Ohio Daily Blog

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Thursday, February 1, 2007

Looking at Quinnipiac Poll More Closely

Looking through the cross tabs in the second part of the Quinnipiac Poll, a few things jump out at me:

Ohio Likes Sherrod - The approval numbers for the new Senator are nearly as good as those for the new Governor, with just a few more people saying they don't know. The overall numbers for Ted are 45% approve, 12% disapprove, 43% don't know, while for Sherrod they are 42%/18%/40%. Interestingly, the category of white born-again evangelicals approves of each official to the same degree as does the general population. However, Sherrod has a steeper dropoff among Republicans (28% approval) than does Ted (34%).

Southeast Ohio LOVES Ted - Ted's approval numbers in his home territory are astronomical - 66% approve, 14% disapprove, 20% don't know. Compared to the statewide numbers, the "don't knows" are cut in half and almost all of them moved up to "approve." (To know him is to love him.) And, it seems to rub off on Ted's friend Sherrod. Sherrod's approval in southeast Ohio is the same as his approval in his home area of northeast Ohio (47%), and fewer people in Ted's home turf say they "don't know" Sherrod (30%) than in Sherrod's own neck of the woods (33%). What's up with that?

As to Schools, the Grass is NOT Greener on the Other Side - I don't know what to make of this. Ohioans are evenly split on whether Ohio public schools in general are excellent or good (48%) versus not so good or poor (48%), but when asked about the public schools in their own community, significantly more say the schools are excellent or good (68%) than not so good or poor (30%). Apparently the known quantity fares better than the unknown, or (another way of looking at it) the general reputation of public schools is lower than deserved. Something similar happens when people are asked about Congress: they disapprove of the institution as a whole, but tend to like their own representative.

Tepid Support for Increasing Taxes to Help Poorer School Districts, Except in the Southeast - Support for increasing spending on public schools in poorer districts is huge (70% favor, 2% oppose, 22% keep the same), but support for increasing state taxes to accomplish that goal is weak (47% favor, 47% oppose). It's not suprising that Democrats tend to support the tax increase idea (53% to 39%) or that women tend to support it somewhat (48% to 45%). The biggest support, however, is in Appalachia. Residents of southeast Ohio are much more supportive of a tax increase for this purpose (66% to 34%) than residents of any other region, none of which offer more than 49% support.

Ohioans Don't Mind Ted Delaying Three Executions - Although voters favor the death penalty over life without parole for convicted murders by a substantial margin (48% to 38%), there is little opposition to the governor's decision to delay three executions in order for him to review their cases more closely (60% support, 31% oppose). Even Republicans are okay with the delay (49% to 45%), though they are particularly adamant about favoring the death penalty over life without parole (63% to 24%). Men and women support the delay about equally (59% and 61% respectively), although men are much more likely to favor the death penalty over life without parole (54% to 33%) than women, who are about evenly divided (44% to 43%).

Geographic Support for Death Penalty Very Uneven - This surprises me. Liberal-leaning northeast Ohioans are the biggest supporters of the death penalty over life without parole (52% to 37%), while conservative southwestern Ohio doesn't really favor either one (42% to 43%), and southeastern Ohio actually prefers life without parole (40% to 45%).


At February 1, 2007 10:16 PM , redhorse said...

Past research bears this out: people feel more positively about their local public schools than they do other public schools.

I've seen all kinds of explanations for that, don't remember a damn one, and don't care to speculate. But I do know, it's a fairly common phenomena.


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