Tags Posts tagged with "public opinion"

public opinion

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SoonerPoll found that likely Oklahoma voters cite a lack of job opportunities, an undereducated population and over dependency on the oil and gas industry as the top reasons a below average percentage of Oklahoma’s population is working.

Recent U.S. Census Bureau data revealed that 40.7 percent of Oklahoma’s population is working, compared with 45.4 percent nationally.  When respondents were asked what is most to blame for the disparity “Oklahoma’s lack of job opportunities” was the most popular response, with 26.7 percent.

“Oklahoma’s population is undereducated” and “Oklahoma is too dependent on the oil and gas industry” were the second and third most popular choices with 18.1 percent and 15.3 percent respectively.

See the Complete Results and Analysis

Crosstab analysis reveals only slight statistical deviations between the answers given by Republicans and Democrats.  However, when results are broken down by political label several correlations become apparent.

Results indicate that liberals are most likely to choose “Oklahoma is too dependent on the oil and gas industry” with 20.7 percent compared to 16.6 percent of moderates and just 13.6 percent of conservatives.

Similarly, liberals were most likely to blame “Oklahoma’s lack of job opportunities” and twice as likely as conservatives to say “Oklahoma has poor leadership.”  Further analysis reveals that 17.4 percent of conservatives had no opinion, making them twice as likely liberals to have no opinion.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster commissioned the poll.   The scientific study was conducted using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.

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SoonerPoll added a new question to the most recent Quarterly Poll, that is designed to gain an understanding of why likely Oklahoma voters feel the way they do about their elected officials.

We asked likely Oklahoma voters “What one word best describes your impression of Tom Coburn?”

Results reveal that 37 respondents answered ‘Conservative,’  making it the most popular response.    ‘Good’ and ‘Honest’ were the second and third most popular responses with 33 and 32 respondents respectively.

To illustrate these results, all of the responses were entered into a program called Wordle, which creates a “word cloud” that gives frequent responses greater prominence.

“Word clouds are perhaps the single greatest way to visualize one’s brand,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com and Shapard Research, a full service market research specializing in branding research.  “For politicians, their brand is a shorthand for the voter’s experience with them and a promise, of sorts, that past performance will indicate future results.”

“In elections, the candidate’s brand should be considered their greatest asset,” said Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma and vice president at SoonerPoll.com.  “A campaign, at its core, is designed to favorably define its own candidate’s brand and negatively define its opponent’s brand.”

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster commissioned and conducted the poll.   The scientific study was conducted using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.

To view a high quality version of the word cloud and a list of all the responses, please click here to download the PDF document.

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Early May approval ratings from SoonerPoll reveal that 33.6 percent of likely Oklahoma voters polled approve of the way President Barack Obama is doing his job. Though the president’s approval remains low in Oklahoma, it is a marked improvement from the steady decline that coincided with the run-up to the midterm elections which culminated in an all-time low of 26.1 percent in November.

In January of this year, SoonerPoll measured the president’s approval rating for the first time since the mid-term elections and found that 29.8 percent of those polled approved of the president. If January’s numbers represent the beginning of a recovery, then the latest numbers, which are just slightly lower than they were before the mid-term dip, may indicate a return to normalcy.

“The president’s numbers in Oklahoma have fallen to the Democratic national vote base in the state,” Keith Gaddie, Vice President of SoonerPoll.com, said. “While many Oklahomans gave the new president the benefit of the doubt after the 2008 election, events have not gone his way, and his approval rating fell, and continues at a very low level.”

Public perception is inextricably tied to current events. In all probability, the months surrounding the midterm elections, which were often marred by anti-establishment and anti-Democrat sentiments, are what led to the president’s midterm dip in approval.

Similarly, it may be important to note that the most recent approval rating numbers came from a poll that went in the field on May 2, the day after it was announced that Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, had been killed in a military action ordered by the president.

“There is often some bump after a significant foreign policy event, a ‘rally’ effect,” Gaddie noted. “The president enjoyed a small rally, but rallies depend on muting criticism, and they invariably fall away, especially in times of economic uncertainty.”

Of those who identify themselves as Democrats, 53.4 percent approve of the president. Democrats account for 77 percent of Obama’s approval rating.

Further analysis shows that 72.4 percent of self-identified liberals approve of the president. Liberals constituted 24.5 percent of those who approve of President Obama. Only 12.5 percent of conservatives and 10.6 percent of Republicans approve of the president.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster commissioned the poll. The scientific study was conducted using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.

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In a recent poll conducted by SoonerPoll, 53 percent of likely Oklahoma voters indicated that they would support a proposal to levy a $50 fee on Medicaid enrollees that smoke. The poll also revealed that 38.3 percent of likely Oklahoma voters polled would oppose such a proposal, while 8.7 percent had no opinion.

