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GeorGia’S

State of the State Poll

Costas Spirou, Ph.D. and Min Kim, Ph.D. Department of Government and Sociology Georgia College

Contents 1 3 5 9 13 19 23 27 31

Introduction Executive Summary Overall Direction and Key Issues Economy Political Leadership Government Education Health Care Survey Methodology

LIGHTHOUSE AT TYBEE ISLAND

2014 Georgia’s

State of the State Poll Georgia’s State of the State Poll (GSSP) is a statewide general survey of adults, age 18 and over, who are residents of the state of Georgia. The GSSP survey was conducted for the first time in spring of 2014 and included a combination of community, governmental, economic and special topical issue questions. Demographic data (age, location, gender, race, education, political ideology and income) offers additional information. A central aspect of public policymaking is the need for relevant, timely and accurate information. The GSSP will make a significant contribution to effective planning by engaging the state’s citizenry and increasing the understanding of various issues among policymakers and their constituents. The goals of the GSSP are to: • Gain a better understanding of resident attitudes and perceptions on key social, economic and political issues; • Educate Georgians about various issues facing the state; • Contribute to a statewide conversation; and • Inform current policy debates in order to improve the socioeconomic well-being of the state’s residents. We would like to thank the Office of the Provost and the Office of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean for their support of this project. Several faculty in the Department of Government and Sociology offered feedback on an earlier version of the survey; Brandy Kennedy, Jason Rich, Claire Sanders and Clif Wilkinson. Johnny Grant, director of community engagement and economic development at Georgia College, contributed to this project by providing critical insights on the instrument and by sharing his deep understanding of key issues facing the state. Finally, we would like to thank Lauren Crapo, graduate student in the MPA program and Erin Crisp and Katherine Hendley, undergraduate students in the political science program, for their assistance with data analysis. Costas Spirou, Ph.D. and Min Kim, Ph.D. Department of Government and Sociology Georgia College

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 1

MORGAN COUNTY COURTHOUSE

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 2

2014 Georgia’s

State of the State Poll executive Summary The Department of Government and Sociology at Georgia College has conducted its first Georgia’s State of the State Poll to find out about key issues facing the state and information about our political leaders. The survey was conducted by SSI, a national research leader in this area, from Feb. 5-18, 2014. The margin of error for the weighted sample is +/4.4 percentage points. among the respondents, the key highlights are: • Georgians are optimistic about the direction of the state. • Jobs, education and health care are the three most important issues facing the state. For minority residents, the issues of race and immigration are additional concerns. • Georgians do not expect significant changes in the economy during the coming year and would like to see greater effort on the economic development front. • Gov. Nathan Deal (Republican) and former Gov.Roy Barnes (Democrat) are the two politicians Georgians trust most. • The majority of Georgians are greatly dissatisfied with public education and would be willing to invest more money to improve the system. • Democrats have a slight advantage over Republicans to lead the state in the next four years. • A little over half of Georgians blame both the executive and legislative branches of government in Washington, D.C. for the recent federal shutdown (Oct. 1-16, 2013), followed by the president, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. • A strong majority of Georgians oppose the use of public funds to support professional stadium facilities (e.g. Atlanta Falcons/Atlanta Braves). • Over half of Georgians oppose the decision to decline Medicaid expansion. • Most Georgians strongly oppose the ObamaCare: Affordable Care Act. • One-third of Georgians report being impacted by recent cuts in state programs and services, with women being most affected. • Georgians support the deepening of the Savannah Port.

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 3

UPPER DESOTO FALLS IN THE CHATTAHOOCHEE NATIONAL FOREST

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 4

overall Direction and Key issues State’s Direction…

60 51.3 50

More than half (51.3%) of Georgians think that the state is moving in the Right Direction, with 33.9% indicating that the state is moving in the Wrong Direction.

40

33.9

30 20

14.8

10 0

Right Direction

Wrong Direction

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

Most important issue… The most important issues facing the state are Jobs (37.9%), Education (23.7%) and Health Care (14.1%). Residents from the middle part of the state report the highest concern with Jobs (40.7%) and Education (35.4%). Men report a greater concern with Jobs (45.4%) as do women (32.5%). Women also report great concern with Education (27.7%). AfricanAmericans also rank Racism (12.7%) higher, while Hispanics report Racism (14.5%), Immigration (10.5%) and Health Care (23.9%) as key issues.

