DHM Research conducted this survey to benefit Oregonians and public leaders as we all continue to address the coronavirus outbreak. We recognize that this is a quickly developing situation and that attitudes will continue to be shaped by events. Therefore, we present these findings as both a guidepost for moving forward and as an historical document indicating where have been.DOWNLOAD: DHM COVID-19 Survey Toplines DOWNLOAD: DHM COVID-19 Survey Crosstabs
DHM Panel January Survey Results
February 28, 2020
Like many other issues, Oregonians’ opinions about the justice system are growing more and more partisan. Whether we trust the FBI, Supreme Court, or our local police department, is now more closely related to how we identify politically than anything else.
These findings come from the January 2020 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from January 28 to February 4, 2020 and surveyed 552 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregon residents. The margin of error for this survey is ±4.17%.
Oregonians are divided about several aspects of the justice system.
DHM Panelists rated their level of confidence in several aspects of the American justice system. They reported the highest levels of confidence in their local police department, with 74% saying that there are very or somewhat confident. This was followed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with 67% confidence. However, even at these relatively high levels, between 23%–44% of Oregonians lack confidence in key law enforcement agencies. These are notably high percentages considering the level of power we grant these agencies.
Among the agencies tested, Oregonians have the least confidence in the US Supreme Court. Only a slim majority (54%) said that they are confident in the Supreme Court, with 44% not confident.
Oregonians’ confidence in the FBI and the Supreme Court has declined as these agencies have been tied to intense political battle.
The FBI became wrapped up partisan politics in 2016, when many Democrats were angered by the way it handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails; Republicans have frequently complained about its role investigating Russia’s election interference.
The politization of the Supreme Court goes back further than 2016, only intensifying when the Senate denied hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee and when President Trump made two appointments to the Court.
Consequently, Oregonians’ are now less confident in both the FBI and Supreme Court. And more significantly, Democrats and Republicans opinions have diverged.
Since 2016, between 60%–68% of Oregonians have reported being confident in the FBI. However, what looks like relative stability masks large changes in attitudes by party. In 2017, the partisan gap was just one percentage point. By 2019, it grew to 41 points. It moderated in 2020 and now sits at 17 points, with 73% of Democrats confident compared to 57% of Republicans.
Oregonians’ confidence ratings of the Supreme Court have fallen from 57% in 2017 to 52% in 2020. However, feelings among Democrats and Republicans have moved in opposite directions. Confidence has increased by 16 points among Republicans (55% to 71%) but has fallen a whopping 34 points among Democrats (66% to 32%).
Confidence that our justice system is fair to all is key to a successful democracy. The diversion in confidence that Democrats and Republicans have in federal law enforcement and courts should concern us all.DOWNLOAD: DHM Panel Blog Post February 2020: Justice
DHM Panel December Survey Results
January 21, 2020
As the 2010s wrapped up and we headed into a new decade, we are curious to know what Oregonians think of previous decades and what their expectations are for the decade to come.
These findings come from the December 2019 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from December 11 to 17, 2019, and surveyed 564 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregon voters. The margin of error for this survey is ±4.13%.
Looking back, Oregonians think most fondly of the 50s, 80s, 90s, and 2010s. They agree that the past decade was better for some groups of people than others.
When asked to reflect on previous decades, Oregonian’s shared clear preferences. While 18% answered that they were unsure, favor was distributed almost evenly between the 1950s, 1980s, 1990s, and the 2010s.
While the 2010s were one of the decades viewed more positively by Oregonians, they believe that this decade was better for some groups of people than for others. About one-half of Oregonians believe the 2010s were better for women and people of color than previous decades. A majority of Oregonians, almost seven in ten, feel that this past decade was worse for the middle class and for children growing up during this time, than in previous decades.
Just over one-quarter of Oregonians are unsure whether this past decade was better or worse for whites and men.
In general, Oregonians are not too optimistic about the next decade.
When thinking generally about the future of our state, 63% of Oregonians expect conditions to either stay the same or worsen. Fewer are optimistic, expecting things in the state to improve in the next ten years (29%).
Though Oregonians may not be too optimistic about the upcoming decade, most do not agree that Oregon’s best days are behind us (44%).
Oregonians are divided in their opinions of the current economic conditions those of the recent past. Few expect them to improve.
When asked to reflect on the overall economic conditions in the past decade as well as the current economic conditions in the state of Oregon, responses were mostly consistent between the two. A slight majority lean negative in their perceptions of the current conditions (50%) and those of the recent past (56%).
Oregonians also lean negative when asked to predict the economic conditions in Oregon ten years from now. One-quarter think the conditions will remain the same, and 43% expect conditions to worsen.
