Tag Archives: mtsu

Meningitis Vaccination Bill Goes to Gov

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The mother of a Middle Tennessee State University freshman who died after contracting meningitis says she hopes legislation headed to the governor for his likely signature will prevent the deaths of other college students.
The measure would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof they have gotten a meningitis shot. It passed the House 94-1 on Thursday and was unanimously approved by the Senate 30-0 earlier this month
“I know the bill is not going to bring my son back, but it will save someone’s life,” Shawna McIntosh said at a press conference after the bill passed the House. “I would suggest everyone get the vaccine.”
Jacob Nunley died last year less than 24 hours after contracting meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
Currently, MTSU and most other public colleges and universities in Tennessee only recommend getting the vaccination to prevent the contagious disease.

Continue reading

Senate Approves Meningitis Vaccination Bill

Legislation requiring incoming students at the state’s colleges and universities to be have a vaccination for meningitis won unanimous approval of the Senate Monday night and now advances to the House, where approval is also expected.
The bill by Sen. Lowe Finney, D-Jackson, (SB93) is named in “the Jacob Nunley Act,” in honor of an 18-year-old Middle Tennessee State University student from Dyersburg who died of meningitis last year. It requires proof of vaccination to all students living on campus starting with incoming students next year, except for those who have a medical condition that make the vaccination dangerous or a religious belief that conflicts with vaccinations.
The House companion measure is expected to be approved by the House Education Committee today.

MTSU Poll: Tennesseans Oppose Same-Sex Marriage and ‘Don’t Say Gay’

News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
Tennessee than nearly anywhere else in the country, but the state’s proposed “don’t say gay” law has little support, the latest MTSU Poll indicates.
“Though Tennesseans may be fairly characterized as extremely opposed to same-sex marriage at this point, whether and how homosexuality should be addressed in public schools is a very different matter,” said Dr. Jason Reineke, associate director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University.
A solid 62 percent majority of Tennesseans oppose “allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally,” while 28 percent are in favor, 6 percent don’t know, and the rest decline to answer, according to the poll.
This nearly two-thirds opposition in Tennessee to legalizing gay marriage is significantly higher than the 43 percent opposition registered nationally in surveys throughout 2012 by the Pew Center for the People and the Press1. It is higher even than the 56 percent opposition Pew found to be typical in 2012 of the South Central region that includes Tennessee as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

Continue reading

MTSU Tennessee Poll: Romney 59, Obama 34; Corker 59, Clayton 21

Republican Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 25 points in Tennessee, according to a new Middle Tennessee State University poll.
The telephone poll of 650 registered voters, conducted Oct. 16-21, found Romney supported by 59 percent versus just 34 percent for the Democratic incumbent with 6 percent undecided.
That would be substantially larger than Republican John McCain’s 15-point victory, 56-41 percent, in Tennessee’s 2008 presidential voting. It is also bigger margin for Romney than in earlier Tennessee this year. A Vanderbilt University poll in May had Romney leading 47-40 percent while a YouGov poll earlier in October had Romney leading 52-43 percent.
The MTSU poll showed 61 percent of those surveyed were white evangelical voters and, among such voters, Romney leads Obama 74-21 percent.
Only 12 percent of those surveyed were black. Among them, Obama had 91 percent support, MTSU reported.
n the U.S. Senate race, the poll found incumbent Republican Bob Corker leading Democrat Mark Clayton, who has been disavowed by his own party, by a 59 percent to 21 percent in the poll with about 12 percent undecided.

The full MTSU news release is below.

Continue reading

New Citizens Take Oath at MTSU

By Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Hundreds of people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Middle Tennessee State University on the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
About 300 men and women who have immigrated to Tennessee from all over the world gathered to take the naturalization oath on Constitution Day, 225 years after the ratification of the rules that dictate the powers of the federal government.
Normally these ceremonies are held in the federal courthouse in downtown Nashville, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe B. Brown held the court session in the large university gymnasium in front of family and friends of the newest U.S. citizens.
Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade spoke about the history of the Constitution and its amendments.

