Tag Archives: polls

Vanderbilt Poll says 64% back Insure Tennessee; Ramsey dismisses finding

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An overwhelming majority of Tennesseans support Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s failed proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income residents, according to a new Vanderbilt University poll released Wednesday.

The results also show that about two in three voters think the state Legislature does not spend enough time on issues they care about. Still, the General Assembly’s 55 percent popularity rating remained unchanged from the university’s last poll in November.

Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal was defeated twice in Senate committees during the recently concluded legislative session. But the poll of 1,001 registered voters finds that 78 percent want the full Legislature to vote on the proposal. Sixty-four percent said they support Insure Tennessee, while 19 percent said they oppose it.

The poll also suggests that Haslam will face a tough path in trying to build support for a gas tax increase in Tennessee. Just 25 percent said they support increasing the tax for the first time in 25 years. Forty-six percent said they would oppose an increase.

Asked later about the poll, Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville jokingly asked his aides “Did you get that out of the trashcan yet?”

“All I know is I want to try to create the best policy for the state of Tennessee, and I’m not going to do it literally on polling,” Ramsey said.

“On both of these issues, whether it’s Insure Tennessee or on the gasoline tax, all of us as legislators usually have more information that the general public,” he said.
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TEA: Poll shows TN voters not concerned with charter schools, but want them accountable

News release from Tennessee Education Association:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Poll results released today by In the Public Interest (ITPI) and the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), national organizations with expertise in national and community-level education policy, found that registered voters in Tennessee are not concerned with school choice and strongly favor accountability for charter schools.

“When Tennesseans were asked to rank important issues facing the state’s public schools, school choice came in dead last,” said Barbara Gray, Arlington Community Schools administrator and TEA president. “This poll shows that legislators need to redirect their attention to the issues that really matter to Tennesseans, like parental involvement, over-emphasis on standardized testing and cuts to programs like physical education and music. School choice isn’t even on the radar of the average Tennessean, despite what some out-of-state groups may tell legislators.”

The poll of Tennessee voters, conducted by GBA Strategies on behalf of ITPI and CDP, was part of a larger nationwide survey on public opinion of charter schools.

In Tennessee, participants overwhelmingly favor charter school reform proposals and common sense accountability for these schools. Nearly 80 percent of participants strongly believe charter schools should not harm local public schools and should be held to the same accountability as public schools.

“Tennesseans believe in their local public schools,” said Gray. “The survey results are a clear indication that Tennesseans want their local schools protected and to see proper financial investment from the state in the public schools that already have a proven record of success.”

Poll results also revealed that nearly all registered Tennessee voters want charter school educators held to the same qualification standards as public schools and that charters be required to serve students with special needs at the same rates as local public schools.

TEA has worked with legislators to introduce legislation that directly addresses the issues raised in the poll. First, a TEA-backed bill would put a claw-back provision into place requiring charter schools with a high student turnover rate to return taxpayer money to the district. A second TEA bill would give parents the ability to sign a petition against a charter school taking over a local public school, or petition to close a failing charter school.

“I hope legislators will take to heart what we have learned from this poll – the only people who think charter schools and school choice are important for student success are the out-of-state organizations who seek to profit from these privatization schemes. Huge majorities of Tennessee voters support prioritizing neighborhood schools over charters, implementing more common sense accountability for charters and greater protections that taxpayer money is being spent appropriately by charter operators. It is important that Tennessee take a cautious, measured approach to any further charter expansion in our state.” the TEA president said.

Note: A memo on the poll, giving some more details, is available by clicking this link: TEApollmemo

MTSU Poll: Most favor some abortion restrictions, oppose gay marriage and gas tax hike

News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Tennesseans favor some, but not all, of several proposed abortion rules pending in the state Legislature, the latest MTSU Poll finds.

On two other issues, meanwhile, the Jan. 25-27 poll of 600 randomly selected Tennessee adults found majority opposition to permitting same-sex marriage and to increasing Tennessee’s tax on gasoline.

Ken Blake, director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University, said attitudes toward abortion regulation in Tennessee appear nuanced and strongly tied to religious identity. The poll’s margin of error is 4 percentage points.

“Across every form of abortion regulation we asked about in the poll, the proportion in favor of it came in more than 10 percentage points higher among evangelical Christians than among non-evangelicals,” Blake said.