Jason Sutton, Health Care Policy Analyst at the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs, said these results show that Oklahomans recognize that unhealthy behaviors drive health costs to unsustainable limits.

“What Oklahomans are saying is that citizens who lead an unhealthy lifestyle in which they engage in unhealthy behavior should be held accountable when it comes to receiving tax payer subsidized health insurance,” Sutton said. “Oklahomans want Medicaid enrollees to have some skin in the game.”

OCPA’s Jason Sutton on Medicaid Fees

SoonerPoll’s Wesley Burt asks Jason Sutton, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Health Care Policy Analyst, about his take on the latest SoonerPoll results concerning a proposal to levy a fee on smokers who recieve Medicaid.

 

The question comes at a time when many states face Medicaid budget cuts while many of their citizens continue to enroll in the program. In April, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer put forward a similar proposal that also extends a $50 fee to both enrollees who smoke and overweight enrollees.

Sutton said that Oklahoma, like many other states, faces a situation similar to Arizona’s as the state’s Medicaid enrollment continues to increase, reaching unsustainable levels.

“The real benefit of extending a fee on unhealthy behavior has less to do with the monetary value of the fee collected and more to do with creating incentives for change.” Sutton said. “If you incentivize people by requiring some cost sharing on unhealthy behaviors then you will see less people engaging in these unhealthy behaviors, which, in the long run, will lower costs for the entire system.”

Crosstab analysis reveals bi partisan support as the percentage of Republicans and Democrats who would support such a proposal is within margin of error. When results are examined by party label it is revealed that conservatives are 10 points more likely to support the proposal than liberals with 54 and 44 percent respectively.

Crosstab analysis indicates no corresponding pattern between income and support. The results do reveal that 55.5 percent of those who make less than $35,000 a year, the most likely to be Medicaid users, would support the proposal.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.

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A SoonerPoll conducted in May reveals that 54.4 percent of likely Oklahoma voters think the current tax burden is too high. By comparison, 32.6 percent of respondents said they think the tax burden is about right and only 3.3 percent of respondents said the tax burden is too low.

Respondents were read the following question: “According to the Tax Foundation, the average Oklahoman worked from January 1 until April 2, 2011 to earn enough money to pay this year’s tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. That’s a total tax burden of roughly 25 percent. Do you think this tax burden is too low, too high, or just about right?”

“These results demonstrate that a majority of Oklahoma voters are rightly concerned with the amount of effort that the average taxpayer has to expend to fund government,” Jonathan Small, CPA and OCPA fiscal policy director, said.  “Oklahoma families are experiencing rising costs in order to purchase essentials such as gasoline, food, clothing and health care. Yet despite a recession, state government spending continues to climb, reaching an all-time high of $16.6 billion in Fiscal Year-2010.”

OCPA’s Brandon Dutcher on Taxes

Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Michael Carnuccio asks the Vice President for Policy Brandon Dutcher for his take on the latest SoonerPoll results concerning taxes.

 

When broken down by political party, the results reveal a similar “too low” response rate from Republican and Democratic respondents as 3.4 and 3.6 percent respectively answering “too low.” However, results also indicate that Republicans are 11.4 percentage points more likely to think the tax burden is too high while Democrats are 8.8 percentage points more likely to say “just about right.”

On the same poll, respondents were asked the following open‐ended question: “In your view, what is the maximum tax burden (federal, state, and local combined) a citizen should be required to shoulder?”

Results show that 53.3 percent of respondents indicated a percentage less than 25 percent, the number which was described in the preceding question as the percentage that the “average Oklahoman” pays each year.

According to the poll, 18.5 percent of respondents preferred a tax burden of 10 percent, while 17.7 percent preferred 15 percent. Results reveal that 17.9 percent of likely voters polled chose a response between 25 and 40 percent.

“Unfortunately, the politics of envy have historically been what have determined tax burdens,” Small said. “Policymakers need to ask a fundamental question: What portion of a person’s income – his property – should we take from him to fund government? And before we answer that question it might be wise to take a lesson from God himself, who somehow thought it was reasonable to take only 10 percent.”

Data also revealed that 1.2 percent said it depends on the taxpayers income, 0.4 percent said it should remain what it is now, while 2.4 percent indicated their support for a fair tax or flat tax system. Another 22.2 percent had no opinion.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.

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According to a recent SoonerPoll, 70.3 percent of likely Oklahoma voters believe that the current welfare system discourages marriage and should be changed. By comparison, 20.6 percent of respondents said the system does not need to be changed and 9 percent had no opinion.

Respondents were asked the following question: “Oftentimes, under Oklahoma’s current welfare system, a young woman can receive more financial benefits by remaining single than by marrying the father of her children. Other times, a woman who is already married, can receive more financial benefits by separating from or divorcing her husband. Some people say it is unwise to discourage marriage in this way, and that this policy should be changed. But, other people say marital status shouldn’t matter, and that the policy doesn’t need to be changed. Which view comes closer to your own?”