Continue reading

Some Details on MTSU’s Photo ID Polling

Most Tennesseans think the state’s new law requiring government-issued photo ID in order to vote is a “good idea,” but many remain confused about exactly what forms of identification are acceptable, according to a poll released this week by Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Mass Communication.
From the Chattanooga TFP:
Eighty-two percent of the 646 adults surveyed consider the new law “a good idea that should be kept in place.” Eleven percent consider the law “a bad idea that should be done away with.” The remainder aren’t sure.
However, while 93 percent know a current Tennessee driver’s license is acceptable and 81 percent know a valid military ID will do, only 21 percent know that an expired Tennessee driver’s license also will be accepted. Only 46 percent know that “a valid employee ID issued by a major automaker to a worker at one of its Tennessee plants” doesn’t qualify for voting purposes.
And just 29 percent know that a valid University of Tennessee student identification card would be unacceptable. The Republican bill specifically excluded IDs issued by private employers, public and private colleges and city and county governments.
The Republican bill specifically excluded IDs issued by private employers, public and private colleges and city and county governments.

Note: Bills pending in the legislature would open the door to use of college IDs, city and county IDs…. and make various other changes in photo ID law, up to and including complete repeal.

MTSU Poll: Santorum Leads Romney 40% to 19%; Voters OK With Photo ID

News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney among Tennessee Republicans heading into Super Tuesday’s primary, and both men appear to hold an edge over President Barack Obama among Tennesseans at large despite the president’s rebounding approval rating, the latest MTSU Poll results show.
Forty percent of Tennessee Republicans in the poll favor Santorum compared to 19 percent who prefer Romney. Another 13 percent support Newt Gingrich, and 11 percent back Ron Paul.
“Tennessee appears to be heading into Santorum’s Super Tuesday column,” said Dr. Jason Reineke, an assistant professor in the college’s School of Journalism and the MTSU Poll’s associate director. “Election watchers would be wise to remember, though, just how many factors polling cannot measure or foresee, especially in the context of a primary election.”
Additionally, the poll found that support is practically nonexistent for repealing a new state law that requires voters to present a photo ID when voting with 82 percent of state residents considering the new law “a good idea that should be kept in place.” Only 11 percent consider the law “a bad idea that should be done away with,” and the rest aren’t sure.

Continue reading

Cain on Script at MTSU — Even with Protests — as Campaign Crumbles

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain “ignored the elephant in the room” during a talk at Middle Tennessee State University Thursday evening, reports the Tennessean, failing to mention the future of his campaign amid allegations of martial misconduct. Instead, he stuck to the script – a lecture on business for MTSU students.
The Daily News Journal notes that his visit was disrupted by Occupy Murfreesboro protesters.
Midway through Cain’s presentation on his rise through the corporate ranks of Burger King and Godfather’s Pizza, four MTSU students stood and yelled, “Mic check. Mic check. We are the 99 percent. We are the 99 percent.”
Others shouted them down in the packed State Farm Room of the Business and Aerospace Building, but they still managed to get in a few words such as,
“You owe the American people an apology” and “Sexual abuse is not acceptable,” in reference to allegations that he sexually harassed women while leading the National Restaurant Association and carried on a 13-year affair with a Georgia woman.
Cain refused to respond at that point and noted he had told Jim Burton, dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business, he wouldn’t touch on politics.
Only toward the end of the evening when answering questions did Cain speak about the outburst by Occupy members, saying, “We have freedom of speech. Some people simply abuse it. The way I interpret it was they interrupted my party because they couldn’t attract their own.”

Note: Today’s national AP story on the status of the Cain campaign is below. (It includes a mention of the MTSU event.)

