Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Election Polling: Women Lead the Way, Secretary of State and Measure 97 Up In Air

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by dhm-research

With our partner, Oregon Public Broadcasting, we recently fielded a telephone survey of 600 registered voters across the state to assess opinions as we head towards November 8th. Topics included impressions of elected officials and candidates for office, and support for a variety of ballot measures in Oregon. See below for our full take!

For good measure, here’s a download of the above memo.

 

In Sickness and in Health Reform

Posted on: October 4th, 2016 by dhm-research

In the September 2016 DHM Panel, we asked Oregonians about their perceptions of healthcare, including the Affordable Care Act. The results indicate that Oregonians have mixed feelings about the Affordable Care Act, but desire additional changes to our healthcare system.

 

Back to School: Oregon’s Priorities for Public Education

Posted on: September 6th, 2016 by dhm-research

As Oregon heads back to school, we asked our DHM Panel about their perceptions and priorities for public education. The survey was conducted from August 11-17, 2016, and included 598 Oregonians. Results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample. The margin of error for this survey ranges from +/-3.7% to +/-4.1%.

Some clear takeaways emerged when it comes to Oregonians’ priorities about public education. Their back-to-school wish list might read something like this: focus on K-12, educate beyond workplace preparedness, and reduce class sizes. See below for full analysis.

We also asked questions about community college. Our results suggest that Oregonians view community colleges favorably, see them as providing a unique and important role in preparing young people for the workplace, and desire more funding for these institutions. Read on for more!

Keep your eyes peeled on Twitter for more results from our “Back to School” edition of our DHM Panel. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have — find us @DHMResearch!

Downloads:

 

Our Past, Present and Future: Time for Oregon to Come Together?

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 by dhm-research

For the July edition of the DHM Panel, we sought to get a better understanding of how Oregonians view our past, present, and future. Our online panel regularly provides Northwest residents with the opportunity to weigh in on issues that affect their state, community, and daily lives.

Our findings indicate that Oregonians remain divided — some things are timeless — by political affiliation, geography, education and age. Read on below for the full take!

We’re always happy to answer questions on Twitter — find us @DHMResearch!

To download the above document click here: July 2016 Panel

Full results for the survey can be found here: DHM Panel Survey — Blogpost — Annot — July 2016

The State of Housing in Oregon

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by dhm-research

Background

In October 2015 the City of Portland declared a state of emergency on housing. Portland is not alone, as Los Angeles, Seattle, and the state of Hawaii have also declared states of emergencies in response to shifts in the housing market and rising homelessness in their communities. While Oregon has yet to take such an action statewide, housing and homelessness are raising to become top priorities for voters. Community groups and elected leaders are debating solutions for the difficulties facing our communities, and housing and homelessness are likely to be a focus of the elections this fall. The following data offer a glimpse into where Oregonians stand today on the issues of housing and homelessness in the state, and what they think should be done.

 

Methodology

DHM Research conducted an online survey of 687 Oregon residents participating in our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted in May 2016. It asked Oregonians about their opinions on the current state of housing and homelessness across the state, and presented participants with a series of potential policies that could be enacted. Demographic information, including current housing situation, was collected to assess if perceptions of housing and homelessness differed by sub-group categories.

 

Key Findings

While Oregonians are in overwhelming agreement that the state is currently in a housing crisis, there is less clarity as to preferred solutions, or if solutions are needed. Most view the crisis as a result of increased demand for housing, as opposed to laying blame on government. When it comes to what should be done, Oregonians are split as to who should be tasked with leading the charge on affordable housing or what kinds of solutions they prefer.

  • Some 83% agree that Oregon is in the midst of a housing crisis, with 44% strongly agreeing. Strong majorities holding this stance were observed across all demographics, with the lowest agreement rating at 74% for Republicans, as compared to 89% of Democrats.
  • When asked what they thought the primary cause of rising housing costs was, 37% of Oregonians said that “the market is responding to an increase in population and desirability” and an additional 26% blamed people with higher incomes moving to Oregon. This suggests that most ascribe the increase to demand-side economics. Almost half (46%) of those outside of the Willamette Valley and Tri-County areas placed blame on those moving to Oregon.
  • No consensus emerged as to who Oregonians think should be most responsible for addressing affordable housing needs generally, or which government entity should be responsible for building and administering subsidized housing across the state. Strong pluralities of non-affiliated voters/independents (46%) and Republicans (44%) believe that the market will correct itself, as compared to just 7% of Democrats.
  • Investing in community land trusts, changing zoning to allow greater density and mixing of commercial and residential spaces, and relaxing restrictions and fees on ADUs were the preferred policies to improve the supply and affordability of housing.
  • In terms of curbing rapidly rising rents, Oregonians responded most positively to rent control (“Improve a lot” or “somewhat”: 72%), inclusionary zoning (67%) and creating a local funding source for rental assistance (63%).