40

37.9

35 30 23.7

25 20

14.1

15 10

4.3

5 0

Jobs

5.5

Education Health Immigration Crime Care

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 5

4.5

Racism

Most important issue…

South

50

Middle 40.4 40.7 38.5

40

North

35.4

34.4

Metro Atlanta 30 23.5 19.8

19.5

20

21.5

13

10

14.9 11.9

5.7 3.8

5.3

1.6 1.8

0

Jobs

50

Education

Health Care

11.1 5.2

4.6

3.8

3.9

2.8

1.1

Immigration

Crime

Racism

45.4 Men

40 32.5

Women 27.7

30

18

20

16.4 11

10

6.6 2.7

0

Jobs

50

Education

Health Care

Immigration

7.4 4.2

5.6

Crime

3.1

Racism

White

46.3 40.7

African-American

40 33.8

Hispanic 28.5

30

23.9 20

15.7

15.9 10.3

10

0

4.6 Jobs

Education

Health Care

12.7

10.5

10.2 2

Immigration

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 6

14.5

4.9 4.7 0 Crime

.9 Racism

THE OLD GOVERNOR’S MANSION, GEORGIA COLLEGE

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 7

ATLANTA SKYLINE

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 8

economy

economy a year from now…

Georgians believe that a year from now the state’s economy will be in about the Same Condition (42.5%); will be better (35.7%); will get Worse (17.1%). Almost a fourth (22.7%), express Strong Dissatisfaction with the economic development efforts taking place in their area. Just 12.3 % express Strong Satisfaction. Among all Racial/Ethnic groups, AfricanAmericans report the greatest level of overall Dissatisfaction with such efforts (64.0%).

50 42.5 40

35.7

30

20

17.1

10 4.6 0

Worse

About the Same

Better

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

economic Development efforts… 35

31.6 28.1

30 25

22.7

20 15

12.3

10 5.3 5 0

Very Satisfied

Somewhat Satisfied

Somewhat Dissatified

Very Dissatisfied

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 9

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

economic Development efforts… 60

White

52.6

AfricanAmerican

50 40

Hispanic

35.5 32.1 27

30

28.5

26.9

23.9

20.6 20

15.6

13.3 10

7.9

6.9

7.2 2.1

0

Very Satisfied

Somewhat Satisfied

Somewhat Dissatified

Very Dissatisfied

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

Regarding the use of public funds to support professional stadium facilities (new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons/Atlanta Braves), 76.2% of respondents oppose such action, while 19.0% support this type of public investment.

Public Funding for Professional Stadiums… 80

76.2

70 60 50 40 30 20

19

10 0

4.8 Yes

No

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 10

0

Savannah Port Deepening… Georgians are in support (56.3%) of the Savannah Port deepening project. 60

56.3

50 40 30

24 19.7

20 10 0

Yes

No

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

SAVANNAH

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 11

STARR'S MILL, A HISTORIC LANDMARK NEAR ATLANTA

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 12

Political leadership Among Republican politicians, Georgians trust Nathan Deal (16.7%), Casey Cagle (13.8%) and Saxby Chambliss (13.2%) the most. Those that declare themselves as Liberal trust Cagle (13.9%), Deal (13.1%) and Chambliss (12.9%). Those that declare themselves as Moderate trust Cagle (21.1%), Deal (12.3%) and Isakson (11.8%). Those that declare themselves as Conservative trust Deal (20.1%), Chambliss (15.4%) and Cagle (12.6%). Deal is the most trusted Republican politician among both women (15.5%) and men (18.4%).

Most Trusted republican‌

50

40.2 40

30

20

16.7 13.8

13.2 9.9 10

0

6.1

Nathan Deal

Johnny Isakson

Saxby Chambliss

Jack Kingston

Casey Cagle

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

25 Liberal

21.1

20.1 20

Moderate 15.4

15

13.1

12.3

10

11.8

13.9

12.9

Conservative 12.6

11.1 9.5

8.3

5

0

Nathan Deal

Johnny Iskason

Saxby Chambliss

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 13

Casey Cagle

Most Trusted republican… Women 20

18.4

Men 15.9

15.5

14.7

15

12.7

11.9

11.2

10 7.2 5

0

Nathan Deal

Johnny Iskason

Saxby Chambliss

Casey Cagle

Among Democrat politicians, Georgians trust Roy Barnes (20.1%), John Lewis (11.9%) and Kassim Reed (9.1%) the most. Those that declare themselves as Conservative trust Barnes (23.5%); Reed (9.4%) and Lewis (5.9%). Those that declare themselves as Moderate trust Barnes (22.8%), Lewis (21.2%) and Reed (8.9%). Those that declare themselves as Liberal trust Lewis (20.1%), Jason Carter (19.0%) and Barnes (13.4%). Barnes is the most trusted Democrat politician among women (23.1%) and Lewis among men (16.4%).

