable.  Fallin’s favorability among Democrats, however, is softer with 13.3% saying they viewed her ‘very favorable’ and 35.3% saying ‘somewhat favorable.’

Interestingly, both Governors Fallin and Henry have or had the approval or favorable rating from about half of voters of the opposite party.  In 2009, Henry gained nearly half of Republicans approval, and Fallin has the favor of nearly half of Democrats.

Conservatives, who make up slightly more than half of the electorate, overwhelmingly favored the governor, with 56.4% of moderates favoring her as well.  Those who attend church once or more per week, which make up 60% of the electorate, also favored her at a ratio of two to one.

Further analysis revealed:

  • Fallin’s highest favorable rating came from her old congressional district, 66.2%, but was not below 61% in any of the other four congressional districts.
  • Very high favorable among Evangelicals at 72.1%, with even a majority among non-Evangelicals at 55.8%.
  • Married respondents favored the governor at 72% as well, but single respondents were only 43.4%.
  • Near half of labor union members, or those living in a union household, favored the governor at 49.4%.
  • Federal employees favored Fallin (68.4%), state employees (57.5%), local government employees (62.9%).
  • Men were slightly more likely to favor Fallin, 65.7%, to 64.3% for women.
  • Rural Oklahomans favored Fallin the most at 70.4%, compared to 58.6% for Tulsa metro and 62.4% for OKC metro.

The question is, can Fallin maintain these positive ratings until her reelection in 2014?

“The President’s reelection may prove problematic for Mary Fallin in 2013,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “His reelection assures Obamacare remains law and, while it currently remains unpopular among Oklahoma voters, it puts the Governor with some difficult decisions, which may not be popular with the public.”

Shapard went on to note, while Fallin has already announced she will not accept Federal Medicaid dollars, she will have to face public opinion on the decision this year, just as Henry had to with the acceptance of Federal Stimulus dollars in 2009.

About the Poll

Three hundred and five (305) likely voters participated in this study, using a Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that included both cell phone and landline telephone numbers. Likely voters were determined by utilizing an industry recognized likely voter screen.

The data collection was conducted by phone using live interviewers from October 18-24, 2012. Results were weighted by age, sex, race and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both). A complete description of the methodology can be found at here.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.61 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

As a part of an industry effort, known as the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, to provide more disclosure of how polls are conducted, here is a comprehensive Sample Disposition and Rate Calculations report of this poll, which includes a disposition of all calls made from the sample and calculated response, cooperation, refusal, and contact rates as defined by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

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Governor Mitt Romney may be at 58% in the latest SoonerPoll, but that doesn’t mean all of those likely voting Oklahomans are voting for him because they favor his policies, positions or plan for the future.  The same could also be said of President Barack Obama and his 33% share of the vote.

In a survey of 305 likely voters in Oklahoma, roughly a third of Romney voters are voting “for” Romney’s candidacy.  Just about a third are voting for Romney because they are “against” Obama’s candidacy, and the remaining third are split equally between the two.

Obama’s vote motivations were very different than Romney’s.  Half of Obama voters indicated their vote was in support of Obama’s policies, positions or plan for the future, 18% based their decision on being against Romney’s, and just about a third were equally split between the two.

In all, the results show Obama voters, overall, are much more committed to voting “for” Obama rather than “against” Romney.  However, Romney gains from the more polarizing figure that Obama has become among Oklahoma voters, including Democrats.

Question wording, toplines and crosstabs.

“The power to vote against a particular candidate has shown to be more powerful that voting for a particular candidate in certain elections,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “We see this in enthusiasm levels, momentum, and turnout.”

Romney’s Republican voters slightly favor voting “for” Romney at 37%, and about a third, 35%, were equally split in their decision, but one in four, 25%, Republicans based their decision on Romney because they are more against Obama’s candidacy.

In contrast, Obama’s Democratic voters were much more motivated to vote for Obama in their vote decision.  Just over half, 53%, were voting for Obama, just about a third, 31%, were equally split, and only 16% were voting for Obama because they were against Romney’s candidacy.

“President Obama’s voters in Oklahoma are much in favor of him than Governor Romney’s voters are of him,” Shapard said.

But the strongest weakness for Obama is among those within his own party.

More than half, 52%, of Democrats who were voting for Romney this November were doing so because they were against Obama, while only 30% were voting for Romney.  Only 18% were equally split, which is the lowest percentage among Republicans, Democrats or Independents voting for either candidate.

Interestingly, Independents voting for Romney were mostly likely to rate their vote decision as equally split between both.