Though Oregonians tend to be pessimistic about the future of our state, they still remain hopeful in some areas. When asked what they are most hopeful for in 2020, Oregonians shared a wide variety of answers, some of which can be seen below.DOWNLOAD: DHM Panel Blog Post January 2020 Reflections
DHM Panel November 2019 Survey Results
December 10, 2019
For last month’s DHM Panel Survey, we took our first look at how opinions are shaping up for next year’s elections. To learn voters’ priorities, we presented panelists with a list of fifteen issues and asked them to choose the three that will be the most important to them when choosing which candidates to vote for in the 2020 Oregon state legislative elections.
These findings come from the November 2019 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from November 13 to 19, 2019, and surveyed 582 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregon voters. The margin of error for this survey ranges from ±4.1% to ±4.3%.
Democrats, Republicans and NAV/other voters have different priorities.
Democrats’ top five priorities are climate change, healthcare, environment, homelessness and housing. Among these, just one (homelessness) is one of the top five priorities for Republicans, and only two (healthcare and environment) are in the top five for NAV/other voters.
For Republicans, the top issues include government spending, taxes, gun policy, managing the state budget and homelessness. The top issues for NAV/others are healthcare, taxes, K–12 education, government spending, and the environment.
Jobs and K–12 education are now lower priorities for many voters.
A couple other notable findings are the relatively low prioritization of jobs and K–12 education. In past years, especially during the height of the Great Recession, jobs was consistently the top issue among voters of all political stripes. Historically, too, K–12 education has been a top issue for voters. Here it was the third-rated issue for NAV/other voters, but sixth for Democrats and tenth for Republicans. The relatively low rating of K–12 education could be a result of other issues becoming more urgent to address. It could also be the result of the passage of the Student Success Act, which will add $1 billion per year of new spending to K–12 education. With the new funding, perhaps K–12 education is no longer as urgent of a priority.
Non-affiliated and third-party voter have more trust in Democrats than Republicans on most issues.
NAV/other voters are a rapidly increasing share of the Oregon electorate. They now represent 40% of Oregon voters, compared to registered Democrats (35%) and registered Republicans (25%). Despite this increase in NAV/other voters, all 90 of Oregon’s legislators are Democrats and Republicans. Knowing which party NAV/others trust more on the issues can provide some early insight into 2020 elections.
Among the fifteen issues, we asked all survey participants to indicate if they generally trust the Democratic or Republican party more. Among NAV/other voters, they indicated they trust the Democratic party more on twelve of the issues. The only three that they trusted the Republican party more were government spending, balancing the state budget, and crime. The issues for which they tend to trust the Democrats most were climate change, environment, healthcare, and K–12 education.DOWNLOAD: DHM Panel Blog Post December 2019: Politics
DHM Panel October Survey Results
November 14, 2019
Last month, DHM checked in with Oregonians’ regarding their approval of national and state leadership. These findings come from the October 2019 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from October 8 to 15, 2017, and surveyed 591 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregon voters. The margin of error for this survey is ±4.0. National polling data of approval averages is from Real Clear Politics. (citation)
Less than half of Oregonians approve of national leaders Trump, Pelosi, and McConnell.Oregonians’ approval ratings are low for President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. However, just under half disapprove of Pelosi, compared to the almost seven in ten who disapprove of Trump and McConnell. Oregonians (45%) are more likely to have positive impressions of Pelosi than Americans in general (38%). Conversely, Oregonians are less likely to favor both Trump (31% v. 42%) and McConnell (19% v. 25%) than Americans on average.
Oregonians’ approval ratings are low for President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. However, just under half disapprove of Pelosi, compared to the almost seven in ten who disapprove of Trump and McConnell. Oregonians (45%) are more likely to have positive impressions of Pelosi than Americans in general (38%). Conversely, Oregonians are less likely to favor both Trump (31% v. 42%) and McConnell (19% v. 25%) than Americans on average.
Oregonians tend to approve of both Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.
Negative impressions of Kate Brown have continued to rise since April 2015, now surpassing rate of approval.
Since DHM first asked Oregonians in April of 2015, disapproval ratings of Governor Brown have tripled. These numbers have been consistently on the rise from 2015 to 2019, while approval ratings have only fluctuated five percentage points during that time. Uncertainty about Brown was at its highest in 2015 (35%) and has consistently declined, to 4%.
Party differences follow a trend for all three state leaders in question, with highest approval coming from Democrats, lowest rates from Republicans, and the other voters falling somewhere in between.
Other than party affiliation, impressions of state leaders are consistent across demographic groups. The only exception is that tri-county residents tend to be more positive about Senator Merkley and Governor Brown than residents of the rest of the state.DOWNLOAD: DHM Panel Blog Post November 2019 Attitudes Toward Top Political Officials
From October 8 to 15, 2019, DHM Research conducted a survey of Oregonians. The purpose of the survey was to assess Oregonians’ opinions about notable elected officials and the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.DOWNLOAD: Oregonians’ Opinions about Political Figures and the Impeachment Inquiry
DHM’s Adam Davis joined Clean Water Services’ Mark Jockers, Coalition of Communities of Color’s Marcus Mundy, and ECONorthwest’s John Tapogna to unveil findings from the new Washington County Growing Up study.
