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Ohio University surveys poll education, health care and politics

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 11, 2006) -- Ohio University students recently conducted two surveys that gathered the opinions of Ohioans on education, health care and politics. A political communication class taught by Jerry Miller of the School of Communication Studies conducted both surveys.

Ohioans think education and health care are the most important issues facing the state today. That’s the finding of a telephone survey of 615 randomly selected adults by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University. The survey was conducted from Sept. 24 to Oct. 5.

Heading the list is high school education which 70 percent of the respondents said is a very important issue. Health care is considered very important by 68 percent and both elementary education and health care insurance are considered very important by 65 percent.

Next came economic growth, considered very important by 61 percent and the cost of gasoline, considered very important by 59 percent. At the bottom of the list were tax increases, considered very important by 51 percent and minimum wage considered very important by 46 percent despite the fact that it is on the ballot next month. Sampling error for the survey is 4 percent.

Another survey found out that Ohioans have little trust of politics and politicians.  That is the finding of a telephone survey of 615 randomly selected adults by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University. The survey was conducted from Sept. 14 to Oct. 5. 

Forty-four percent of the respondents expressed lack of trust for their state government, while only 20 percent said they trust it. They don’t feel any better about their candidates for governor. Six percent expressed absolutely trust for Republican candidate Kenneth Blackwell, but 30 percent said they have no trust at all for him. Ten percent said they have absolute trust in Democratic candidate Ted Strickland, but 15 percent said they have no trust at all for him.

Many respondents also don’t trust the voting process, whether it is by voting machines or paper ballots. Twenty-eight percent expressed distrust of electronic voting machines, and 26 percent expressed distrust of paper ballots. The survey has a sampling error of 4 percent.

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Media Contact: Guido Stempel, (740) 593-2609 or stempel@ohio.edu

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