“But both groups have reservations about the same things. For example, evangelicals and non-evangelicals alike are less likely to favor describing an ultrasound image to a woman who has refused to look at it than to favor requiring her doctor to talk to her about abortion risks, benefits and alternatives.”
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MTSU Poll: Haslam approved by 64%, Obama by 37%; Legislature 49%, Congress 15%

News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — In general, Tennesseans rate their state government leaders better than those in the federal government, according to the latest statewide MTSU Poll.

“It is a very interesting time to be a political observer in the state of Tennessee,” said Jason Reineke, associate director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University. “State and national issues are currently overlapping in fascinating ways.”

The poll randomly surveyed 600 adult residents statewide Jan. 25-27 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Haslam riding high
Gov. Bill Haslam’s approval rating has rebounded noticeably to 64 percent compared to a year ago (47 percent in the spring 2014 poll), with only 18 percent of Tennesseans disapproving and the remaining 19 percent saying they don’t know or refuse to answer the question.

Across demographics and political affiliation, pluralities or majorities approve of the job the governor is doing.

Legislature holding its own
Meanwhile, a 49 percent plurality of Tennesseans approve of the job the Tennessee General Assembly is doing, while only 25 percent disapprove and 26 percent say that they don’t know or refuse to answer.

Approval has a partisan tilt, however, with 67 percent of self-identified Republicans saying they approve and only 9 percent disapproving. That compares to a 42-percent plurality of Democrats disapproving while 35 percent approve.

Among independents, 49 percent approve, 29 percent disapprove.

Still no fans of Obama
Turning to the federal government, only 37 percent of Tennesseans approve of President Barack Obama’s performance, while 52 percent disapprove and the rest say they don’t know or refuse to answer.

These figures are comparable to Obama’s approval numbers in the state since spring of 2011, Reineke noted.

Predictably, Tennessee Democrats tend to strongly approve of Obama (80 percent) and Republicans tend to disapprove even more strongly (87 percent). Independents also tend to disapprove (57 percent).

Congress even worse overall
The U.S. Congress, however, fares worse with a 70 percent disapproval. Only 15 percent of Tennesseans approve of how Congress is handling its job and the rest don’t know or refuse to answer. Furthermore, majorities disapprove across demographic and political differences.

Tennesseans approve of their own U.S. senators markedly more than of Congress as a whole, though.

• Alexander: A 47 percent plurality approve of the job Lamar Alexander is doing, while 32 percent disapprove and 21 percent say they don’t know or refuse to answer.

• Corker: A similar 44 percent plurality approve of the job Bob Corker is doing while 27 percent disapprove and 29 percent say they don’t know or refuse to answer.

Find previous MTSU Poll results at www.mtsupoll.org.

Interviews for the poll were conducted by Issues & Answers Network Inc., which completed 600 telephone surveys among a random sample of Tennessee residents aged 18 and over.

Data was collected using Tennessee statewide RDD sample with a mix of 80 percent landline and 20 percent cell phones. The average interview length was 13 minutes.

Quotas by gender and geographic region were implemented to ensure the sampled respondents were representative of Tennessee’s adult population. U.S. Census Bureau data were used to determine the gender distribution each of Tennessee’s Grand Divisions: East, Middle, and West.

The survey’s margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points, meaning that we are 95 percent confident that the actual result lies within 4 percentage points (in either direction) of the result our sample produced.

Haslam-provided polling: ‘Informed’ Republicans solidly back Insure TN

In conjunction with the opening of the legislature’s special session on Insure Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam’s press office provided to media poll results showing strong support for his proposal among Tennesseans who know about it, especially after being “informed.”

The North Star Opinion Research poll summary from surveying registered Republican voters, for the leading example, shows only 9 percent support for Obamacare, but “uninformed” support for Insure Tennessee is listed at 44 percent with 16 percent opposed and 40 percent undecided. After being “informed,” the surveyed Republicans supported Insure Tennessee supported 60 percent to 24 percent.

The survey also reported that Republican voters, asked whether they would be more or less likely to support a legislator who voted for Insure Tennessee, found that 53 percent were more likely versus 25 percent less likely. The rest didn’t know.

The North Star poll summary is available by clicking on this link: northstar_001

A similar survey of Republicans in state House District 24 by Public Opinion Strategies – the seat is held by Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, who has been attacked for supporting Insure Tennessee by Americans for Prosperity in radio ads and mailers – found similar results.

A summary of that poll, as provided, is available by clicking on this link: POSpoll

Note: MTSU has the only previously-released Insure Tennessee poll. Post of the MTSU release on it is HERE.