The Growing Up study started with Clean Water Services desire to know its customers better. Jockers said the agency has data on its customers dating back 30 years, but it didn’t have a complete picture because it lacked data on people of color in the community, which the “Growing Up” study conscientiously worked to include.
The study documents the unfolding story of population growth and rapid demographic change in Washington County. The research delves into socioeconomic trends, the community’s values and beliefs, and residents’ priorities for the future.
Despite the fact that most people like living here, the study revealed the county is experiencing some growing pains. Davis said those surveyed shared their angst or worry about being able to continue to afford to live here, mainly due to housing costs.
Tapogna said Washington County is better off than 2/3 of other counties in America, and we are in the middle of the largest economic expansions in U.S. history, so it is worrisome that people are concerned about their financial health.
The survey showed the area has a low crime rate, a higher rate of two-parent families, relatively low commute times, and is average when it comes to racial integration.
According to Davis, 74 percent of those surveyed said housing is less affordable; 63 percent said the region is getting too crowded; and 53 percent said it’s harder to get around.
The panel felt there is still plenty going right in Washington County to keep propelling the region forward. Mundy encouraged people to get involved and engaged at the civic level. The special lunch forum was hosted by the Westside Economic Alliance in partnership with Vision Action Network.
DHM Panel September Survey Results
October 8, 2019
While Western culture has long articulated gender as a binary between men and women (in that order, unfortunately), there have always been people whose identities are not accounted for by this framing. In 2017, Oregon recognized non-binary and gender non-conforming people by becoming the first state to allow a third category of “X” on driver licenses and identification cards.
Non-binary and gender non-conforming people often prefer that others use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they” instead of “he” or “she” when referring to them. This month, we wanted to see how Oregonians compare to the rest of the country when it comes to exposure, familiarity, and comfort with the use of gender-neutral pronouns.
These findings come from the September 2019 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted September 10–18, 2019, and surveyed 562 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregon voters. The margin of error for this survey is ±4.4%. National data comes from a survey done by Pew Research Center published in January 2019.
Oregonians are more familiar and more comfortable with the use of gender-neutral pronouns than Americans.
Oregonians (47%) are more than twice as likely to say they have heard a lot about gender-neutral and non-binary pronouns than Americans (22%). Additionally, the number of Oregonians (11%) who say they haven’t heard anything about people using gender-neutral pronouns is less than one-third that of Americans who say the same (39%). While the difference is not as stark, Oregonians (37%) are also more likely than Americans (30%) to personally know someone who prefers that others use gender-neutral pronouns when referring to them.
Oregonians (37%) are also more likely than Americans (30%) to say they would feel very comfortable using gender-neutral pronouns if asked to do so. While a majority of Oregonians and Americans would feel comfortable, about one-quarter of all respondents in both groups reported that they would feel very uncomfortable.
Familiarity may be an important factor in determining comfort. Oregonians’ who know someone personally who prefers to go by gender-neutral pronouns are more likely to both have heard a lot about the preference (83%) and to feel comfortable using gender-neutral pronouns (73%)Exposure, familiarity, and comfort vary based on demographic differences of Oregonians.
Religion is an important factor in determining Oregonians’ level of familiarity and comfort with the use of gender-neutral pronouns. Atheist, agnostic, and others without religious affiliations (45%) are more likely to know someone who prefers to go by gender-neutral pronouns than their Protestant or Roman Catholic counterparts (20%). These Oregonians are also more likely to feel comfortable using gender-neutral pronouns (67% vs. 39%). In addition to religious affiliation, religious salience impacts how comfortable Oregonians feel using gender-neutral pronouns. One-third of those who say religion is important to them (33%) would feel very uncomfortable, compared to only 12% of those who say religion is not important.
Age is also an important factor, with younger Oregonians, those between the ages of 18 and 54 (53%–79%), more likely than their older counterparts (30%) to have been exposed to the preference for use of gender-neutral pronouns.
Trends in political ideology and sexual orientation can be seen across all three items: exposure, familiarity, and comfort. Those with a liberal political ideology are more likely than their counterparts to have heard a lot about (57%), to know someone who prefers (55%), and to be comfortable with (84%), the use of gender-neutral pronouns than their conservative or moderate counterparts. The same trends exist for those whose sexual orientation is something other than straight, as show in the chart.DOWNLOAD: DHM Panel Blog Post October 2019: Gender
Introduction & Methodology
From September 10 to 18, 2019, DHM Research and ReputationUs conducted a survey of Oregonians to assess their experiences and opinions about cybersecurity and corporate reputation.
