Posts Tagged ‘DHM Research’

DHM Panel Survey–Oregonians Weigh in on Taxes

Posted on: October 1st, 2014 by dhm-research

By Chris Merkel, DHM Research

Political leaders in Oregon have indicated that they are planning a comprehensive review of Oregon’s tax system in the 2015 legislative session. In an effort to gauge where Oregonians stand on taxes, DHM Research conducted an online survey via the DHM Panel.

As we found out in the 2013 Oregon Values and Belief Survey, Oregonians consider education funding and education quality, followed by the economy and jobs, to be the most important issues they want their state and local government officials to address. That being said, when Oregonians are pushed on the issue of taxation, there seems to be a consensus: Oregonians are ready for tax reform, with 68% of DHM Panel respondents describing tax reform as an urgent (‘very urgent’ and ‘somewhat urgent’) priority in the 2015 legislative session. This sentiment was especially strong amongst residents of the Willamette Valley (87%) vs. those from the Tri-county region (68%) and the rest of the state (47%). What is more, Oregonians prefer a comprehensive approach to tax reform. When asked which combination of property, income and/or additional taxes residents want addressed, a plurality (47%) said that the State Legislature should address income taxes, property taxes, and consider additional taxes (while 29% would prefer that the Legislature only consider income and property taxes).

So what might make Oregonians more likely to support statewide tax reform?

For one thing, 76% of respondents said they would be more likely to support tax reform if it ensured that all properties with similar market values would be taxed at similar levels – a sentiment shared by all major demographic groups. Surprisingly, the possibility of lowering taxes for all property owners only made 52% of respondents more likely to support tax reform. This potential outcome was particularly effective for Republicans, 70% of whom said they would be more likely to support tax reform in the event that it lowered tax rates for all property owners.

There were two things in particular though, that seem to make Oregonians less likely support comprehensive tax reform: reducing funding for government services and schools. Notably, 70% of respondents in this study indicated that any decreases to public school funding would make them less likely (‘somewhat’ or ‘much less’) to support tax reform, including 90% of Democrats. Additionally, when asked how a decrease in funding for local government services, such as police, fire and roads would affect their thinking, 65% of respondents said it would make them less likely to support tax reform.

Ultimately, Oregonians are showing some appetite for tax reform. While interested in maintaining or increasing funding for existing governmental services, Oregon residents also want property taxes to be more consistent, including the assurance that all properties with similar markets values would be taxed at similar levels.

If you’re interested in learning more about tax reform in the upcoming legislative session, check out the League of Oregon Cities Property Tax Reform Guide.

Make sure you’re registered to vote and stay tuned for upcoming DHM Panel surveys, election forecasts, and more!

In total, 447 Oregonians participated in this survey, with the margin of error for each question falling between +/-2.8% and +/-4.6%. Survey demographics reflected the Oregon population as a whole.


DHM Panel Survey Looks at Impressions of Oregon’s Public Schools

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by dhm-research

Joe Gladow, DHM Research

Oregonians are not impressed with the job their public schools are doing. That’s what a DHM Panel survey conducted last month revealed when it asked 404 Oregon residents about their opinions of public schools in the state. Opinions are slightly more positive, however, about their own local school district than public schools statewide.

Asked about public schools statewide, just three in 10 (30%) Oregonians said they are doing a “very” good or “somewhat” good job, with only 4% saying they are doing a “very” good job. Conversely, four in 10 (41%) said they are doing a “somewhat” bad or “very” bad job. Two in 10 (23%) said they are doing a neutral job.

Ratings are slightly higher for local school districts. Four in 10 (41%) said their local public school district is doing a “very” good or “somewhat” good job, while three in 10 (32%) said they are doing a “very” bad or “somewhat” bad job. Two in 10 (21%) said they are doing a neutral job.

 Performance Rating of Public School Districts:

public schools

However, Oregonians have a more negative view of their local district than they did two years ago. Asked if their opinion of their local public school district had become more positive, more negative, or stayed about the same from two years ago, one third (33%) of Oregonians said it became more negative, while half (49%) said it stayed about the same. Just 15% had a more positive opinion.