Most welfare programs in Oklahoma, and the rest of the United States, unintentionally create disincentives for single parents who would otherwise decide to get married through a policy of “means testing.” “Means testing” is policy designed to make sure that welfare programs only give assistance to families who need it.

This policy cuts off access to welfare programs to those who make more than a certain level of income decided by a federally‐set poverty level. Oftentimes, parents are better off staying unmarried since a spouse’s income will figure against their welfare benefits.

“Unfortunately, the ‘war on poverty’ really has been a war on the family,” said OCPA Fiscal Policy Director Jonathan Small, CPA. “I have family members and friends who have personally experienced the tough choice between marriage and government welfare, and all too often have chosen welfare, likely destroying their family and future generations.”

Small went on to say that since the ‘war on poverty’ began in the 1960s, the percentage of children born out of wedlock has increased from a little more than 6 percent to more than 40 percent.   For blacks, the percentage of births out of wedlock is over 72 percent.

Though encouraging marriage is often seen as a nonpartisan issue, further analysis reveals some variation of results along party lines. Independents are the most enthusiastic about changing the system with 76 percent in favor of change compared to 73.6 percent of Republicans and 66.7 Democrats.

Similarly, only 60.3 percent of liberals are in favor of changing the system compared to 76.5 percent of conservatives.

“No rational person disagrees with the fact that the intact two parent family is both the greatest incubator for success and the greatest, most consistent driver for economic achievement,” said Small.  “According to US Census data, more than 36 percent of single mothers with children were poor, compared to six percent of married couples with children. The overwhelming majority of poor families with children are single parent families, equaling 71 percent of all poor families with children. ”

When results are broken down by sex, men are more likely than women to support changing the welfare system with 74.4 percent of men in favor compared to just 67.4 percent of women. The crosstabs also reveal that 74 percent of evangelicals favor changing the policy, while only 66.8 percent of non-evangelicals would like the policy changed.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.

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A recent study conducted by SoonerPoll found that a majority of Oklahoma’s likely voters would prefer the state’s public universities to cut spending if less revenue is available.

The survey asked respondents to choose between the following options in the event of a revenue shortage: raise tuition; increase class size; delay new facilities; freeze faculty pay; reduce administrative overhead; require professors to teach more students and do less research; or raise taxes.

‘Reduce administrative overhead’ was the top response with support from 37.8 percent of respondents, followed by ‘delay new facilities’ with 12.8 percent. ‘Freeze faculty pay,’ the survey’s other cut spending oriented response, was chosen by 8.9 percent of respondents, bringing the cut spending category total to a 59.5 percent majority.

‘Raise tuition’ and ‘raise taxes’ were the two responses with the least support with 5.5 and 4.5 percent respectively.

“Taxpayers are wise to want to reduce administrative overhead,” said Brandon Dutcher, vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. “A recent report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, for example, found that in the five-year period ending in 2008, the University of Oklahoma more than doubled its spending on administration.”

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 508 likely voters from Jan. 24 – Feb. 3. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.35 percent.

The study found that when respondents were asked which option they next most prefer the three spending cut options remain the most appealing. ‘Delay new facilities’ was the most popular second preference with 23.7 percent, followed by ‘reduce administrative overhead’ and ‘freeze faculty pay’ with 20.5 and 14.2 percent respectively.

‘Raise tuition’ and ‘raise taxes’ remain the lowest preferences.

The survey also asked respondents to agree or disagree with the statement “Public colleges and universities in Oklahoma can be run more efficiently.” Results showed that 81.3 percent of respondents agreed, 57.9 percent strongly and 23.4 percent somewhat. Only 6.3 percent disagreed while 12.4 percent remain undecided.

Richard A. Burpee, a retired Air Force general who also served as a vice president at the University of Central Oklahoma for four years, said there is definitely room for increased efficiencies in higher education. “We need to take a hard look at how much teaching professors actually do,” Burpee said.

Respondents were also asked to agree or disagree with this statement: “Professors should be paid based on how much teaching they do, especially how many students they teach.”
A 63.4 percent majority agreed with the statement, 38.8 percent strongly agreed while 24.6 percent somewhat agreed. Only 24.8 percent disagreed, while 11.8 remained.

Similarly, with 9.1 percent of respondents in favor, ‘require professors to teach more students and do less research” was the third most popular response to what public universities should do in the event of a budget crisis.

“It’s not fair to parents to send kids to college only to have them be taught by teaching assistants,” Dutcher said. “We should demand that more professors follow the example of University of Oklahoma historian Dr. J. Rufus Fears and actually teach large numbers of students. Taxpayers deserve no less.”

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