“It’s not Republicans that are making Oklahoma one of the reddest states in the union, it’s Democrats,” said Shapard.  “President Obama has been a very polarizing figure in Oklahoma and has driven a wedge between Democrats in the state.  One to the right and one to the left.”

Shapard went on to note that Oklahoma’s party registration still favors Democrats and that the party use to be a “big tent” party of liberals, moderates and conservatives.  “President Obama is certainly not helping keep it that way,” Shapard said.

About the Poll

Three hundred and five (305) likely voters participated in this study, using a Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that included both cell phone and landline telephone numbers.  Likely voters were determined by utilizing an industry recognized likely voter screen.

The data collection was conducted by phone using live interviewers from October 18-24, 2012.  Results were weighted by age, sex, race and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).  A complete description of the methodology can be found at here.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.61 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

As a part of an industry effort, known as the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, to provide more disclosure of how polls are conducted, here is a comprehensive Sample Disposition and Rate Calculations report of this poll, which includes a disposition of all calls made from the sample and calculated response, cooperation, refusal, and contact rates as defined by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

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A new poll shows a new mandate in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,  is not popular in the state.  The survey of 305 likely voting Oklahomans found 57% opposed the new mandate and 33% supported it, with 10% undecided.

The new mandate includes free access to the morning-after and week-after pill, known as Plan B and Ella.  According to the Food and Drug Administration, the drugs can stop a fertilized egg from implanting into the wall of a woman’s uterus, thereby preventing a potential pregnancy.

In September, Hobby Lobby Stores sued the federal government, declaring that the mandate violates their rights to live and do business according to the evangelical Christian beliefs of its founder, David Green, and his family.  The lawsuit states the Green family’s religious beliefs “forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices.”

On Thursday, the federal government responded, urging a federal judge to deny the company’s request to block enforcement of the new mandate.  Failure to comply with the new mandate, could lead to fines of up to $1.3 million a day, according to Hobby Lobby.

Topline and Crosstab Report/Question wording:

“In September, locally-owned Hobby Lobby Stores sued the Federal Government over a new mandate in the Affordable Care Act, or otherwise known as Obamacare, that includes free access to the morning-after and week-after pill, known as Plan B and Ella.  According to the Food and Drug Administration, the drugs can stop a fertilized egg from implanting into the wall of a woman’s uterus, thereby preventing a potential pregnancy.

Hobby Lobby’s stance on the pills falls in line with its evangelical Christian beliefs of its founder and family, declaring that the mandate violates their rights to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.

Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE this new mandate in the Affordable Care Act that includes free access to the morning-after and week-after pill?”

Government attorneys claim that the company cannot claim to exercise religion in order to avoid laws designed to regulate commercial activity.

“Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion,” the government said. It says a corporation and its owners are separate entities and Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family, cannot eliminate the legal separation to impose their religious beliefs on the company and its employees.

Hobby Lobby is free to discourage the use of contraceptives, the government said, but an employee’s health care choices remain his or her own.

In the poll results, opposition was strong among Republicans with 73% opposing the mandate, but Democrats in the poll were nearly split with a plurality, 47%, supporting it and 42% opposing it.  Independents opposed the mandate 52%, and 32% supported of it.

Perhaps the largest divide was among self-identified liberals, moderates and conservatives.  Among those who identify themselves as “very liberal”, 79% supported the new mandate, while those identifying themselves as “very conservative” opposed it by 75%.  Another 75% of those who are “somewhat conservative” opposed the mandate, with an equal percentage of those who are “somewhat liberal” said they supported it.  Moderates slightly favored opposition but not by much, 45% to 43%.

A similar pattern of support and opposition develops with regard to the frequency of religious service attendance.  As one might expect, the more respondents in the poll attended services, the more opposition grew.  Those who attended services once a month or occasionally throughout the year supported the mandate 60% and 54%, respectively.

“The correlation of political ideology and religious service attendance to the amount of opposition shows the state is deeply divided over this issue and similar social issues our country faces today,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “But, keep in mind, a majority opposes this new mandate because a majority of the state is conservative and frequently attend religious services.”

Results among male and female respondents were comparable, with 56% and 57% opposing the mandate, respectively.

Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who is representing Hobby Lobby in the lawsuit said the government claiming businesspersons having no constitutional right to freedom of religion is “legally very weak.”

“The government repeats its old line: you give up your religious freedom when you go into business. That’s a startling and disturbing claim for our government to make,” said Windham.

