Home Blog

What far-right Republican legislators don’t understand about Oklahoma conservatism

2

There’s a crisis.  Your house is on fire and you call the fire department.  When they arrive, you then try to talk them into using no water at all to put the fire out.  This is what far-right Republicans in the State House have done for the past year.

In February, SoonerPoll, the state’s only independent non-partisan polling firm, found that nearly 70 percent of likely voters supported the Step Up initiative to address the funding shortfall with some new revenues and reforms as well, to fund core services and increase the pay of the state’s teachers.

Many far-right Republicans have asked me, “Bill, how can this be so?  Last year, SoonerPoll reported that Oklahomans wanted less government and no new taxes.  Now, you’re saying they want to pay more in taxes?”

This is what they do not understand. Philosophically, Oklahomans are conservative in their thinking.  We see this in every poll that we conduct where roughly 55 percent of Oklahoma likely voters identify as conservative in their political beliefs.  But, situationally, Oklahomans are much more pragmatic.  If there is a core service funding problem and good teachers are leaving the state, Oklahomans say fix it – even if that means new taxes. Keep in mind that in the Step Up poll, 66 percent of Republicans supported it.

But a small group of far-right Republicans just don’t get it. Once the crisis is resolved, it only takes 51 votes in the House to get rid of any tax increase in the future that’s not needed because of revenue increases from economic growth. Something we’ve been seeing lately.

Let me state for the record, you can be a conservative and vote the rare occasion to increase taxes. If this is not true, then more than half a million Oklahomans who view themselves as conservative are wrong.

Now, these far-right Republicans risk a super majority, or perhaps the majority itself, a mission Republicans have been working on for more than 80 years. It’s amazing that these far-right Republicans can’t see that, first and foremost, they must govern. And, just voting ‘No’ is not governing.

Governance cannot be simply dictated by philosophy alone. It requires that men and women engage in meaningful decision-making to guide public institutions toward the needs and wants of its citizens, which means, at times, it may deviate from one’s philosophical viewpoint. If our founding fathers had wanted philosophy alone to rule, they never would have created a legislature when a Constitution — a statement of philosophical beliefs — alone would have sufficed.

The fire was finally put out a few weeks ago when the legislature finally passed a bill, WITHOUT the help of these far-right Republicans I might add, and addressed a teacher pay increase that had been a decade in the making.

The question is, did these far-right Republicans burn the house down completely by not addressing the fire sooner?  We’ll all find out in November.

News9/Newson6: Lt. Governor poll shows very few are paying attention

0

If there was ever a time that the Lt. Governor’s office looked any more insignificant, it’s now. More than 78 percent of likely voting Republicans had no choice in the race with just a little more than 60 days before the election, according to an exclusive News/Newson6 poll.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE TOPLINE AND CROSSTAB RESULTS

With the teacher walkout commanding the full attention of Oklahomans, even the governor’s race had 35.5 percent of Republicans and nearly half of Democrats undecided in the race.

“This is why — if you’re a state elected official — you don’t want something like the teacher walkout happening months from an election,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll that conducted the poll, “candidates aren’t able to conduct critical campaign strategies like building name identification with the voters.”

State Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy led her two Republican opponents, but only 10 percent had selected her in the poll. She has been an elected official in the state for more than ten years.

A poll last month indicated that likely voters supported the idea of the governor and lieutenant governor running as a team rather than separately.

“When there is such a high number of undecideds this close to an election, this is when money makes the most difference and someone can come along and buy the second highest office in the state,” Shapard said.

[QUESTION] If the Republican primary election for lieutenant governor was TODAY and you were standing in the voting booth RIGHT NOW and had to make a choice, for whom would you vote? [RANDOM READ]

1. Dana Murphy 10.7%
2. Matt Pinnell 5.3
3. Dominque Damon Block Sr. 3.0
4. Eddie Fields 2.1
5. Don’t know 78.8

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted April 4-5, 2018 with 1033 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of SoonerPoll’s online panel and landline telephones which were conducted using IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology. The sample was weighted by age, gender, political party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 3.05 percent.

