DHM Panel Survey: Poverty and Income Inequality

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by dhm-research

In November of 2014, DHM Research conducted a scientific survey of 474 Oregonians using the DHM Panel to gauge their opinions on issues related to poverty and income inequality. Survey demographics reflected the Oregon population as a whole.

First, respondents were asked to select which of the following statements is most reflective of their general views on poverty:

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A majority of respondents (53%) felt that Statement B was more reflective of their personal beliefs about poverty than Statement A (37%). One in ten (10%) were unsure.

Demographic Differences: There was a significant partisan divide. A strong majority of Republicans (74%) selected Statement A vs. 12% of Democrats and 35% of independents. On the other hand, 81% of Democrats selected Statement B vs. 20% of Republicans and 52% of Independents. While men were evenly split on the statements, women were much more likely to agree with Statement B than Statement A (58% vs. 31%).

Next, respondents were provided a list of issues and asked to indicate whether they believed each was a major cause, a minor cause, or not a cause of poverty.

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More so than any other response, 66% of respondents selected “too many jobs being part-time or low-wage” as a ‘major cause of poverty.’ The other two responses that were designated ‘major causes of poverty’ by a majority of respondents were “too many single-parent families” and “a shortage of jobs” (both 51%). On the other hand, “too many immigrants” was the only response chosen by a majority of respondents (51%) to be ‘not a cause of poverty.’

Demographic Differences: Again, there were major partisan differences. Republicans were more likely than Democrats to believe that the following were ‘major causes of poverty’: “the welfare system” (70% vs. 12% of Democrats); “too many single-parent families” (63% vs. 39%); “poor people lacking motivation” (56% vs. 16%); “decline in moral values” (54% vs. 13%); “drug abuse” (50% vs. 38%); and “too many immigrants” (49% vs. 9%). In contrast, a majority of Democratic respondents believed that the following were ‘not causes of poverty’: “too many immigrants” (73% vs. 23% of Republicans); “decline in moral values” (67% vs. 14%); and “the welfare system” (57% vs. 8%). Generally, Independents did not tend to agree more frequently with either Democrats or Republicans on these issues, and instead tended to rest in the middle, aligning pretty closely with the overall average.

The margin of error on this survey was +/-4.5%. To join the DHM Panel click here.

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