Thursday, March 17, 2016

Survey Research Center Releases Poll on State Budget Situation

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The University of New Orleans’ Survey Research Center conducted an automated telephone survey of registered Louisiana voters to analyze the public’s perception of the state’s current budget situation and to learn who residents believe is responsible. The poll, which was taken on March 13, also gauged the favorability rankings of the governor and the state legislature, as well as partisan preferences in the upcoming U.S. Senate election.

The survey was constructed by UNO graduate research assistant Tony Licciardi under the supervision of Edward Chervenak, the director of the UNO Survey Research Center. The sample of 631 respondents yields a 3.9 percent margin of error and matches the gender, age and race parameters from the voter file obtained from the Louisiana Secretary of State. Here are some of the results of the poll:

•  By an overwhelming 8 to 1 margin, people believed that the state is experiencing a financial crisis. While this sentiment was expressed by every demographic group, whites were more likely than African-Americans and women were more likely than men to report the belief that there was a budget crisis. There was little partisan disagreement on the opinion that Louisiana was facing a fiscal emergency.

•  Overall, the majority of respondents laid blame at the feet of former Gov. Bobby Jindal, while a tiny percentage attributed the state’s financial troubles to the current governor, John Bel Edwards. Over one-quarter of respondents communicated that the legislature bore responsibility for the budget crisis. 

•  Respondents were asked to rate the favorability of Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana state legislature. Edwards was viewed more favorably than unfavorably, enjoying a net nine-point positive rating. Approximately one-fourth of respondents had no opinion when invited to rate the governor.  

•  It was a much different story for the state legislature. The state legislature finds itself experiencing a serious favorability deficit, matched by the state’s budget deficit. Only 15 percent of respondents viewed the state legislature favorably, while 53 percent rated them as unfavorable for a net 38-point negative rating. About one-third of respondents did not express an opinion when asked to rate the legislature.

•  Louisiana will hold a U.S. Senate election in November 2016 with no incumbent in the race. Survey respondents were asked if the election were held today, would they vote for a Democrat, Republican, or they didn’t know. Overall 41 percent of respondents said they will vote for a Republican, 39 percent reported they will vote for a Democrat and 20 percent still had not decided who they would support.

To view the full survey, click here.

Since 1986, the UNO Survey Research Center has collected information about public opinions, beliefs and values on a wide range of social, economic and political issues. In that time, it has gained a reputation for accuracy and integrity in public opinion research.