Interestingly, opposition to the mandate remained fairly consistent among all age groups in the poll results, including younger voters. Although only a slim plurality of 25-34 year-old respondents opposed the new mandate (48% to 47%), a majority of all other age groups opposed it.

Also, opposition was strongest in the rural parts of the state and the Oklahoma City metro area, at 62% and 60%, respectively.  The Tulsa metro area slightly supported the mandate, 46% to 44%.

A hearing on the injunction is scheduled for Thursday of this week, November 1, before U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton.

About the Poll

Three hundred and five (305) likely voters participated in this study, using a Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that included both cell phone and landline telephone numbers.  Likely voters were determined by utilizing an industry recognized likely voter screen.

The data collection was conducted by phone using live interviewers from October 18-24, 2012.  Results were weighted by age, sex, race and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).  A complete description of the methodology can be found at here.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.61 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

As a part of an industry effort, known as the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, to provide more disclosure of how polls are conducted, here is a comprehensive Sample Disposition and Rate Calculations report of this poll, which includes a disposition of all calls made from the sample and calculated response, cooperation, refusal, and contact rates as defined by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

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Republicans remain more enthusiastic than Democrats in voting this year as in 2010, and Independents increased their enthusiasm in both general elections since 2008, according to a new poll by SoonerPoll.com.

The phone survey of 305 likely voting Oklahomans show 60% of Independents were more enthusiastic in voting this year than in previous elections, Republicans were 58% and Democrats were 46%.

While Independents only make up about five to seven percent of the turnout on Election Day, there may not be much to read into how this will affect the election here in Oklahoma.  But, all eyes are on the Republican and Democrat enthusiasm, where Republicans continue to out-pace Democrats — this year by just 13 points.

Here is another way to look at it.  Among just those in the poll who said they were more enthusiastic about voting this time than previous elections, slightly more than half (51%) were Republicans compared to 43% for Democrats.  Likewise, 59% of those who said they were less enthusiastic were Democrats compared to only 34% of Republicans.

An even more stark difference was found among respondents’ vote choice for president.  Among those most enthusiastic in voting, 68% were voting for Governor Mitt Romney while only 30% for President Barack Obama, a whopping 38 point spread.

For the state’s Democrats, this may not be a good sign as enthusiasm, or lack of it, at the top of the ballot can have an impact on voter turnout in down ticket races, such as those for the state house and senate.

Question wording, topline and crosstab results

“Romney supporters are finally getting more excited than Obama’s,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “Enthusiasm gets voters to the polls, more volunteers in the door, and money in the campaign account.”

Conservatives in Oklahoma also seem to be driving enthusiasm.  By a net 11 points, conservatives are more enthusiastic than less enthusiastic about voting in this election, but moderates and liberal voters had higher less enthusiasm than more — moderates by 11 points and liberal voters by two.

Most political observers agree that Romney’s increase in enthusiasm dates back to the first debate, in which the president even admitted it wasn’t his best performance.

“Conservatives were not necessarily on board with Romney during the primary,” Shapard said.  “He had been a moderate, pro-choice Republican governor from a blue state, but his performance in the first debate showed conservatives that Romney could potentially beat the president.”

The same trend also is appearing on the national stage.  In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 59 percent of Romney backers voiced “strong enthusiasm” for their candidate, a jump of 11 points in two weeks and a stunning 33-point leap since May.  Enthusiasm for the president was also higher in the same poll, but it was below where it was four years ago.

Nowhere could enthusiasm be more important than among demographic groups which typically have lower voter turnout.  One in particular is younger voters who, in 2008, were critical in the election of President Obama.  Earlier this month, Harvard University released a poll of 18- to 29-year-olds that showed the percent claiming they will definitely vote was down about 15 percentage points from 2008.

In the critical swing state of Ohio, the percentage of those highly enthusiastic is low among younger likely voters, according to the most recent Marist Poll. Of those 18-29, 51 percent said they were very enthusiastic, the lowest percentage among the various age groups.

Keith Gaddie, political science professor at the University of Oklahoma, felt enthusiasm may be best for Romney, but that Obama’s final two weeks was based on a different strategy.

“My conversations with colleagues at the national polling houses indicates that the Romney vote is more closely tied to enthusiasm, while Democratic intention to vote Obama is independent of any enthusiasm for voting,” said Gaddie.  “This presents different closing strategies — the Romney strategy has to be about momentum and enthusiasm, while the Obama strategy is about identification and mobilization.”