The reasons cited for this increased negativity varied, ranging from limited funding to overcrowded classrooms to poor management. The following quotes provide a taste of participants’ responses:

  • “Funding is low, leading to large class sizes and inadequate support. Key aspects of schools are being cut or reduced, rather than expanded to focus on the needs of average students.”
  • “Teachers are overworked and can’t take the time to focus on needs of the individual students. The school year is too short. Discipline problems are ignored and students trying to learn pay for that.”
  • “As always and for the past few decades, the administrators of our schools have absolutely no clue on how to manage their budget. The results are fatter paychecks for them and superintendents, with teachers and students suffering the consequences.”

Demographic Differences:

Compared to two years ago, younger Oregonians’ opinions have declined more so than older residents: Ages 54 and under were more likely than ages 55+ to have a more negative opinion of their local district from two years ago (41% vs. 18%).

  • Ages 55+ were more likely than younger Oregonians to have the same opinion of their local district (69% vs. 38%).

Overall, Republicans believe that schools are doing a poorer job than Democrats: Republicans were more likely than Democrats and Independents to say that their local public school district is doing a “very” bad or “somewhat” bad job (Rep: 46%, Dem: 23%, Ind: 26%).

  • Republicans and Independents were more likely than Democrats to say that Oregon’s public schools are doing a “very” bad or “somewhat” bad job (Rep: 56%, Ind: 47%, Dem: 23%).

The poll was conducted by DHM Research in June 2014. Survey demographics reflect the Oregon population as a whole. The margin of error was +/-4.9%.

DHM Joins Other Oregon Businesses United Against Discrimination

Posted on: May 13th, 2014 by dhm-research

Our Opinion: To fix streets, city must act, not just talk

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by dhm-research

By Adam Davis, Co-Founder and Principal of DHM Research

On Thursday, April 3rd, Adam Davis’ op-ed on Portlanders’ priorities for road maintenance appeared in the Portland Tribune. Read the full article below. 

Watersheds and mass transit remain at the top of local government officials’ minds, but such fascinations shouldn’t obscure what Portland residents really care about: the potholes in their streets and lack of sidewalks in their neighborhoods.

Three Southwest Portland community meetings in the next few weeks provide a timely reminder about the importance of setting firm priorities.

The first meeting is a Southwest Watersheds Open House on April 23, which will highlight items such as the Southwest Huber Green Street Project, the Interstate 5 and 26th Avenue Terraced Rain Gardens and the Centennial Oaks project, to name a few.

Another meeting on April 29 focuses on the Southwest Corridor Project — a mass transit study that continues forward despite the recent Tigard vote putting that city on record opposing high-capacity transit.

What’s interesting about these meetings is that while there seems to be no end to the amount of money and attention allocated for planning the Southwest Corridor or ecologically friendly watershed projects, neither of these are particularly high on Portlanders’ wish lists.

Recent surveys have shown Portland residents are vastly more concerned about street maintenance and pedestrian safety than they are about rain gardens and trains.

Which brings us to the third meeting. On April 24, Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick and Transportation Bureau Director Leah Treat will talk to residents of Southwest Portland about the best way to fund transportation maintenance, safety and other related needs.

Hales, Novick and Treat are keenly aware that Portland has a plethora of streets in disrepair. The unfortunate reality is that little money is available to address these ever-pressing needs. And while neighboring Washington County took action to find a funding mechanism to address this issue, Portland has been content just talking about it.

Discussions are fine, but this isn’t a matter of finding out what’s important to Portlanders — or at least it shouldn’t be.

In the Transportation System Improvement Priorities survey prepared for the Portland Bureau of Transportation in February, people surveyed consistently highlighted pedestrian safety and general maintenance as their biggest transportation concerns.

In fact, the survey showed that Portlanders deemed safe pedestrian and street crossings as the most critical need. Forty-two percent said it was the most important thing to spend money on now. Thirty-six percent listed street maintenance as the most important.

The 2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Project prepared by DHM Research echoed those conclusions. In that survey, respondents were asked to name the most important issue that local government officials should do something about. The No. 1 answer? Road infrastructure.

Oregonians — and especially Portlanders — have made it quite clear that fixing roads and making them safer for vehicles and pedestrians alike is a top priority.

Every day that the needed maintenance is delayed only contributes to an ever-growing backlog of work to be done. What’s more, the fact that more money is needed to pay for the road improvements shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

The time for “what if” and “what do you think” meetings has long since passed. It’s time for the Portland City Council to display leadership, find a solution, and start getting the work done.