Most Trusted Democrat… 50

45.9

40

30 20.1

20 11.9 10

0

8.2

9.1 4.8

Jason Carter

Kassim Reed

Michele Nunn

John Lewis

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 14

Roy Did Not Know/ Barnes Did Not Respond

Most Trusted Democrat… 23.5 22.8

25

20

21.2 20.1

19

Liberal Moderate Conservative

15

10

13.4

8.6

8.9

9.4

7 3.8

5

0

5.9

Jason Carter

Kassim Reed

John Lewis

Roy Barnes

Most Trusted Democrat… Women 25

23.1

Men

20 16.4

15.8

15 10.5 10

8.5

8.8 7.7

7.2

5

0

Jason Carter

Kassim Reed

John Lewis

Roy Barnes

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 15

Georgians trust Democrats (40.2%) and Republicans (36.9%) to lead the state over the next four years. Women trust Democrats (45.9%) while men trust Republicans (40.6%). African-Americans trust Democrats (77.9%) and whites trust Republicans (51.1%).

Party to lead State Next Four Years… 50 40.2 40

36.9

30

20

15.2 7.6

10

0

Republican

Democrat

Other Party

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

Party to lead State Next Four Years… Women 50

45.9

Men

40.6 40 34.3

32.2

30 20.7 20 11.3 8.5

10

0

Republican

Democrat

Other Party

6.4

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 16

Party to lead State Next Four Years… 77.9

80

White 70 African-American 60 51.1

Hispanic

50 39.7

40 30.4 30

29.9 24.6 15.9

20 9.3

10 0

5.9 Republican

Democrat

Other Party

Most (50.4%) of Georgians hold the executive and legislative branches of government in Washington, D.C. responsible for the recent federal shutdown (Oct. 1-16, 2013). Next, they hold responsible the President (20.6%); U.S. Senate (16%); U.S. House (13.0%). Whites consider the president to be responsible for the federal shutdown (29.0%), with just 1.8% of African-Americans feeling the same way.

responsible for Federal Shutdown…

60

76.5

80

50.4 50

White 70

51.4 44.5

60

40

50

30

40

16

20

30

13

20

10 0

10 0

President

33.2

29

20.6

U.S. Senate

U.S. House

All

20.5

18.4 9.4 1.8 President

5.1

U.S. Senate

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 17

10.2

U.S. House

All

AfricanAmerican Hispanic

GEORGIA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 18

Government Most Trusted level of Government… Georgians trust about equally the various levels of government (Federal, State, County, City). The level of trust toward the Federal government among Liberals is 43.1%, while for Conservatives is just 18.1%. AfricanAmericans (39.4%) and Hispanics (52.6%) report the highest levels of satisfaction with the Federal Government.

30 25.6 25

22.2

21.4

19.9 20 15

10.9 10 5 0

Federal

State

County

City

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

Most Trusted level of Government… Liberal Moderate

50 43.1

Conservative

40

30

20

28.9

27.7

27.1 24.5 18.1

19.2

16.9 16.5

19.3

17 13.6

10

0

Federal

State

County

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 19

City

Most Trusted level of Government… White AfricanAmerican

60 52.6

Hispanic

50 39.4

40 30

20.4 21.4

20.1

23.5

27.3

25.5 20.9

20 7.8

10

0 0

Federal

State

County

City

Georgians report that the County/City level of government (36.8%) provides them with the greatest return on their tax investment, followed by the Federal Government (33.0%) and the State Government (20.8%).

Greatest return on Tax investment… 40 35

36.8 33

30 25 20.8 20 15 9.4

10 5 0

Federal

State

County/City

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 20

23.9

Regarding cuts in state programs and services, 66.7% of Georgians indicate that they have not been impacted by these actions. On the other hand, 31.1% report a direct impact of these cuts on their household. More women (34.9%) than men (25.7%) report that their households have being impacted by these cuts.

impact of State Cuts… 80 66.7

70 60 50 40 31.1 30 20 10 0

2.2 Yes

No

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

impact of State Cuts… Women 80 71.6 70

Men

63.3

60 50 40

34.9 25.7

30 20 10 0

1.8 Yes

No

2.8

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 21

BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 22

education Only 9% of Georgians report Strong Satisfaction with public education with 24.1% conveying Strong Dissatisfaction. Under half (40.3%) report that they are Somewhat Satisfied with public education. The greatest level of dissatisfaction with public education comes from South Georgia area residents (35.3%). 50

Public education Satisfaction… 40.3

40

30 24.1

24

20

10

9 2.6

0

Very Satisfied

Somewhat Satisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

Very Dissatisfied

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

Public education Satisfaction… North Middle 60

South 51.5

50

Metro Atlanta

45.4 38.9

40

35.3

34

30

27.6

24.3 19.7 16.7

20 11.4 10.4 10 0

9

Very Satisfied

23.1 16.8 17.4

8.5

Somewhat Satisfied

Somewhat Dissatisfied

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 23

Very Dissatisfied

When asked to consider paying more taxes to provide better educational opportunities for children, 53.5% indicate willingness to do so, while 44.3% would not pay more taxes. Both women (54.3%) and men (52.5%) would be willing to pay more in taxes to support education. African-Americans (72.7%) and Hispanics (84.4%) indicate the greatest level of willingness to pay more taxes to provide better educational opportunities for children.