Continue reading

Tennesseans Cue-less on Some State Issues

(Note: This is a slightly modified version of a column appearing in Sunday’s News Sentinel.)
Ken Blake says one of the probable reasons Tennesseans seem to know a lot less about their state government and politics than about national issues is the shortage of heuristic cues. Another, of course, is the media.
Ask Tennesseans for an opinion about President Barack Obama, for example, and pollsters almost always get a definitive answer. But ask for an opinion about Gov. Bill Haslam, and a substantial number of residents don’t have a clue.
Blake is director of the Middle Tennessee State University poll, which reported on this last week, though that wasn’t exactly the emphasized point.
Most of the attention was on the not-so-surprising discovery that most of the opinions of Obama, 63 percent, are negative. Only about 6 percent had no opinion. For Haslam, the favorable opinion was 51 percent. But those wondering “Has who?” or otherwise expressing no opinion made up a bit more than 30 percent.
Similarly, a bunch of Tennesseans have no opinion on our state Legislature. And some of those who do, based on unscientific anecdotes reported by legislators themselves, often confuse Congress with the state-level lawmakers, calling them to, say, urge that they vote against “Obamacare” or oppose the Afghanistan war.
When the pollsters asked whether respondents were aware of the state’s new law requiring a photo ID to vote, which is probably the hottest October topic in Tennessee politics, 28.4 percent said they’d never heard of the thing. Of those that had heard about it, there was considerable confusion on details, such as the type of ID required.
Incidentally, the MTSU poll didn’t ask whether people who were aware of the new law thought it was a good thing or not. Republicans legislators who support the law say they polled before enactment and say it polled through the roof — better than 90 percent approval.
There are suspicions that GOP pollsters asked the question something like, “Would you favor preventing fraud by having voters present photo identification?” That could skew the results, observes Blake cautiously, since “not too many people are in favor of voter fraud” and listeners could figure that was part of the question. On the other hand, MTSU includes in its survey people who aren’t even registered to vote. The GOP concentrates on registered voters.
Blake says MTSU didn’t ask an approval question on photo ID because he didn’t know there was a repeal effort under way until the poll itself was already getting under way. Maybe next time.
Be that as it may, the heightened state of unawareness about Tennessee politics versus national politics, Blake suspects, may rest on media attention. At the national level, there’s a virtual media mob scene.
“We have a lot of really large, pressing national issues,” he said. “There’s a lot of media coverage of those issues — wars, the economy — so there’s just a lot more media content that people pay attention to.”
On the other hand, you can count full-time members of the state Capitol Hill Press Corps on your fingers (self included) while media in communities around the state are reasonably focused on local happenings, political and otherwise.
Then there are those heuristic cues. Coverage of national issues, Blake says, contains “a lot of partisan-based information” catering to a partisan audience, be it Democratic or Republican. So most people who align with parties immediately know where they stand and have an opinion — as in, “If Obama’s for it, then I’m against it.”
“When you have that sort of partisanship in the conversation, it makes it easier for people to have an opinion,” he said.
In other words, people have a cue of the heuristic variety on where they stand because of their source of information. That rings true, at least to some extent.
But there are doubtless other factors. Haslam, for example, seems to lack an opinion on many issues — a devotee of ambiguity, if you will. This may be seen as an attribute or a shortcoming, but in either case the lack of an opinion doesn’t inspire strong opinions about him.
People are cue-less. Most probably know he’s a Republican, but then some of our past governors who were Republican were widely suspected of moderation. Some Democrats, too. And, well, let’s acknowledge that some of our most hot-button state issues — voter ID, “don’t say gay” and incentive payments to corporations — may be interesting but do not reach the level of war-and-peace decisions.
An old adage proclaims ignorance is bliss. But I don’t know whether that’s true. But maybe if you polled it, the adage is popular enough to provide a heuristic cue.

MTSU Poll: Obama Unpopular in TN; Most Have Heard of Photo ID Law

News release from MTSU:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Any of the Republican presidential primary’s frontrunners would beat President Obama in Tennessee if the presidential election were held today, the latest MTSU Poll finds.
The same poll shows Obama’s job approval rate hitting an all-time low in Tennessee, and his disapproval rate hitting an all-time high. The poll also probed knowledge of the state’s new voter ID law, preferences for addressing the finances of the state’s lottery-funded college scholarship program, perceptions about the quality of Tennessee’s public schools, and attitudes on several other issues.
Conducted Oct. 3-14 by the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University, the scientifically valid telephone poll of 640 randomly selected Tennessee adults found Mitt Romney leading Obama by 44 percent to 29 percent, Rick Perry leading Obama 41 percent to 28 percent, and Herman Cain leading Obama 39 percent to 28 percent. In each match-up, between 14 and 16 percent of Tennesseans say they would vote for neither candidate, and another 14 to 19 percent are undecided or give no answer.

Continue reading