By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
A surge in killings during the first half of the year has driven crime to the top of Tulsans’ concerns, the most recent Oklahoma Poll found.
Thirty-two percent of the 400 likely Tulsa voters surveyed June 1-5 said crime is the city’s most pressing problem.
That’s up from 11 percent in October 2011, the last time the question was asked only of Tulsans, and the highest since October 2007, when crime was the No. 1 concern of 36 percent of Tulsans.
“The ‘pressing problem’-type question for any kind of polling is very, very susceptible to current events,” said Bill Shapard, whose company SoonerPoll conducted the survey.
“It’s more of a read or an indicator on the current political climate,” Shapard said. “When immigration was being talked about … we had more people (concerned) about immigration. When the economy tanked, we had more people worried about jobs and economic development.”
Still, Shapard said, in his years of polling, he has noticed Tulsans seem more concerned than other Oklahomans about crime.
“It’s not a matter of media coverage,” he said. “It’s that Tulsans are more sensitive to the issue.”
Through Friday, Tulsa had 34 killings this year. That compares to 26 at the same time a year ago but is well off the record pace of 2009, when 71 homicides were committed here.
About the Oklahoma Poll
The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted June 1-5 by SoonerPoll.com, using a random digit-dialing technique that included cellphone and landline telephone numbers. Results were weighted by gender, age and party. The poll was sponsored by the Tulsa World. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
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.