Pay More to improve Public Schools… 60

53.5

50

44.3

40 30 20 10 2.2 0

Yes

No

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

Pay More to improve Public Schools… Women 60

54.3

Men

52.5

50

46 43.1

40 30 20 8

10

1.5 0

Yes

No

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 24

Pay More to improve Public Schools… Yes 100 No 84.4 80

72.7

60

52.9 45.7

40 24.5 15.6

20

0

White

African-American

Hispanic

NORTH GEORGIA WINE COUNTRY

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 25

CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 26

Health Care Georgians report disagreement (59.6%) with the decision to decline Medicaid expansion. The disagreement is higher among women (64.9%) than men (52.1%) and among African-Americans (82.9%) than Whites (51.1%).

Decision to Decline Medicaid expansion… 38.8

40 35 30 25

20.8

20

16

14.2

15

10.1 10 5 0

Strongly Agree

Somewhat Agree

Somewhat Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Decision to Decline Medicaid…

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

Women

50 Men

43.8 40 31.7 30 21.1 20.4

20.6 17.9

20 12.8

11.6

10

0

Strongly Agree

Somewhat Agree

Somewhat Disagree

Strongly Disagree

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 27

Decision to Decline Medicaid… 80 70

63.3

White

60 African-American 50

30

38.3

34.2

40

28.6 19.3

0

19.6

16.3

20 10

Hispanic

7.9

22.5 19.6 7.9

5.5

Strongly Agree

Somewhat Agree

Strongly Disagree

Somewhat Disagree

Georgians Strongly Oppose (41.0%) the ObamaCare: Affordable Care Act with 25.9% Strongly Favoring the Act. Men are more likely to Strongly Oppose the Act (45.6%) than women (37.8%). While African-Americans Strongly Favor (58.8%) the Act, whites Strongly Oppose (57.6%) the Act.

obamaCare: affordable Care act approval… 50 41 40

30

25.9 19.3

20

9.8 10 4 0

Strongly Favor

Somewhat Favor

Somewhat Oppose

Strongly Oppose

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 28

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

obamaCare: affordable Care act approval… Women 50

45.6 37.8

40

30

Men

28.2 22.6 18.5

20

20.5

10.1 10

9.2 5.4 2.1

0

Strongly Favor

Somewhat Favor

Somewhat Oppose

Strongly Oppose

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

obamaCare: affordable Care act approval…

White 58.8

60

57.6 African-American

51.7 50

Hispanic

40

20

14.5

14.1

13

10 0

28.7

27.4

30

10.3 5.1

Strongly Favor

7 3.5

Somewhat Favor

Somewhat Oppose

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 29

Strongly Oppose

5

3.4 0

Did Not Know/ Did Not Respond

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 30

Survey Methodology The 2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll was a telephone survey of randomly selected adults in the state of Georgia. Five hundred (500) Georgia adults were interviewed by landline and cellular telephone between Feb. 5 and Feb. 18, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.4%. This survey was conducted through the use of Random Digit Dialing (RDD). A sample of households in the area was selected via random digit dialing. The random sample used in the 2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll was provided by SSI. SSI screens each selected telephone number to eliminate non-working numbers, disconnected numbers, and business numbers to improve the efficiency of the sample, reducing the amount of time interviewers spend calling non-usable numbers. Each of these randomly generated telephone numbers is contacted by one of SSI interviewers. This selection process ensures that every adult (18 years of age or older) in the household has an equally likely chance of being included in the survey. Interviews were completed with 500 randomly selected adults in Georgia from a sample of 12,725 randomly selected telephone numbers. The data have been weighted to account for known biases of telephone surveys. The results presented here have been weighted to reflect current population demographics as reflected in the most recent available Census data. The data in the 2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll are weighted by the number of adults to equalize the chances that any one adult would be selected for inclusion. The data are also weighted by respondent sex, age and race. In addition to providing results for the state as a whole, some findings also are broken down by the four major regions of the state: North, Middle, South and Atlanta metropolitan area. The map illustrates the counties in each region.

2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll | 31

GEORGIA’S

State of the State POLL

For more information about Georgia’s State of the State Poll (GSSP) please contact: Costas Spirou, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Department of Government and Sociology Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 478-445-4562 costas.spirou@gcsu.edu


Georgia's State of the State Poll