There’s an old political adage that says if you want to stay in office, you keep the potholes filled, the streets paved and the sidewalks maintained.

Hales, Novick and Treat should keep that in mind as they consider the extent of Portland’s long-deferred street maintenance.


Posted on: April 8th, 2014 by dhm-research

Check out DHM’s ad in the April edition of the Oregon Business Magazine, focusing on the City Club of Portland. We can think of no better organization to join to make a “significant civic investment in your community.” DHM Research is a proud research sponsor of the City Club of Portland.


Posted on: February 5th, 2014 by dhm-research

Check out DHM’s ad in the March edition of the Oregon Business Magazine, focusing on Oregonians’ support for enhanced job training to boost the economy. For more survey findings on what Oregonians support, visit the Oregon Values & Beliefs Project.



Posted on: January 13th, 2014 by dhm-research

Let’s talk about trust! We conducted an interesting DHM Panel survey of 375 Oregonians this month to test levels of trust in organizations: banks, public schools, Congress, and more were thrown into the mix. Survey demographics reflected the Oregon population as a whole. Read on for a summary of some of the key findings from the survey.

To begin with, we asked participants to rate how much trust they have in a series organizations to act honestly and with high ethical standards: a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little trust. Full demographic breakdown after the chart.

Turns out, we trust our health and education systems here in Oregon! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was rated the highest by Oregonians, with an impressive 66% placing ‘a great deal’ (24%) or ‘quite a lot’ (42%) of trust in this organization. Oregon’s Public Colleges and Universities (50%), Hospitals (49%), and the K-12 Public School System (48%) followed in the next tier.

Oregonians had the least amount of trust in the United States Congress (3%). Local political institutions seem to be trusted a bit more, with 27% of Oregonians placing ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of trust in the Oregon Legislature.

There seems to be a trust divide between the two parties in more ways than one.

  • Republicans were roughly three times more likely than Democrats to place trust in banks (48% vs. 14%), the church or organized religion (75% vs. 26%), the United States military (69% vs. 23%), and the National Security Agency (21% vs. 8%). Additionally, 21% of Republicans trust pharmaceutical companies ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot,’ compared to only 1% of Democrats and 7% of Independents.
  • On the other hand, Democrats were more than twice as likely as Republicans to trust Oregon’s public colleges and universities (64% vs. 31%) and the K-12 public school system (64% vs. 26%). They were also three times as likely to trust the Oregon Legislature (39% vs. 13%), and a whopping eight times as likely to trust Labor Unions (41% vs. 5%).

From January 3-6 of 2014, DHM Research conducted an online survey of 375 Oregonians via the DHM Panel investigating issues involving levels of trust in both individuals and organizations. Survey demographics reflect the Oregon population as a whole. Margin of error: +/-5.1%. Results may add up to 99% or 101% due to rounding. To sign up for the DHM Panel click here

Oregon’s Teens Sound Off on Public Education: Part 2

Posted on: November 6th, 2013 by dhm-research

On Wednesday, DHM Research Associate Ari Wubbold continued the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read the full article below and make sure to visit Chalkboard’s blog here.

DHM Research is proud to have worked with the Chalkboard Project on the 2013 Oregon Student Survey. This study was an effort to learn what Oregon high school students think about public education in our state. Media coverage of the survey can be found herehere, and here. While my previous blog post focused on the findings from the student engagement portion of the survey, I’d like to take this opportunity to focus on the 200+ students who took part in the scientific random sample portion of the study, specifically those findings that have not yet been covered in the media. The survey sample was reflective of the Oregon high school student population as a whole.

Let’s start with student’s opinions about the kinds of classes that are currently available to them. The trend we observed was, given the opportunity to weigh in, students prefer expanded class offerings.   

  • Roughly two-thirds (63%) of students disagreed with the statement, there are too many classes offered outside of the core areas of reading, writing, and math.
  • Later in the survey, 58% of students said their district places too little emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. This sentiment was higher among males than females (67% vs. 50% said too little).
  • Students who felt that additional funding is needed for public K-12 education were provided the open-ended opportunity to explain why. The second-most popular response was more elective classes (23%).

Also of interest are student’s responses to a series of statements regarding issues outside of the classroom that can impact their educational experience.

