Document Type

Report

Publication Date

6-1-2008

Abstract

Annually, the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at Boise State University conducts a statewide survey of Idahoans to identify public policy opinions and concerns. The results of the survey are available to both policy makers and the public. This report conveys the results on a range of contemporary policy issues collected during a public opinion poll in the fall of 2007. An executive summary was provided in January 2008 to legislators, state agencies, the press, and the public prior to the commencement of the second session of the 59th Idaho Legislature.

To accurately project the results of this survey across the state, the survey data is weighted according to the proportion of the total state population within each of the six geographic regions shown in Figure 1. For more information regarding the methods used in the survey, see the technical report in the Appendix. Prior to year 2002, frequency data was used without weighting and regions were assigned a ‘quota’ to ensure adequate statewide representation. While the differences generally remain well within the acceptable margin of error, population-weighted data more accurately portrays the statewide population. The difference in methodology is more apparent in the regional data where larger variation from the overall frequency data will be obvious.

The survey was administered to 518 Idaho adults (+18 years old) by telephone between November 14 through December 16, 2007. The overall statewide population is represented by the survey sample at a standard error estimated to be +/- 6.8% at the 95% confidence level.

Since its inception in 1990, the survey has included a set of “core questions” which have been asked on a rotating basis. These core questions relate to the problems facing Idaho, perceptions of and confidence in government, opinions on taxes, and satisfaction with program and service areas. Additional questions are asked that attempt to identify or clarify contemporary issues that are of interest and concern to Idaho citizens.

Additionally, a stratified sample also allows for general comparisons across six geographic regions. (Statistically speaking, the survey results are representative of the population of each region.) Figure 1 on page 2 maps the regions in the state, and Table 1 identifies the standard error of the sample for each region as well as the weighted population basis used for the analysis.