The 2017 State of the State Poll

The fourth annual State of the State poll from Georgia College’s Department of Government and Sociology was released yesterday afternoon. In the spring, 500 Georgians aged 18 and older took part in a survey with questions on a wide range of issues, including medical marijuana, casinos, Obamacare, same-sex marriage, and campus carry.

A strong plurality (48 percent) believe the state is headed in the right direction, with education far and away the most pressing issue to respondents (29 percent). When asked if they would be willing to pay higher taxes in order to fund better educational opportunities for children in their area, a majority said yes. When broken down by race, a majority of all demographics responded favorably, with the exception of whites (48 percent). Charter schools enjoy strong support in Georgia (60 percent), with majority support from all racial demographics. Geographically, Metro Atlantans support charter schools more strongly than other areas.

Nathan Deal is the most popular politician in the state (51 percent approval), followed by David Perdue (46 percent approval). Weirdly, Hispanics support Perdue more strongly than any other racial group (55 percent approve), most likely because his RAISE Act is not well known.

51 percent approve of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or Obamacare), with African-Americans and Hispanics overwhelmingly supporting the law. Whites are opposed two-to-one. Unfortunately, the poll does not contain a question about expanding Medicaid. However, the poll did ask about legalizing medical marijuana, which enjoyed the approval of 78 percent of respondents. Same-sex marriage remains a divisive issue in Georgia (45 percent approval, 44 percent disapproval), even years after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Most survey respondents approve of casino gambling (58 percent) and Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages (also 58 percent). 48 percent oppose a new fee on out-of-state wire transfers.

Finally, respondents strongly opposed campus carry — across all racial demographics. While a majority of both genders were opposed to campus carry, women were far more opposed than men (73 percent vs. 54 percent).

Given how Tuesday’s elections went across the country, incumbents might take note of the answers folks gave here. There’s no guarantee that this poll will accurately resemble the portions of the electorate that will show up to the polls next November, but it should alarm the Powers That Be that the responses lean unusually left on several occasions.

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