Investigation: Oregonians divided over whether state is on “right track” – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News
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While half of Oregonians say the state is heading in the wrong direction, opinions about the state’s economy have improved in recent months.
These are two of the main lessons from the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, which surveyed more than 1,100 residents in areas and demographics across the state over the course of a week late last month.
The first figure – with 49% saying the state is on the wrong track, versus 45% saying it’s on the right track – is closer to pessimistic lows last winter than highs this summer. In December, 52% had “wrong” opinions, while only 42% said the same in May.
Chad Kernutt, a 31-year-old state employee in Albany, said COVID-19 restrictions passed on by state authorities when the public was restricted for most of the legislative session of the year were the sign of a state on the right track.
“The constant masking, the constant over-regulation of companies, telling them what they can and can’t do, and now the vaccine warrants,” Kernutt said in a telephone interview. “I think it should be managed locally.”
Feelings about the leadership of state vary across demographic lines. Younger and older groups were more likely to say the state is on the right track, and those in rural areas tend to be more pessimistic about the state’s general direction, according to the survey , which had a margin of error of between 1.8% and 2.9%. .
When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Oregonians (56%) believe it’s not yet safe to open businesses and fully restart the economy. Only 36% of Oregonians said it was urgent to completely reopen the economy.
“No, I don’t think we’re quite there yet,” said Deb Runkle, a 62-year-old retiree at Bandon. “Personally, it scares me because I’m compromised in the first place. From that point of view, it upsets me a bit when people don’t do what they’re supposed to do.”
Much of the concern about the pandemic focuses on the economy and community health rather than individual health. Eight in 10 said they were “somewhat or very concerned” about the impact of the pandemic on the economy, and more than three-quarters had the same level of concern about the health of their communities.
Meanwhile, only 60% said they were concerned about their own health.
Views on the state’s economy are also divided: about half say the economy is good or very good, while the other half rate it as bad or very bad.
This is up from previous polls. Only 30% of residents rated the economy as good or very good in April 2021 and June 2020, according to pollsters.
“We keep hiring a lot of people. We’re actually struggling to hire people, the market is so hot,” said Jeff Jilot, 47, who works for a Portland software company and believes the economy is good.
Opinions about the economy depend on demographic lines: people with higher incomes, men, and college graduates tend to have a more optimistic view of the state’s economy.
Still, more than half of the state’s residents (53%) say they are worried about their personal financial situation, especially outside of the Portland Tri-County area.
Despite the differences, 60% of respondents found a margin of agreement. This is how many have said that there are things all Oregonians enjoy about life in the state that “cut across political lines and represent common ground,” the pollsters wrote. The main shared values included the quality of the environment, the natural beauty and the economic conditions of the state.
“We can all come together when we want to help people,” Jilot said, saying, for example, that most people in the state agree on the need to help the homeless. “I think people want to see people happy, to see people succeed.”
The Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, a non-partisan charity, has partnered with Pamplin Media Group and EO Media Group to report on how Oregonians think and feel on various topics.
The Oregon Center for Values and Beliefs is committed to conducting the highest level of public opinion research. To achieve this, the nonprofit is assembling the largest online research panel of Oregonians in history to ensure that all voices are represented in public policy discussions of a society. valid and statistically reliable manner.
Selected panelists earn points for their participation, which can be redeemed for cash or donated to charity. To learn more, visit oregonvbc.org.