Posts Tagged ‘opinion polling’

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: 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


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%).

DHM Panel survey looks at Oregon beer, sports and politics

Posted on: August 29th, 2013 by dhm-research

By Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, DHM Research

From August 2 -7 of 2013, DHM Research conducted an online survey of 412 Oregonians via the DHM Panel on a variety of hot issues this summer. Survey demographics reflected the Oregon population as a whole. The margin of error on the survey was +/- 4.8%.

Below is a summary of some of our interesting findings from the survey:

  • Oregon doesn’t have a state beverage, but if it did, Oregonians choose beer (60%) over other likely options like coffee (15%) or wine (18%).
  • Oregonians are more split on their favorite craft beer. Deschutes Brewery in Bend takes the lead at 20% over Widmer Brothers Brewery (11%) and Ninkasi Brewing Company (10%). Surprisingly though, a third (36%) of respondents chose “none of these, I don’t like beer”!
  • A slight majority of Oregonians (54%) feel that they should be allowed to pump their own gas with Republicans leading the charge at 68%, and Democrats evenly split between “yes” and “no” votes at 41% each.
  • Football seems to be a common theme this summer. Most people say that more than soccer (18%) football is Oregon’s pastime (38%) and that the Oregon Ducks football team is most likely to win a national championship this year (58%) as compared to the Portland Timbers (19%) and other Oregon sports teams (6% or less).
  • Just as a reminder that election season is right around the corner, respondents were asked to give their general impression of two possible Republican candidates for Governor: State Representative Dennis Richardson and businessman Allen Alley. Notably, roughly two-thirds of respondents were unfamiliar with both.

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!


Posted on: May 15th, 2013 by dhm-research

Check out DHM’s ad in the June Oregon Business Magazine! Take the Oregon Values & Beliefs Survey here.


DHM Senior Associate Testifies on Public Opinion of Marijuana Legalization

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by dhm-research

April 2, 2013

To: Oregon Legislature, House Judiciary Committee
Fr: John Horvick, DHM Research
Re: Voter Support for Marijuana Legalization

Good afternoon Rep. Barker and members of the Judiciary Committee. My name is John Horvick. I am a Senior Associate at DHM Research. Many of you may know DHM from our more than thirty years of public opinion research in Oregon. We have conducted thousands of studies to measure Oregonians’ attitudes and values on all manners of public policy, from health care, to education, to public safety. Important for this discussion, we are leading experts in the state regarding voter attitudes, and I come to you today with research we have conducted about Oregon voters’ support for marijuana legalization.

Attitudes towards marijuana are quickly evolving. Nationally, researchers from Gallup have been asking Americans whether they support legalization since 1970. In that year, just 12% favored legalization. Over the next decade, support increased to 28% and then held relatively constant for several years. In the late 1990s, public attitudes started to change with more and more people rethinking their opposition. By 2003, 34% supported legalization, in 2009 it increased to 44%, and by 2011 it crossed the 50% mark.

2012 proved to be a pivotal year for marijuana legalization, with citizen initiatives reaching the ballot in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Although Measure 80 did not pass in Oregon, it surprised many observers that it achieved 47% support despite the fact that there was very little campaign spending or voter outreach. There were well funded and organized campaigns in Washington and Colorado, and as you know, those states voters approved legalization with 56% and 55% of vote respectively. Considering that the demographic and political make up of Oregon is similar to Colorado and Washington, if Measure 80 had enjoyed comparable levels of spending as the campaigns in those states it is quite possible that it would have passed here too. As evidence of that, it is worth noting that in September of 2011 polling in Washington showed that support for legalization was just 46%.

Last week DHM Research conducted a survey for New Approach Oregon of 2014 likely voters, measuring where they stand now on marijuana legalization and what they believe is the best way for Oregon to decide this issue.  We found that support for marijuana legalization continues to increase, with now 50% saying they support legalization. It is noteworthy that this is three-percentage points higher than what Measure 80 achieved in a general election with a voter profile that was younger than what we modeled on our sample.

Perhaps the most significant finding in our survey is that voters overwhelming believe that marijuana legalization in Oregon is inevitable. We asked voters which of the following statements was closest to their opinion: Statement A) The way things are going, I am confident that sooner or later marijuana will be legal in Oregon; or Statement B) I seriously doubt marijuana will ever be legal in Oregon. Eighty-one percent (81%) choose Statement A, that they are confident marijuana will be legal in Oregon. As a public opinion researcher this result stands out, and, I believe, sends a strong signal as to where voter attitudes are heading. Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington, Oregon voters overwhelmingly believe that it will happen here too, and once they have crossed that point in their minds, the discussion changes from whether to legalize marijuana to what is the most responsible way forward.

To help answer that question, in our survey we asked voters what is the best way for Oregon to consider marijuana legalization. We found that that only about one-third of voters (35%) would prefer that advocates draft an initiative and collect signatures to place it on the ballot. A majority (54%) of voters would rather that you, the Oregon Legislature, take the lead and either pass a bill for the governor’s signature (17%) or refer a measure for voters to consider (36%). Voters understand that legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana is complicated and they are looking to their elected representatives to thoughtfully consider a new approach for Oregon.

Before I close, I’d like to reiterate a few points. Marijuana legalization is a quickly evolving issue. Over the last several decades, we have gone from almost no support for legalization to today where voters in two states have approved it and support has reached the fifty-percent threshold in Oregon. And although Measure 80 failed by a narrow margin last fall, today more than 8 of 10 voters believe that it only a matter of time before marijuana is legal in Oregon and they are looking for the legislature to take the lead.

Thank you.

What Tri-County Residents Want in a Neighborhood

Posted on: March 22nd, 2013 by dhm-research

Between November 16 and December 13, 2012, DHM Research conducted a survey of 3,799 members of the Opt-In panel about regional housing priorities. A link to the full results from the survey can be found here. We started by providing participants with a list of neighborhood attributes and asked them to select their three most important when deciding on an area to live, given their current economic situation.

The chart below shows the results broken out by Tri-County area (Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties)*:

A few notable findings:

  • Multnomah County participants were most likely to cite walking distance to public transportation (41%), walking distance to a park or natural area (36%), and pedestrian and bicycle amenities (36%) as the most important neighborhood attributes for them when deciding on an area to live.
  • Washington and Clackamas County residents both selected walking distance to a park or natural area (45% and 42%, respectively) and quality public schools (41% and 40%, respectively) as the most important neighborhood attributes for them when deciding on an area to live.
  • Multnomah County participants (41%) were nearly twice as likely to cite walking distance to public transportation than those from Washington (24%) and Clackamas Counties (22%).
  • Washington and Clackamas County participants (41% and 40%, respectively) were twice as likely to cite quality public schools as participants from Multnomah County (21%).

*Sample size by county: Multnomah (N=1,727); Washington (N=670); Clackamas (N=358).