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Archive for Thursday, October 15, 2009

Poll out this morning takes temperature of Kansans

Most want coverage for all; new poll also reveals opinions on other vital issues

October 15, 2009

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From the economy to evolution to the environment, a new poll released Thursday gives voice to the opinions of Kansans.

The first “Kansas Speaks” survey by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University will be used as a baseline for an annual checkup on how Kansans feel about a multitude of issues.

“We want to give Kansans a voice,” said Gary Brinker, director of the Docking Institute. “National polls regularly take the pulse of Americans on vital issues, but the opinions of Kansans have remained mostly a matter of speculation. Until now, that is,” he said.

In the survey of more than 2,000 Kansans taken by telephone from April 28 to Sept. 8, nearly two-thirds say Kansas is an excellent or very good place to live. The sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.

When asked about the Kansas economy, 42 percent said it was good and 32 percent, fair. Eleven percent thought the state economy was excellent and 16 percent said it was in poor or very poor condition.

On the issue of taxes, more than half said they supported increasing taxes on large corporations and decreasing taxes on small businesses. Fifty-five percent favored keeping taxes on the middle class the same, while 41 percent said that taxes on the middle class should be lowered.

The issue of fossil fuels and the environment divided Kansans with slight majorities saying that the economic benefits of coal and oil production outweighed environmental concerns.

Fifty-three percent said they favored teaching both evolution and creationism in public schools.

There was a wide-range of opinion on health care issues, but 56 percent thought the government should make sure all Americans have coverage.

Other results showed that 52 percent of Kansans think public school funding should be increased, while 42 percent believe higher education funding should be increased. More than nine out of 10 think funding levels in those two areas should at least be maintained at the current level.

Comments

Practicality 5 years, 2 months ago

"Fifty-three percent said they favored teaching both evolution and creationism in public schools."

Sigh. What I want to know is how many want to just teach one or the other. 53% is not exactly a landslide of 2000 people polled.

KansasVoter 5 years, 2 months ago

"the survey of more than 2,000 Kansans taken by telephone from April 28 to Sept. 8"

This poll is worthless because if its small sample size and the fact that they only contacted people by phone during the summer. Most people don't bother answering the phone when they don't recognize the number and most people don't bother answering surveys if they do answer the phone. The majority of the respondents for this poll were probably lonely old people who were just happy to talk to someone on the phone.

WilburM 5 years, 2 months ago

RE Kansas voter comments: (1) the sample size is more than fine. You can do very well in KS with 600-800. (2) the "summer" issue is also not that relevant; polls get representative samples in the summer. But the big -- huge-- problem is that the survey was taken over 4 1/2 months. A survey is a "snapshot" -- and when the exposure is that long, unless the population stays completely still, the image will be blurred. It makes NO SENSE to do a survey over this amount of time, given changing condiditons and perceptions of conditions. Maybe some of the broad questions have some validity -- but by and large this was a waste of money.

kansasmutt 5 years, 2 months ago

Another factor is this. Less than 20% of homes now have a home phone for them to call. Of those few phones to call, 85% are the elderly over age 65 . The poll is totaly unusable and worthless to the real state of our state. The Dole institute, Republican background also involved in this poll. Neverless this poll is useless.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 2 months ago

KansasVoter, based upon your guidelines is there any poll that is credible?

I don't recall ever reading about the results of a poll taken door to door.

levicircle2 5 years, 2 months ago

Kansasmutt - I believe your figures are a bit exaggerated, but you're on the right track. Here is a quote from the report itself:

"Sample demographics were compared to known Census-based distributions. The sample matched closely with all except age and gender. Due mostly to lower usage of landline-based telephones among Kansans under 26 years of age and higher response rates among females and those over 55, the overall population estimates are biased toward the opinions of women and older Kansans."

So beyond the time-frame problem (4.5 months? Yikes!), it's also skewed demographically by their own admission.

Jimo 5 years, 2 months ago

KansasVoter - you couldn't be more wrong.

"This poll is worthless because if its small sample size ..."

There's nothing wrong with the sample size. The more accurate statement is that KansasVoter knows nothing about sampling. Besides, the point here is to track opinions over time. It will be the changes occur year-after-year that will be insightful.

"only contacted people by phone during the summer."

LOL winter is better? Look, they could have contact people only on July 4th and the poll still would have been fine.

"Most people don't bother answering the phone when they don't recognize the number and most people don't bother answering surveys if they do answer the phone."

Unless "most" people correlate to either "yes" or "no" this makes no difference. In fact, they're almost certainly distributed roughly in proportion along the lines of those who do answer the phone.

"The majority of the respondents for this poll were probably lonely old people who were just happy to talk to someone on the phone."

There's a chance that younger people, sometimes without land-line telephones, are undercounted - but not by much.

RogueThrill 5 years, 2 months ago

Science shouldn't be a popularity contest. You either want your kid to be taught current science, send them to a private school where they can learn the alternative or home school them. Or you can send them to sunday school.

You've got plenty of choices. You don't have to force your own choice on everyone.

BigDog 5 years, 2 months ago

This poll has to be invalid because it didn't end up showing exactly what some people wanted it to...... lol

It was supposed to come up with people: Favoring more spending on education Favoring increased taxes Extremely opposed to use of fossil fuels Extremely opposed to teaching the theory of creation along with the theory of evolution. Remember both are theories, neither are a scientific law. Oh and that the governement should provide us with the pony that we always wanted too ..... paid for by big education ..... i mean big insurance

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