News9/Newson6: Voters say, despite teacher pay raise, still support walkout

5

In an exclusive poll for News9 and Newson6, 72 percent of likely voters continue to support the teacher walkout despite them receiving a $6100 increase in pay from legislation last week signed by the governor.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD COMPLETE TOPLINE AND CROSSTAB RESULTS

“What we’re seeing here is a run-away freight train of public opinion that will take more than a week to slow down,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.

[QUESTION] Last week, the governor signed legislation that gave Oklahoma’s public school teachers a $6100 increase in pay yet teachers are continuing their walkout. Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE the teachers’ walkout until all of their demands are met?

1. Strongly support 59.0%
2. Somewhat support 13.1
COMBINED SUPPORT 72.1
3. No opinion/Don’t know/Refused [DNR] 1.7
4. Somewhat oppose 11.8
5. Strongly oppose 14.3
COMBINED OPPOSE 26.1

Support was high among Republicans and self-identified conservatives as well, with 43.4 percent of Republicans “strongly supporting” the teacher walkout and another 15.7 percent somewhat supporting it. That’s a combined 59.1 percent in support among Republicans.

Sixty-five percent of Independents strongly supported the walkout as well.

“The tax increases passed to pay for teacher pay increase have not hit taxpayers’ pocketbooks yet and it will be a while before they do,” said Shapard. “Meanwhile, this freight train has been ten years in the making.”

Support or opposition was also tested on former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn’s new group that wants to place on the statewide ballot a state question to repeal the increased taxes which is funding the teacher pay increase.  Only 39.2 percent supported the repeal and 48.4 percent opposed it.

[QUESTION] Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn is leading a group that wants to place on the statewide ballot a state question to repeal the increased taxes which were a part of a bill that gave Oklahoma’s teachers a $6100 pay increase. Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE this state question?

1. Strongly support 22.0%
2. Somewhat support 17.2
COMBINED SUPPORT 39.2
3. No opinion/Don’t know/Refused [DNR] 12.4
4. Somewhat oppose 15.3
5. Strongly oppose 33.1
COMBINED OPPOSE 48.4

Republicans were more likely to support the state question on the tax repeal than Democrats or Independents, but only 43.5 percent supported it and 42.2 percent opposed it.

Likely voters were also asked about the new average teacher pay now that the $6100 increased was signed by the governor.

A plurality believed the new average pay is just the right amount, but a near equal percent, 39.5, believed the new average pay was still too little.

[QUESTION] Before the teacher pay raise, Oklahoma ranked 48th in average teacher pay before being adjusted for cost of living. With the $6100 pay increase that was signed last week by the governor, Oklahoma’s public school teachers now average $51,376, ranking them now 28th in the nation in pay and 11th in the nation after being adjusted for cost of living. Do you believe the new average pay is TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE or JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT?

1. Too much 11.6%
2. Too little 39.5
3. Just the right amount 41.2
4. Don’t know 7.7

Republicans were more likely to say that the new average pay was just the right amount, but 30.2 percent believed it was still too low.

Independents were the most likely to be evenly split on the matter, with 38.2 percent saying the new average pay was still too little and 34.5 percent saying the amount was just the right amount.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted April 4-5, 2018 with 1033 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of SoonerPoll’s online panel and landline telephones which were conducted using IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology. The sample was weighted by age, gender, political party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 3.05 percent.

News9/NewsOn6: Poll Shows Runoff Likely In Republican Race For Governor

0

BY NEWS ON 6 STAFF

An exclusive News On 6 poll asked more than 550 likely voters for their thoughts on who they’d vote for in the race for governor.

CLICK HERE FOR A COMPLETE TOPLINE AND CROSSTAB REPORT

In the Republican race, 22% of likely Republican voters said they support former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett. Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb is second with 21.2%. No other candidate tops 8% in the poll.