While there is overall consensus that the state is in a housing crisis, perceptions differed based on the degree to which participants were personally affected by the crisis. Renters, those spending more than 30% of their monthly income on housing expenses, and Oregonians making less than $25K annually stood out through the survey.

  • Some 22% of Oregonians say that if an emergency were to arise that would cost them $1,000, they would be unable to pay for both the costs incurred by the emergency and their housing costs. Oregonians making less than $25K annually were notably vulnerable, with 63% saying they would not be able to pay for the emergency and their rent or mortgage. Almost half (49%) of cost-burdened Oregonians said they would not be able to pay, as compared to just 9% of those who met HUD’s definition of an affordable housing situation. Four in ten (40%) renters were also at risk, in comparison to just 18% of homeowners.
  • Renters (72%) and those with incomes under $25K (69%) were the most likely of all subgroups tested to disagree with the claim that rising housing prices were a sign of economic growth, and good for the state.
  • Renters in Oregon were more likely to believe that the number of those experiencing homelessness is directly related to the cost of housing and should be mitigated with housing policies (49%) than to view housing and homelessness as separate issues (47%).

As a whole, Oregonians view housing and homelessness as separate issues. While they recognize that rising housing costs have impacted homelessness and that homelessness has increased over the past few months, they still believe that solutions focusing on short-term shelters, mental health, and addiction services would be most effective.

  • An overwhelming majority (68%) believe that the number of people experiencing homelessness in the state has increased in the last six months.
  • Some 68% agreed that homelessness should be viewed and treated as its own separate issue, as compared to 28% who believe that homelessness and housing costs are intertwined, and that housing based solutions would be most effective.
  • Consistent with this, participants identified unemployment (36%), poverty (32%) and personal choice (32%) as one of the three main causes of homelessness more often than they did so for a lack of affordable housing (22%).
  • Participants were asked which of four housing initiatives in response to homelessness would be the most effective policy: 42% said that focusing on emergency shelters and transitional facilities would be the most effective. Policies focusing on providing assistance for those at risk of losing their homes (18%), increasing the stock of affordable housing (17%), or offering rental assistance to those currently experiencing homelessness (13%) were favored by fewer Oregonians.

Please find the complete survey DHM Panel Survey — Housing — annot — May 2016.

DHM Vice President joins Washington Transportation Fraternity

Posted on: June 8th, 2016 by dhm-research

DHM Research Vice President and National Director, Sarah Fulton, recently joined the “Road Gang,” one of Washington DC’s premier transportation fraternities.

“Given that transportation is a significant practice area at DHM, our participation in the Road Gang most certainly will prove to be both valuable and informative,” DHM Vice President Sarah Fulton noted.

In 1942 when the Road Gang was organized, there were only 25 participating members who met for regular meetings at the Willard Hotel. Soon after its inception, however, an increasing number of local highway transportation executives learned about the fraternity and began attending the luncheon meetings that the Road Gang hosts every other Thursday. The Road Gang has increased steadily in size, and its membership showcases a variety of transportation professionals. It continues to preserve its informal “off-the-record” atmosphere, and its programs have touched on practically every facet of highway transportation activity. The organization currently has a membership of approximately 300 individuals including business and government executives, highway engineers and consultants, press and public relations specialists, company representatives, members of Congress, and trade association officials from the highway transportation industry.

What really adds to the dynamism of the Road Gang is its mixture of camaraderie and formal tradition. One of the important facets of the Road Gang continues to be its lively bi-monthly luncheon addresses on current highway and transportation issues, particularly when legislative matters are pending.

Inquiries to: Sarah Fulton at 202.756.7435

Why It’s Getting Harder to Learn What the Public Thinks

Posted on: May 18th, 2016 by dhm-research
Public officials need to understand how opinion research is evolving to meet modern challenges.

BY | APRIL 25, 2016

Opinion research has helped government with planning and policymaking for decades. But the shifting technological landscape, along with changing demographics and lifestyles, are challenging conventional opinion-research techniques, making it more difficult to learn what the public thinks. Government officials need to become aware of these changes and their impacts on research methodologies, validity, statistical relatability, cost and project timelines.

Telephone polling has long provided public officials with valuable information. Phone surveys have asked voters about ballot measures for road-maintenance funding; state or city residents about affordable-housing options; neighborhood residents about higher-density development; and business leaders about the importance of promoting international trade. Focus groups and other forms of qualitative research have supported survey questionnaire development and helped to elaborate survey findings.

All of this is changing. The biggest change? Well, what do you do when your phone rings? More and more, people look at the number and if they don’t recognize it, they don’t answer. Or if they do answer, they get off the line as quickly as possible — often without waiting to find out what the survey is really about. A growing refusal to participate in surveys is the single biggest development the opinion-research industry is dealing with. The upshot is that many more phone numbers are needed to complete a valid, statistically reliable survey — so many more that completing a survey with a representative sample of residents is impossible in many communities. There just aren’t enough numbers to call.

