The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Economic Concerns in the Land of “Live Free or Die”

An Analysis of the Rockefeller Center 2009 “New Hampshire State of the State” Poll
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 0910-01
December 09, 2009
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Travis
Blalock
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Brekelmans
Ann
Corrin
Laura
Gardner
Margaret
Goldstein
William
Hix
Jeremy
Kaufman
Boyd
Lever
David
Lumbert
Brendan
McVeigh
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Merry
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Mitchell
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Sankar
David
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Christopher
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Executive Summary

The following report analyzes the results of the 2009 “New Hampshire State of the State” poll conducted by the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College in May of 2009. Specifically, this report studies respondents’ answers to questions in the poll relating to political activism, the current national and state economic climates, perceptions of their own personal financial situations, and social policy issues. Although the respondents provided a wide spectrum of answers on political activism and social policy questions, most respondents showed concern for the state of the national economy, state economy, and their own personal financial situations. From the poll’s results, it is clear that the current economic crisis is directly affecting New Hampshire residents.

The Rockefeller Center’s second annual State of the State poll of New Hampshire registered voters (N=403) indicates that only 4.2 percent of respondents find the stimulus package to be “very effective” while over half of the respondents find it to be “not very effective” (33.3 percent) or “not effective at all” (19.1 percent). In addition, Rep. Paul Hodes polls slightly better among respondents regarding the 2010 U.S. Senate race for retiring Sen. Judd Gregg’s seat than Republican challengers former Rep. Charlie Bass and former Sen. John Sununu, but it also within the margin of error.

In addition to reporting the overall opinions on these subject areas, as reflected directly in the poll results, this report also examines how different demographic variables such as age, gender, education, personal income, party affiliation, and media consumption influenced respondents’ answers. Very few holistic trends emerged from these demographic variable correlations that can be applied to the whole report as different demographic variables correlated with answers to different types of questions. However, both income and education correlated with respondents’ level of political activism, opinions of the federal economic stimulus effort, and opinions on social policy. Age also influenced respondents’ answers regarding national and state economic policies, perceptions of personal financial situations, and opinions on social policy.

The following methods were used to conduct the poll. During the week of April 27-May 1, 2009, students from The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College conducted a telephone survey of registered voters in New Hampshire. Survey respondents were asked a wide range of questions relating to the current political, economic, and social state of affairs in New Hampshire and, to a lesser extent, the country as a whole. Calls were made between the hours of 6:30pm and 9:30pm Monday through Friday evenings. Additional call-backs were made during daytime hours on Friday and Saturday when specified by poll participants. Over the course of the week, callers made at least three attempts to contact each of the registered voters drawn in the sample. Callers made four attempts in the case of a small number of sampled voters who had been contacted by callers but were unable to complete the survey at the time of the initial contact. A total of 403 survey interviews were completed during the week, yielding an error rate of +/- 5.0 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.

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