 

About the Poll

Three hundred and five (305) likely voters participated in this study, using a Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that included both cell phone and landline telephone numbers.  Likely voters were determined by utilizing an industry recognized likely voter screen.

The data collection was conducted by phone using live interviewers from October 18-24, 2012.  Results were weighted by age, sex, race and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).  A complete description of the methodology can be found at here.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.61 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

As a part of an industry effort, known as the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, to provide more disclosure of how polls are conducted, here is a comprehensive Sample Disposition and Rate Calculations report of this poll, which includes a disposition of all calls made from the sample and calculated response, cooperation, refusal, and contact rates as defined by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

 

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For those closely watching the electoral college’s movement this year, Oklahoma has never moved from the deepest of red colors.  And, today’s presidential race results will firmly keep it there.

In a survey of 305 likely voters taken by phone Oct 18-24th, 33 percent said they would vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama – a slight improvement from the 29 percent in August who, at that time, said they’d vote for the president.

Governor Mitt Romney remained at 58%, with President Obama’s gain since August coming from undecided voters, which now sits at just 8 percent.

“The main reason for Governor Romney’s dominance in the poll is his command of all of the top demographic groups,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “I expect that the remaining undecideds will pre-dominantly break for Governor Romney putting him above 60 percent on election day.”

Among Republicans, Romney commanded 90%, losing only 7% to President Obama.  Democrats in the state still favored the president with 55%, but the challenger was still able to win over nearly one in three Democrats (32%).  Obama also led among Independents, 47% to 37%, but Independents only make up about five to seven percent of the turnout on election day in Oklahoma.

With half of the all likely voters in the state identifying themselves as conservative, Romney had an overwhelming advantage with 85% of the “very conservative” respondents and 79% of the “somewhat conservative.”

Question wording, topline and crosstab results

While the rest of the nation closely watches the “gender gap” between President Obama and Governor Romney, the gap in Oklahoma is nearly non-existent.  Romney led Obama among male voters, 59% to 33%, and among female voters, 58% to 33%.

Among church goers, Romney led with 67% of those who attend church several times a week, and 57% of those who attend at least once a week.  Both of these high attendance subsets constitute 60% of likely voters in Oklahoma.

At the national level, much attention is paid to the youth vote which was a powerful component to Obama’s victory in 2008.  Many speculate that the job market is a key driver this year for the youth vote, where unemployment is high among those 25 and younger.  In the poll, 57% of those 34 and younger, which is only about 8 percent of the electorate, identified themselves as Romney voters with Obama getting 29% of them.  Romney led by double digits in every other age group.

Interestingly, Obama performed best in the Tulsa metro area, matching Romney with 46% in the poll, but trailed Romney in the Oklahoma City metro by 26 points, and 42 points in the rural areas of the state.

Romney led in all five congressional districts with the lowest in the Tulsa-dominated 1st district at 49%, and his highest in the southwestern 4th district, at 71%, that runs from Norman to Lawton.

In the much-watched 2nd congressional district, where Democrats are defending the open seat after the retirement of Rep. Dan Boren (D), Romney led with 55% to 29% for Obama.  Some political observers note that getting Romney Democrats to cross over and vote for Rob Wallace, the Democratic congressional candidate, will be the the Democrats’ greatest challenge.

In further analysis of the poll, Romney received:

  • 68% of white/Caucasian voters, who are about three-fourths of likely voters in the state.
  • 61% of respondents living in active military households.
  • 76% of those in retired military households.
  • 68% of federal employees, 67% of state employees and 56% of local government employees.
  • 64% of self-identified evangelical voters.
  • 65% among married respondents, who were 73% of all respondents.

President Obama’s best performances in the poll were few and typically among small portions of the Oklahoma electorate.  Take for example union households, which only constitute about one in ten in the state, Obama led in these households with 49%,  but Romney still garnered 40% of them.

In households with annual incomes under $35,000, Obama led by 11 points (52% to 41%), but these only make up about 22% of voters on election day.  Romney led Obama in every other income bracket with spreads between 51 and 21 points.

One question remains, will President Obama be able to win at least one county in Oklahoma this year?

“Doubtful,” Shapard said, “but there are several candidates in southeastern Oklahoma and Tulsa County, who went on to note that the president only trails Governor Romney by one point in Tulsa County, the second most populous county in the state.

 

About the Poll

Three hundred and five (305) likely voters participated in this study, using a Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that included both cell phone and landline telephone numbers.  Likely voters were determined by utilizing an industry recognized likely voter screen.