Further, from The Tennessean:
Conducted by North Star Opinion Research, a GOP polling firm, the poll focuses on Republican opinions. After contacting 400 people who identify as Republicans, the pollsters say the majority support the plan once they learn more about it, and would be more likely to vote for a lawmaker who also supports the plan.

“It is critically important that Republicans hear the case for the plan. If all they hear are the arguments against the plan, the levels of support found in this survey will never materialize,” states a memo from the polling firm.

More from the poll:

After pollsters made statements defined as arguments for and against Insure Tennessee, 61 percent said they support the plan compared to 26 percent who oppose it, while 14 percent remained undecided.

Of those polled, 52 percent said they’d be more likely to vote for a lawmaker if he or she supports the plan, compared to 29 percent who say they’d be less likely to support their politician if the lawmaker supports the governor.

Of those who said they support the Tea Party, 60 percent said they support Insure Tennessee.

Of those who consider themselves “very conservative voters,” 56 percent support Insure Tennessee.

89 percent of Republicans approve of Haslam. The poll says the administration should continue to brand the plan as the governor’s based on that popularity.

MTSU Poll: Among those aware of Insure TN, more support than oppose

Results of a Middle Tennessee State University poll released Saturday indicate most Tennesseans don’t know much about Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal – but, among those who are somewhat familiar with it, far more support than oppose.

Here’s the MTSU Poll news release:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Two-thirds of Tennesseans haven’t heard much about Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” health care proposal, but among the third who have, support substantially outweighs opposition, according to the latest MTSU Poll.

The poll randomly surveyed 600 adult residents statewide a week before a special legislative session kicks off Monday to consider the measure. The survey’s margin of error is 4 percentage points.

“Gov. Haslam has gotten a notable head start in promoting the measure among Tennesseans,” said Ken Blake, director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University. “But his opponents have a lot of maneuvering room left among the two in three Tennesseans who are still largely unaware of the measure.”

Conducted Jan. 25-27, the poll first asked Tennesseans how much they had heard about “a proposal from Gov. Bill Haslam called ‘Insure Tennessee,’ which is designed to provide health insurance for Tennesseans who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford coverage on their own.” A follow-up question asked how they felt “right now about the governor’s ‘Insure Tennessee’ proposal.”

According to the results:

• Thirty-three percent of Tennesseans have read or heard “a lot” (10 percent) or “some” (23 percent) about “Insure Tennessee,” while 66 percent have heard either “a little” (31 percent) or “nothing at all” (36 percent).

• Among the 33 percent who have at least some information, 49 percent favor the proposal, 11 percent oppose it, and 40 percent are unsure or haven’t made up their minds.

• Meanwhile, among the 66 percent who have heard little or nothing, 69 percent don’t know how they feel about it, while 26 percent expressed support, and 5 percent, opposition.

• Overall, regardless of how much they have read or heard about the measure, 34 percent favor Insure Tennessee, 7 percent oppose it, and 59 percent remain uncertain.
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Vanderbilt Poll finds most Tennesseans support Medicaid expansion, like Haslam

News release from Vanderbilt University:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Though still unconvinced of the overall merits of the Affordable Care Act, registered voters in Tennessee continue to say they favor accepting federal dollars to expand the state Medicaid program.

Fifty-six percent of those asked by the Vanderbilt Poll Nov.10-20 said they strongly or somewhat support expanding Medicaid to provide medical care for people living on low incomes. This support is not new, since a majority of the public was also supportive of Medicaid expansion a year ago in the December 2013 Vanderbilt poll.

Gov. Bill Haslam has been negotiating with federal officials about expanding Medicaid, despite resistance from Republicans in the state legislature who have stated they will not support any such plan. Legislation was enacted this year requiring the governor to get approval from the General Assembly on any Medicaid expansion plan.

The ACA itself continues to be unpopular among Tennessee voters, but nearly one-third of registered voters remain unconvinced one way or the other. Forty-four percent of registered voters say they generally feel unfavorable to it. Twenty percent felt generally favorable toward it, but 35 percent said they haven’t heard enough about it to form an opinion.

The Vanderbilt Poll is conducted just prior and then after each session of the Tennessee General Assembly, in order to gauge how closely the concerns of citizens align with their representatives in Nashville. The November 2014 poll surveyed 949 registered voters.
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MTSU Poll: Amendment 3 outcome uncertain; Haslam leads Charlie Brown 50-19, Alexander over Ball 42-26

News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
The election night fate of a proposed amendment constitutionally banning a state income tax remains uncertain, given close percentages of supporters and opponents and a large proportion of undecided voters, the latest statewide MTSU Poll shows.