Undecideds among all Republicans were at 35.5%. However, in Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional district, a seat currently held by Rep. Jim Bridenstine, undecideds are at 49.3%.

[QUESTION] If the Republican primary election for governor was TODAY and you were standing in the voting booth RIGHT NOW and had to make a choice, for whom would you vote? [READ IN RANDOM ORDER]

1. Mick Cornett 22.0%
2. Todd Lamb 21.2
3. Kevin Stitt 7.8
4. Gary Richardson 7.2
5. Dan Fisher 3.7
6. Gary Jones 2.6
7. Undecided 35.5

Among the Democrats running for governor, former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson is the leader, with 34% of Democrat voters saying they support him. Former state senator Connie Johnson is second with about 12%.

Undecideds on the Democrat side were just shy of 50%.

[QUESTION] If the Democratic primary election for governor was TODAY and you were standing in the voting booth RIGHT NOW and had to make a choice, for whom would you vote? [READ IN RANDOM ORDER]

1. Drew Edmondson 34.2%
2. Connie Johnson 12.6
3. Norman Brown 3.6
4. Undecided 49.6

The primary election will be June 26, 2018.

As we reported last week, the same poll found strong support for teachers as they prepared for this week’s walkout to demand more funding for public education.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted March 14-22, 2018 with 557 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of SoonerPoll’s online panel and landline telephones which were conducted using IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology. The sample included 291 Republicans, 224 Democrats and 40 Independents who were asked the Democratic ballot since they are eligible to vote in the Democratic primary.

The sample was weighted by age, gender, political party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.15 percent. The Margin of Error for the Republican ballot was ± 5.74 percent and ± 6.04 percent for the Democratic ballot.

News9/Newson6: Oklahoma Voters In Favor Of Change To Support Teachers

0

BY: ASHLEY IZBICKI, NEWS ON 6

The results from an exclusive News on 6 poll, conducted by SoonerPoll.com, indicate that a majority of voters support changing the way money is allocated – and even changing the state constitution, if that’s what it takes.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TOPLINES AND CROSSTABS

Bill Shapard from SoonerPoll says, “I think people look at this and say, ‘that’s a crisis.’”

[QUESTION] Would you SUPPORT or OPPOSE allowing school districts to use property tax revenues that are currently used only to fund the construction or renovation of school facilities or the purchase of furniture, to fund teacher salaries as well?

1. Strongly support 30.2%
2. Somewhat support 33.3
COMBINED SUPPORT 63.5
3. No opinion/Don’t know/Refused [DNR] 11.3
4. Somewhat oppose 11.7
5. Strongly oppose 13.4
COMBINED OPPOSE 25.1

Right now, money collected from property taxes can only go toward construction or renovation of schools, or to buy furniture.

A combined 63.5 percent of voters say they support putting that money toward teacher salaries.  Thirty percent say they strongly support that change.

“What people are basically saying is…teachers are just as big a part of that school as the equipment, the desks, the classrooms,” said Shapard.

It’s the same story for changing the state constitution so school land office monies could fund teacher salaries.  53.2 percent are in strong support of this.

[QUESTION] The Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office oversees 750,000 acres of raw school land that collect incomes generated by leasing the raw land to farmers and ranchers. The fund has over $2.4 billion, of which $137 million was distributed to schools last year, however the monies are currently not used to fund teacher salaries due to strict controls laid out in the state constitution. Would you SUPPORT or OPPOSE a change to the constitution that allowed school land office monies to be used to fund teacher salaries?

1. Strongly support 53.2%
2. Somewhat support 26.0
COMBINED SUPPORT 79.2
3. No opinion/Don’t know/Refused [DNR] 7.6
4. Somewhat oppose 5.3
5. Strongly oppose 7.9
COMBINED OPPOSE 13.2

Shapard says, “I think that most people know instinctively that if there is something in our constitution that’s based upon some sort of old idea of the way to fund this or that, and it doesn’t fit with today’s current model, they want to change it.”

