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A Public Opinion Research Project Exploring Attitudes About Government Emily Ekins | Polling Director at Reason Foundation reason.com/poll.

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Presentation on theme: "A Public Opinion Research Project Exploring Attitudes About Government Emily Ekins | Polling Director at Reason Foundation reason.com/poll."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Public Opinion Research Project Exploring Attitudes About Government Emily Ekins | Polling Director at Reason Foundation reason.com/poll

2 POLLING YOUR AUDIENCE American Dream Coalition 2013 Emily Ekins | Polling Director at Reason Foundation

3 Why does polling matter? Understanding your audience What underlying assumptions are people making? Where are people coming from? Do demographics or partisanship predict support? Using survey questions to understand how the public makes trade-offs Telling a narrative Demonstrating to lawmakers what the public thinks about your policy proposals

4 Polling Basics Avoid biased, leading language Represent opponents’ views as accurately as possible to realistically measure public opinion Use a reputable pollster, use cell phones in the sample Ask baseline questions to calibrate with other polls If message testing, ask after baseline questions to avoid bias Be transparent with data and results

5 Which Method to Use? Survey TypeProsConsIdeal for Live Telephone Interviewing Landline & Cell Phones Most accurate, reaches young people, Latinos, and other harder to reach populations ExpensiveMeasuring national public opinion, impacting the media debate Robo Calls Landline Only * Not Allowed to Call Cell Phones Less ExpensiveLess accurate on hard to reach populations, overestimates Republican respondents Measuring older, conservative audiences, needs to be supplemented (i.e. Internet survey) to represent national population Internet- Based Surveys Probability Sample (Matching Method) Less ExpensiveProne to bias without the right methodology Measuring national public opinion*, Surveys of young people

6 Wisconsin Recall

7 In order to reduce state budget deficits do you support or oppose limiting collective bargaining… for public employee unions? …rights for public employee unions Oppose 52% Favor 43%

8 In order to reduce state budget deficits do you support or oppose limiting collective bargaining… for public employee unions? rights for public employee unions Oppose 52% Favor 43%

9 In order to reduce state budget deficits do you support or oppose limiting collective bargaining… for public employee unions? rights for public employee unions Oppose 52% Favor 43%

10 State level issues can have a national impact

11 Transportation

12 Most Americans are dissatisfied with the overall quality and condition of the transportation system Would you say the overall quality and condition of your area’s transportation system is excellent, good, fair, or poor? 51% are Unsatisfied

13 Half of Americans say traffic congestion is getting worse and expect it to worsen Compared to five years ago, would you say traffic congestion has gotten… Looking ahead, in the next five years do you think traffic congestion will get…

14 About a third of Americans say traffic congestion has gotten worse in recent years and expect it to get worse Next 5 Years 5 Years Ago WorseSameBetter Worse36%8%4% Same14%2%4% Better2%18%5%

15 About a third of Americans say traffic congestion has gotten worse in recent years and expect it to get worse Next 5 Years 5 Years Ago WorseSameBetter Worse36%8%4% Same14%2%4% Better2%18%5% More female College Graduate Nonpartisan

16 Americans prioritize funding for highways and roads over mass transit “We can’t end our traffic congestion problems by expanding current roads and building new ones. Instead we need better mass transit systems, so more funding should go to transit - even if that means roads and highways don’t get the money they need for repairs or expansion.” OR 2. “Most people, businesses and our economy rely on roads and highways. So roads and highways should get the level of funding they need - even if that means we are unable to offer more mass transit options.” Democratic Liberal Post-Graduates Nonwhite Often uses public transit

17 Majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans prioritize highway funding

18 Preference for Mass Transit Declines With Age

19 Although Most Americans Are Dissatisfied With the Transportation System & Expect Traffic Congestion to Worsen, 77% Oppose Raising Gas Tax The federal gas tax is currently 18.4 cents a gallon, and nearly all the revenue is used to pay for highways and transit. “Some say our roads and transit systems are crumbling and need more funding”. “Others say the government wastes a lot of the gas tax money it already receives”. Do you favor or oppose raising the federal gas tax?

20 Although Most Americans Are Dissatisfied With the Transportation System & Expect Traffic Congestion to Worsen, 77% Oppose Raising Gas Tax The federal gas tax is currently 18.4 cents a gallon, and nearly all the revenue is used to pay for highways and transit. “Some say our roads and transit systems are crumbling and need more funding”. “Others say the government wastes a lot of the gas tax money it already receives”. Do you favor or oppose raising the federal gas tax?

21 Americans expect government will waste their transportation tax dollars Do you think the government generally spends transportation funding ineffectively or effectively?

22 Americans prefer using toll roads to pay for highway and road expansion, partisans agree TollsTaxes Democrats58%32% Independents52%32% Republicans61%24% If your region expanded its highway system, would you prefer to pay for the new lanes or new highways by “raising taxes” or by “paying tolls when you drive on them”?

23 Most Americans say they would pay to use toll roads if it would save them time… If your area built a new toll lane or road and using it would save you a significant amount of time, would you pay a toll to use it?

24 Americans who live near toll roads are more favorable to using toll roads to fund highway expansion Toll Road in Area No Toll Roads in Area Tax Increase 23%32% Toll Roads 68%52% Don’t Know 9%16%

25 Americans who live near toll roads are more favorable to using toll roads to fund highway expansion Toll Road in Area No Toll Roads in Area Tax Increase 23%32% Toll Roads 68%52% Don’t Know 9%16% Slightly higher income and education Slightly lower income and education

26 Preference for Toll Roads Increases with Income, But Majorities of All Income Groups Favor

27 Preference for Toll Roads Increases with Education, But Majorities of All Education Groups Favor

28 How much would you pay to use toll roads?

29

30 Most Americans favor opening up HOV lanes to drivers who pay a toll To reduce traffic congestion, some regions are allowing individual drivers to pay a toll to use HOV lanes that have previously been reserved for cars with 2 or more people in them. Some say “this offers everyone a faster trip and brings in needed revenue.” Others say “it is unfair to low-income drivers”. Do you support or oppose allowing individual drivers use HOV lanes if they pay a toll? Is that strongly or somewhat?

31 Majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans favor opening up HOV lanes to drivers who pay a toll

32 Most Americans oppose adjustable rate tolls based on traffic congestion. Further research should find out why. Another plan being used to reduce congestion during rush hours is charging adjustable tolls on new toll roads. The tolls are higher at times when traffic is heavy and lower when traffic is light. Is that something you support or oppose? Is that strongly or somewhat?

33 Preference for adjustable rate toll roads less related to income, all income groups oppose

34 Preference for adjustable rate toll roads less related to education, all education groups oppose

35 56% of Americans support public-private partnerships to build and expand highways, airports, and other infrastructure projects Many governments are partnering with private companies to build and expand highways, airports and other infrastructure projects that government might not be able to afford otherwise. Do you favor or oppose these public-private partnerships?

36 Support for private-public partnerships increases with income

37 Support for private-public partnerships increases with education

38 Majorities of Democrats and Republicans favor private-public partnerships


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