The data collection was conducted by phone using live interviewers from October 18-24, 2012.  Results were weighted by age, sex, race and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).  A complete description of the methodology can be found at here.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.61 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

As a part of an industry effort, known as the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, to provide more disclosure of how polls are conducted, here is a comprehensive Sample Disposition and Rate Calculations report of this poll, which includes a disposition of all calls made from the sample and calculated response, cooperation, refusal, and contact rates as defined by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

by -
4 21

A word of advice for any Oklahoma Democrat running for elected office this year: hide any photos of you with President Barack Obama. The latest polling numbers show the president is about as popular in Oklahoma as the heat.

Figures from the newly released Oklahoma Poll, conducted by SoonerPoll, have the president losing badly to Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Of the nearly 500 Oklahomans polled for the survey, only 29.4 percent said they will vote for Obama while 57.4 percent said they will vote for Romney with 13 percent unsure of whom they will vote for.

These latest numbers continue a depressing trend for the president’s favorability in Oklahoma. Obama’s unpopularity in the Sooner state has existed for as long as he has been a national political figure. In the 2008 race against John McCain, Obama did not win a single county in Oklahoma, the only state to make that claim. And polling throughout his term in the White House consistently shows Obama has never earned the trust of more than one-third of Oklahomans.

The dislike for Obama is across the board. Old, young, middle and upper income, high school and college graduates, regular and occasional church goers would rather see Romney in the White House.

Obama’s dismissal support among conservatives is expected, but intriguing is the president’s lack of support from traditional Democrat strengths. African Americans are the only minority in Oklahoma the president has solid support from. Oklahoma Asians and Native Americans favor Romney over the president while Hispanics are split. This is contrary to national trends which show the president with solid support among minority voters.

Question Wording:
“If the presidential election were today, and you are standing in the voting booth and you had to make a choice right now, who would you vote for?” [READ AND ROTATE]

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Mitt Romney
  3. Undecided/Refused [Do not read]

One other Democrat stronghold is also abandoning Obama in Oklahoma: government workers. The survey asked respondents whether they or anyone in their household are employed by the government, including teachers, police and fire workers and military members. Twenty percent identified themselves as a government employee.

Of that group, only 27 percent said they will vote for Obama this November. More than 60 percent are supporting Romney. Among the non-government employed respondents, 30 percent are supporting Obama while 56 percent support Romney.

Along education lines, Romney also has a strong showing. High school and college graduates give the presumptive Republican nominee more than 54 percent support. Post college graduate and vocational voters give Romney even higher marks. The president has some traction with voters who attended but did not graduate from high school.

Romney has an advantage across nearly all age groups. Twenty-five year-olds as well as voters over the age of 65 said they support Romney, with the GOP nominee getting at least 54 percent support in most age groups.

The areas Obama has stronger support include lower income, Oklahomans who attend church once a month and people who consider themselves moderates. Obama also has more support in Tulsa than Oklahoma City, but both figures are below 40 percent.

Obama has the support of more than two-thirds of voters who consider themselves liberals. Moderates favor the president over Romney 47 percent to 33 percent.

Since his election in 2008, Obama’s popularity has slid in Oklahoma. On election night four years ago, Obama received 34 percent of the vote. But since the election, each new Oklahoma Poll reveals declining job approval and voter sentiment numbers.

At first, Oklahomans seemed to give Obama a bit of a break, with 46 percent approval in the first three months of his presidency. But beginning in the summer of 2009, a steady decline set in, with the bottom coming during the 2010 mid-term elections where only 26 percent of Oklahomans approved of the president. The following Oklahoma Poll numbers showed slight up ticks, peaking with the killing of Osama Bin Laden in the summer of 2011. Obama’s approval nipped over 34 percent. But just a few months later, the backslide started and Obama was down below 30 percent once again. He has yet to climb over that number since.

About the Poll

Four hundred and ninety-five (495) likely voters participated in this study, using a Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that included both cell phone and landline telephone numbers.  Likely voters were determined by utilizing an industry recognized likely voter screen.

 The data collection was conducted by phone using live interviewers from July 26, 2012 to August 14, 2012.  Results were weighted by age, MSA and party and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4.4 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

A complete description of the methodology can be found at SoonerPoll.com.

As a part of an industry effort, known as the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, to provide more disclosure of how polls are conducted, here is a comprehensive Sample Disposition and Rate Calculations report of this poll, which includes a disposition of all calls made from the sample and calculated response, cooperation, refusal, and contact rates as defined by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

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