Research Methodology: The online survey consisted of 562 adults in Oregon and took approximately 12 minutes to complete. This is a sufficient sample size to assess opinions generally and to review findings by multiple subgroups.
Respondents were members of a professionally maintained online panel. Panelists are recruited randomly by telephone. Once becoming members of the panel, they are surveyed on a monthly basis about civic, social and cultural affairs.
A variety of quality control measures were employed, including questionnaire pre-testing and validation. A combination of quotas and weighting by age, gender, area of state, and education were used to match the demographic makeup of Oregon’s adult population.
Statement of Limitations: Any sampling of opinions or attitudes is subject to a margin of error. The margin of error is a standard statistical calculation that represents differences between the sample and total population at a confidence interval, or probability, calculated to be 95%. This means that there is a 95% probability that the sample taken for this study would fall within the stated margin of error if compared with the results achieved from surveying the entire population. The margin of error for this survey is ±4.1%.
DHM Research Background: DHM Research has been providing opinion research and consultation throughout the Pacific Northwest and other regions of the United States for over 40 years. The firm is nonpartisan and independent and specializes in research projects to support public policy making.
- To provide context to Oregonians’ experiences, the survey started by asking a series of questions from a national study conducted by Pew Research in 2017. There are striking increases in negative experiences over the last two years.
- 73% of Oregonians now report that they been notified that their personal information, such as an account number, has been compromised. In 2017, just 35% of Americans reported that this had happened to them.
- 56% of Oregonians say that they have noticed fraudulent charges on their debit or credit cards, an increase from 41% in the 2017 study.
- And 41% of Oregonians have received a notice that their Social Security number has been compromised. Just 15% of Americans had reported this happening in 2017.
Oregonians believe banks and healthcare providers protect their customers’ personal information. They find internet and cell phone providers the least trusted.
- 84% of Oregonians are at least “somewhat confident” that their bank effectively protects their personal financial information, and 74% are similarly confident that their healthcare provider will protect their medical information. However, this confidence is not absolute. Much smaller percentages say that they are “very” confident in their banks and healthcare providers (33% and 22% respectfully).
- Oregonians have less confidence in the internet (50%) and cell phone (48%) providers.
When companies are hit by cyberattacks, Oregonians are likely to hold the companies partially responsible.
- Survey respondents were given the following scenario: a large corporation is a victim of a cyberattack that exposed their customers’ financial and personal information. They were then asked to allocate responsibility to the corporation and the hacker. Oregonians said the corporation shared 46% of the responsibility and the hacker 54%.
Companies that are not able to keep personal information secure are at risk of losing their customers.
- More than four in ten Oregonians said that it is “very unlikely” that they would remain a customer of a company—even one that they had been loyal to—if their personal information was stolen to: set up a fake credit card account (48%); shared on the internet (43%); or caused their credit score to decline (41%).
Helping cyberattack victims understand their risk is important when communicating about cyberattacks.
- 70% of Oregonians said that they would be more concerned if their bank or credit union information were “one of hundred” stolen in a cyberattack, compared to 19% who said they would be more concerned if their account information was “one of thousands” stolen.
- Oregonians would also be more concerned by an attack from an American cybercriminal (49%) than by an attack carried out by a foreign government (33%).
Companies that communicate the steps they are taking to upgrade their security procedures are more trusted than those that stay silent about attacks and their security.
- Oregonians in this survey were asked which they would trust more to protect their personal information: a large business that was a cyberattack victim but responded by upgrading its security procedures, or a large business than never said whether or not they have been a victim of a cyberattack. By a margin of 60% to 8%, Oregonians said they would have more trust in a business that was attacked and upgraded their systems than a business that kept quiet about the attack.
- An overwhelming 96% of Oregonians would prefer a corporation acknowledge a cyberattack and offer free credit monitoring even if there was no evidence that their personal information was stolen, rather than the corporation not say anything about the attack so as to not unnecessarily worry their customers.
- Given the fact cyberattacks are on the rise, and most Oregonians have some experience of being a victim, they are likely to assume that large businesses are under threat. This result indicates that rather than trying to minimize or be silent about an attack, a more effective approach for businesses is to acknowledge the threat, be upfront about incidents, and aggressively communicate about what they are doing to continually enhance customer safety.
Oregonians do not want companies or their local governments to pay ransoms to cybercriminals.
- In the last few years, there have been high-profile cyberattacks on businesses and local governments. The criminals freeze access to files and records and demand a ransom to unlock them. The City of Baltimore was locked out of much of their computer systems for weeks, and paid $18 million to rebuild their system, rather than paying a $75,000 ransom demand.
- Oregonians were asked what they would like their local government and their bank to do if they experience this kind of attack. A strong majority do not want their local government (73%) or bank (66%) to pay the ransom.