With a statewide school shutdown looming, SoonerPoll.com says Oklahomans are ready for solutions.

“Keep in mind, if this thing were to go two weeks and we go and survey them again, they may say something completely different to us,” stated Shapard.

More than 70 percent of people surveyed say they support a school shutdown, but when it comes to state workers striking in support of schools, voters are split with 49 percent in support, 45 percent opposed, and 6 percent undecided.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted March 14-22, 2018 with 557 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of SoonerPoll’s online panel and landline telephones which were conducted using IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology. The sample was weighted by age, gender, political party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.15 percent.

Majority of Oklahomans believe the governor and lieutenant governor should run as a team on the ballot

0

This election year, Oklahoma has candidates running for governor and lieutenant governor, but whoever is elected to both offices at the end of year will probably work very little together in leading our state if history has any insight into the future.

For most of Oklahoma’s history, and regardless of whether the governor and lieutenant governor were of the same political party or not, few have worked together as a leadership team once elected. The governor takes the leadership role and the lieutenant governor is left out of pretty much everything.

At a campaign event in Payne County this past January, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb referred to himself as a powerless spectator saying, “Trust me, I know. I have no stick. I have no carrot. I’ve never been in the budget negotiations,” when referring to legislative efforts to fix the state’s budget deficit.

According to the most recent SoonerPoll, Oklahoma’s likely voters would like that to change. Fifty-eight percent of likely voters support the idea of the governor and lieutenant governor running together on the ballot rather than running separately.

[QUESTION] Would you SUPPORT or OPPOSE making candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run together on the ballot like president and vice president rather than running separately?

1. Strongly support 36.7%
2. Somewhat support 21.4
COMBINED SUPPORT 58.1
3. No opinion/Don’t know/Refused [DNR] 17.5
4. Somewhat oppose 13.0
5. Strongly oppose 11.4
COMBINED OPPOSE 24.4

Broad-based support for the measure span all voters of the ideological spectrum, from liberal to conservative, and both political parties and Independents. Support was also high regardless of the poll participants’ age, race, or household income.

“Partnering the Governor and Lieutenant Governor is a common-sense move that will ensure we have a leadership team with a unified vision,” said Cordon DeKock, Vice President for Political Affairs at the State Chamber of Oklahoma, and a supporter of the legislation. “Aligning these positions will allow our officials to coordinate to provide more robust oversight of executive agencies and to accomplish other goals for the state.”

Currently, the state legislature is considering SJR 66, which would create a governor/lieutenant governor ticket where both candidates would appear on the ballot as one and leaves the selection process for how or when to select a running mate up to state statues.

If it passes, the measure would still need a vote of the people to change the state constitution and go into effect.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll, and were commissioned by the State Chamber of Oklahoma.

The scientific study was conducted from January 4-9, 2018 with 409 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, sex and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election. The weighting was conducted using a ‘layered technique.’

The sample reflects 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 (MoE) of ± 4.84 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll’s Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here.  A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Oklahomans support moving local school board elections to statewide election dates

1

The Oklahoma State Election Boards saves the first Tuesday of every month for an election, and some of those elections have very small turnout of voters.  According to the most recent SoonerPoll, likely voters support moving local school board elections to a statewide election date.

In an effort to increase voter participation and save money, the state legislature is currently considering HB 2082 that would move any school board general election to the April ballot instead of the much lower turnout February ballot if the contest is between only two candidates.  If the race is three or more candidates, the race would appear on the February ballot.

In 2017, 84 percent of the school board races were between only two candidates.

“The goal is to save taxpayer money, by reducing the number of days per year polling places need to be open,” said Cordon DeKock, Vice President for Political Affairs at the State Chamber of Oklahoma, and a supporter of the legislation.

“Additionally, voter participation is traditionally higher in April, so by consolidating the majority of the school board elections on the same date as the majority of municipal elections, we can have higher turnout for both,” DeKock said.