  • Roughly nine in ten (88%) students agreed with the statement, having family support for learning at home is essential for students’ success in school.
  • Only three in ten (31%) students said they were interested in volunteering to help improve the state’s K-12 education system. This interest in volunteering jumped to 42% when we asked the question of self-identified student leaders (participated in leadership opportunities such as student government, tutoring, service learning, etc.).
  • Lastly, only 20% of students agreed with the statement, the business community in my district is doing enough to help the public schools. However, roughly half of students (47%) were either neutral (31%) or unsure (16%) on the issue, indicating that their opinions are far from fixed.

Well there you have it: a thin slice of the data from the Chalkboard Project and DHM Research’s recent Oregon Student Survey. If you are interested in reading more about the study I strongly suggest you check out the media stories linked to earlier in this post. We’ve been excited to see the passionate public reaction to this study and we look forward to future surveys of Oregon students!


Posted on: October 24th, 2013 by dhm-research

Ari Wubbold, DHM Research 

From October 11-14 of 2013, DHM Research conducted an online survey of 375 Oregonians via the DHM Panel on issues related to the government shutdown and healthcare. Survey demographics reflect the Oregon population as a whole. The questionnaire was made available in both English and Spanish. Margin of error: +/-5.1%. Results may add up to 99% or 101% due to rounding. Note: this survey was conducted prior to the resolution of the government shutdown on October 17.

Thanks again to all who participated in this survey. To sign up for the DHM Panel and participate in upcoming surveys click here. There are more interesting surveys to come!

US Politics and the Government Shutdown:

    • Following are approval ratings for several individuals and institutions.
      • President Obama: 53% approve vs. 48% disapprove
      • Governor John Kitzhaber: 53% vs. 41%, with 5% unsure
      • Congressional Democrats: 46% vs. 49%, with 5% unsure
      • Congressional Republicans: 28% vs. 68%, with 5% unsure
      • Senator Ted Cruz: 27% vs. 54%, with 19% unsure
      • Representative John Boehner: 24% vs. 69%, with 7% unsure
    • When asked to name who they felt was most responsible for the government shutdown, a majority of Oregonians said Congressional Republicans (52%). Two in ten (20%) said President Obama, while 7% cited Congressional Democrats. An additional 19% said that all groups were equally responsible.
      • Among Independent voters, 47% cited Congressional Republicans, and 18% said President Obama. Interestingly, 29% of Independents said all groups were equally responsible for the government shutdown (10 points higher than Oregonians overall).
    • We asked Oregonians from all political parties to select from among a list of potential Republican candidates for the presidential nomination in 2016 who they would like see on the ticket. Chris Christie led the pack, with 28% of Oregonians selecting him as their preferred choice. No other candidate reached 10%.
      • Christie’s standing was buoyed by Democrats (44%) and Independents (28%), while Republicans were evenly split between a number of candidates, with Paul Ryan earning a slight advantage (15%).


    • When asked about their expectations for healthcare in Oregon over the next couple of years, most Oregonians said they felt that the healthcare that is available to them would get worse (40%) rather than better (23%). One-third (32%) felt it would stay the same.
      • While Democrats and Independents were fairly split on the issue, Republicans were not, with 72% saying they felt the healthcare available to them was likely to get worse.
      • Notably, among Oregonians without health insurance, a majority (56%) said they felt the healthcare available to them was likely to get worse over the next couple years (16 points higher than Oregonians overall).
    • Nearly eight in ten (77%) correctly identified Cover Oregon as the group responsible for running Oregon’s online health insurance marketplace, with the remaining 23% either identifying other groups or claiming to be unsure.
      • Among those ages 18-34, a group thought to contain many low-information voters as well as a significant number of potential enrollees for the healthcare program, 74% correctly identified Cover Oregon.
    • Among Oregonians who said they were eligible to participate in Cover Oregon, 27% said they would do so, while 63% would not. One in ten (9%) were unsure.
      • Non-white Oregonian who said they were eligible to participate in Cover Oregon said they would participate in the program at a higher rate than white Oregonians (45% vs. 27%).


Posted on: September 23rd, 2013 by dhm-research

Check out DHM’s ad in the August edition of the Oregon Business Magazine, featuring our relationship with Oregon Unlimited!