Meanwhile, Republican incumbents Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander hold substantial leads over their challengers in the Nov. 4 election despite the tumble their approval ratings took last spring.

The amendment to constitutionally ban a state income tax, known as Amendment 3, drew the support of 30 percent of registered voters, while a statistically equivalent 25 percent oppose it, and 24 percent are unsure. Fourteen percent of respondents said they would cast no vote at all, and the rest decline to answer.

The recent poll of 600 registered voters has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Amendment 3 would constitutionally prohibit the legislature from levying, authorizing or permitting a state or local tax on income. The amendment carves out an exception for the state’s existing tax on some income from stocks and interest.

“Given the statistical tie between supporters and opponents as well as the large number of voters who are still making up their minds, we can’t say for sure from these poll results how Amendment 3 will fare,” said Jason Reineke, associate director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University.

“Remember, too, that, in order to pass, the amendment will have to receive a number of votes equal to a majority of however many votes are cast in the race for governor. In our sample, 166 likely voters said they supported the amendment, while 416 planned to cast a vote in the race for governor. That comes to only about 40 percent. So, Amendment 3 appears to have some ground to cover among all of those voters who are still undecided about it.”
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MTSU poll on Amendment 1: Yes leads, maybe, with some head-scratching

A new Middle Tennessee State University poll indicates the anti-abortion state constitutional amendment may be in for a close vote with, maybe, an edge for supporters.

From a Richard Locker report:

The poll, conducted Oct. 22-26 with 600 completed telephone surveys of registered voters, indicates that 39 percent are for Amendment 1, 32 percent are against and 15 percent are undecided. Another 8 percent said they aren’t voting on the issue and 6 percent would not state their position.

However, among poll respondents who either voted already or say they definitely plan to vote, Amendment 1 leads 38 percent to 33 percent, a slightly narrower margin that can’t rule out a statistical tie among members of that group, said Dr. Ken Blake, director of the MTSU Poll.

“For many people, the biggest surprises in this part of our poll probably will be just how close this race is and how important the relatively large number of still undecided voters are,” Blake said.

The 7-percentage-point lead that supporters hold over opponents among registered voters “is just a shade too large to be considered a statistical tie, Blake said. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“But the undecideds could swing the outcome either way on election night,” he said.

Complicating the poll’s results is the double-tiered threshold that amendment supporters must jump for the amendment to be ratified. An amendment must win more Yes votes than No votes, and the number of Yes votes must equal at least 50 percent plus 1 vote of the total number of votes cast for governor, which is also on the ballot.

Dr. Jason Reineke, the MTSU Poll’s associate director, said it is unclear whether the amendment will draw a majority of the number of votes cast in the race for governor.

“In our poll, 214 likely voters said they are in favor of the amendment while 416 likely voters support a gubernatorial candidate. If we go by those numbers alone, the number of votes in favor of the amendment is equal to 51 percent of the total number of decided, likely votes in the gubernatorial race,” Reineke said. “This would be enough to push the amendment past the 50 percent plus one vote threshold required by the state constitution, though just barely.”

But Reineke said that another 74 likely voters in the poll said they’re not sure whom they prefer in the governor’s race. “If even half of the people in the population they represent end up casting a vote for governor but don’t vote in favor of the amendment, then we get 214 votes in favor of the amendment compared to 453 governor’s race votes, which brings us to only 47 percent. Then there were also 84 likely voters who were not sure about their position on Amendment 1. So once again, a lot depends on what voters who are still undecided at this late date end up doing.”

Poll finds Alexander leading Ball 55-33 with leaners

A new New York Times/CBS News/YouGov tracking poll shows U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander leading Democratic challenger Gordon Ball — but still polling under 50 percent of likely voters, according to the Commercial Appeal.

When poll respondents who indicated they are “leaning” Republican or Democratic in the race are included, however, Alexander was leading 55 to 33 percent in the poll of 974 likely voters conducted Oct. 16-23. Without the leaners, Alexander led 47 to 30 percent when respondents were asked which candidate they would vote for in the Senate election.

…The poll may be somewhat skewed because it did not include enough respondents in either the 18 to 29 age category nor the Hispanic category to include those voters in the breakdowns by age and race.

The poll indicates Alexander had the backing of 81 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of those who identified themselves as independents and 5 percent of Democrats, while Ball had the support of 75 percent of Democrats polled, 18 percent of independents and 3 percent of Republicans.