[QUESTION] Would you SUPPORT or OPPOSE moving local school board elections to statewide election dates to encourage voter participation?

1. Strongly support 41.3%
2. Somewhat support 30.3
3. No opinion/Don’t know/Refused [DNR] 12.7
4. Somewhat oppose 8.2
5. Strongly oppose 7.4

Support for moving local school board elections had broad support among voters from both parties and Independents, although Democrats expressed slightly stronger support than Republicans or Independents.

More than half of all self-identified liberals (51%) “strongly supported” moving school board elections, while only 41.3 percent of conservatives and 36 percent of Independents.

Strong support increased slightly, with an increase in the level of education, of the poll participant from 34.3 percent among high school graduates to 45.6 percent among those with advanced college degrees.

No significant differences were observed among poll participants within age group subsets, race, income level, suburban or rural voters, or various levels of church attendance.

Men, however, were almost 10 points more likely to support the move than women, 76.9 percent to 67.2 percent.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll, and was commissioned by the State Chamber of Oklahoma.

The scientific study was conducted from January 4-9, 2018 with 409 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, sex and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election. The weighting was conducted using a ‘layered technique.’

The sample reflects 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 (MoE) of ± 4.84 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll’s Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here.  A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Oklahomans overwhelmingly support the development of the proposed Wind Catcher Project

6

Oklahomans want to see more development of renewable energies in the state of Oklahoma, according to a recent likely voter study conducted by SoonerPoll.

The Wind Catcher Energy Connection is a wind energy project being proposed for development in the panhandle of Oklahoma.  The proposed project would be a 4.5 billion dollar investment in the state and would supply affordable, renewable energy to customers in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. The project would support approximately 8,400 jobs annually during construction and 80 permanent jobs once operational.

Overall, an overwhelming 75.5 percent support the project.  Of that support, the vast majority “strongly supported” the project, 45 percent to 30.5 percent who somewhat supported it.

Support was broad-based among likely voting Oklahomans of all ages, geographical location, political parties and ideological viewpoints, as well as among both men and women. Support was also strong regardless whether the participant lived in or outside the Public Service of Oklahoma (PSO) service area, where the Oklahoma share of the renewable energy will be provided.

When asked if they would be more likely or less likely to support the project if they knew that PSO customers would save around $2 billion over the 25-year life of the wind farm compared to projected market costs for procuring power over the same period, 68.2 percent of Oklahomans said they would be MORE likely to support it, with 44.1 points of the 68.2 percent MUCH MORE likely to support.

Overall, 78 percent of Oklahomans support the development of wind and other renewable sources of energy in the state of Oklahoma, which is an overwhelming percentage of the state’s voting population that see the tremendous impact renewable energy projects can have on the state’s economy.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s only independent, non-partisan public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by Invenergy and GE Renewable Energy.

The scientific study was conducted October 27, 2017 with 307 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a frame of landline telephone and conducted using IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology. The sample was weighted by age, party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 5.59 percent.

Oklahomans overwhelmingly support buying prescription drugs from Canada

0

The rising cost of prescription drugs is not a new story. But as continuing efforts to lower prices have had little effect, states including Oklahoma are starting to take matters into their own hands.  And, according to the most recent SoonerPoll, Oklahoma likely voters overwhelmingly want their state legislature to take action.

Currently, U.S. law bans people from buying most prescription drugs from Canada, even if they are just as safe and effective as those bought in the U.S.  However, there is already a provision in U.S. code specifically for proposals to import wholesale pharmaceutical drugs from Canada. It requires a state to draft and submit a plan to the secretary of Health and Human Services for approval.

SB 1381, which is currently before the Oklahoma state legislature, directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to draft a plan and seek approval. If it does not get federal approval, the Legislature would then study how to draft a plan that would pass, under the bill.

Over 70 percent of likely voters support this effort, including 77 percent of Independents, 73 percent of Democrats, and 67 percent of Republicans.