And when people do answer the phone and agree to participate in a survey, it’s more difficult to keep them on the line as long as in the past. Our era of sound bites and 140-character tweets makes it hard to complete the lengthy questionnaires that government officials are used to fielding in their efforts to gather in-depth information.

The rise of the cellphone represents a third cultural shift. More than four in 10 Americans rely on cellphones alone with no residential landline, and the rate is even higher among young adults and some communities of color. This change has made survey research more expensive. Federal regulations require that cellphone numbers be dialed manually, as opposed to using the auto-dialers that reach landline numbers. Interviewers also must screen respondents to ensure they are in a safe place, and catch them when they are available to talk for possibly an extended period about potentially sensitive topics that require privacy.

Partly in response to these challenges, researchers have begun using professionally recruited and maintained panels for regular online surveys. The best of these consist of people of all different demographics and lifestyles, recruited through different means. Participants receive some form of compensation, similar to the honorariums offered to focus-group participants.

Long disdained by academics and telephone-survey purists, these panels nevertheless are becoming increasingly common. And done well — using demographic quotas and statistical weighting to assure representative samples — online panels should be accepted as a legitimate sample source for public-sector surveys. In fact, they offer certain advantages over telephone surveys, including the ability to display visuals, such as pictures and maps; to collect verbatim responses to open-ended questions, yielding more valid content analysis; and to use tradeoff techniques — pressing respondents to choose between key variables — that are not possible with telephone-surveys. They are also less expensive.

The evolution of new approaches and blending conventional and new methodologies to adapt to and take advantage of social and technological change is good news for government officials. Knowing what the public thinks about what government is doing — and is thinking about doing — is as important as ever.

 

This article originally appeared in Governing magazine. You can see the original article here.

Oregon Votes: DHM’s Latest Primary Polling

Posted on: May 12th, 2016 by dhm-research

As Oregonians fill out their ballots and lick their stamps in anticipation of primary day, we set out to see where our community stands on the upcoming national, state, and local elections. If you haven’t already, cast your vote by May 17th!

From May 6 – 9, 2016, we fielded a pair of telephone surveys in Oregon. The first, conducted in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and Fox12 (KPTV), asked 901 registered voters statewide how they expected to vote in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, a potential general election matchup, and other key races. The second poll, in partnership with OPB, measured 402 Portland voters’ support for candidates for Portland Mayor, City Commissioner (Position 4), and the fuel tax ballot measure.

Our results suggest that Oregon’s primary may be just as much of a rollercoaster as the rest of the 2016 election cycle. See below for summaries of our methodology and results for each survey. As always, we’re happy to answer questions on Twitter: @DHMResearch.

OPB_Fox12 Oregon Primary Election Survey Memo — May 2016

OPB Portland Primary Election Survey Memo — May 2016

 

April DHM Panel: The Trade-offs of Foreign Trade

Posted on: May 3rd, 2016 by dhm-research

For the April edition of our DHM Panel, we dug into a topic that has been a lightning rod for presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle this year: foreign trade. For those unfamiliar, our online panel provides Northwest residents with the opportunity to weigh in on issues that affect their state, community, and daily lives.

From April 6–10, we surveyed over 600 Oregonians about their opinions of foreign trade and its impacts at home and abroad. Considering recent debates about the impacts of trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the legacy of NAFTA, we decided to go right to the source to see what Oregonians think.

The story isn’t a simple one. Oregonians feel that foreign trade can be an opportunity for the U.S. economy—but they’re less sure that our trade policy over the past few decades has been good for Americans or for the world. Read on below to see if you agree, then weigh in on Twitter! We’re happy to chat: @DHMResearch.

The full questionnaire and results for this survey can be viewed at the following link:

DHM Panel Survey — April 2016

February DHM Panel: “And How Does That Make You Feel, Oregon?”

Posted on: March 15th, 2016 by dhm-research

For our most recent DHM Panel survey, we tried something a little different. For those unfamiliar, our panel provides Northwest residents with the opportunity to weigh in on issues that affect their state, community, and daily lives.

Those who took our February survey (almost 600 Oregonians) were asked a series of questions designed to measure their attitudes and feelings towards life: Overall, how happy are you? How fearful? How angry? How sad? The questions touched on personal and political topics.

Based on their answers to these questions, each panelist received four scores, corresponding to their general level of happiness, fearfulness, anger, and sadness. Recent psychology research suggests that these four “basic” emotions form the building blocks of all human moods and passions.

We’ve used these four scores to try to gain a better understanding of how Oregonians think about politics and their daily lives. How do our emotions play into our political opinions? What makes us angry? What makes us most afraid for our future? Find out below!

The full questionnaire and results for this survey can be viewed at the following link:

DHM Panel Survey — February 2016