[QUESTION] Do you support state legislation that would allow the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada?

1. Yes, should be legal 70.7%
2. No, should not be legal 15.5
3. Don’t know/Refused [DNR] 13.8

Also in the poll, 68.8 percent reported they were currently taking prescription medications on a regular basis, with 27 percent saying they take four or five prescription medications and another 23 percent saying six or more.

Nearly one-in-four likely voting Oklahomans (23.8 percent) reported that they decided NOT to fill a prescription in the past two years because of the cost of the drug.

According to the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy, a total of 87 bills in 34 states all look to save money on prescription medications. Oklahoma is one of six states considering bills that would allow drugs to be imported from Canada, where a prescription drug cost an average 30 percent less than in the U.S.

“We know that the rise in prescription drug costs has significantly outpaced inflation, and for no rational reason,” said AARP Oklahoma State President Joe Ann Vermillion, “The fact that nearly one in four Oklahomans are not taking potentially lifesaving drugs due to the cost is unacceptable. With no action taken at the federal level, it is time for states to take the lead in lowering the unreasonably high cost of prescription drugs.”

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll, and were commissioned by the Oklahoma AARP.

The scientific study was conducted from January 4-9, 2018 with 409 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, sex and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election. The weighting was conducted using a ‘layered technique.’

The sample reflects 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 (MoE) of ± 4.84 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll’s Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here.  A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Without an increase in pay, Oklahoma may find itself with a lot less teachers

1

Oklahoma already doesn’t have enough teachers and, after the Step Up Plan failed in the State House last Monday, it may get worse. Before the start of the school year, it was estimated that there were 800+ vacancies in schools statewide.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TOPLINE REPORT

According to a recent SoonerPoll of teachers in the state, 34.4 percent of teachers strongly agreed that they have become more serious about stopping or retiring from teaching all together.

[QUESTION] Since the Step Up vote on Monday, I have begun to more seriously consider stopping or retiring from teaching all together.

1. Strongly agree 34.4%
2. Somewhat agree 24.4
3. Neutral/Don’t know 20.8
4. Somewhat disagree 8.2
5. Strongly disagree 12.2

An almost equal number strongly agreed that they have become more serious about changing professions or pursuing another career.

[QUESTION] Since the Step Up vote on Monday, I have begun to more seriously consider changing professions or pursuing another career.

1. Strongly agree 32.8%
2. Somewhat agree 25.0
3. Neutral/Don’t know 18.2
4. Somewhat disagree 9.7
5. Strongly disagree 14.3

And some are also seriously thinking about leaving the state to teach in other states.

[QUESTION] Since the Step Up vote on Monday, I have begun to more seriously consider leaving the state of Oklahoma and teaching in another state.

1. Strongly agree 32.4%
2. Somewhat agree 16.9
3. Neutral/Don’t know 19.4
4. Somewhat disagree 10.2
5. Strongly disagree 21.0

Teachers were split on which one they would pursue first, but none of the choices are good for the state.

[QUESTION] Which one do you believe you would pursue first or foremost?

1. Stop teaching or retire 25.0%
2. Change professions and pursue another career 32.6
3. Leave Oklahoma and teach in another state 32.4
4. Don’t know 10.0

Additional analysis of the data shows that older, more experienced teachers were more likely to retire from teaching, middle-aged teachers were more likely to change professions, and younger teachers were more likely to leave the state and teach elsewhere.

“Without an increase in pay,” said Bill Shapard, founder of the SoonerPoll, “it’s a triple threat to the teaching profession in the state.”

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the scientific online poll of 1,098 Oklahoma teachers.

The study was conducted online February 13-15, 2018 and respondents were selected at random among those with a teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma and registered to vote. Teachers were identified by filtering out only teachers who were currently employed, retired, or looking for a teaching position in the state.

Weighting was not required for the study as the demographical profile of the sample was very similar to the profile of all teachers in the state.

The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 2.88 percent.