Students Bryan Istenes, Holly Lisco, and Anthony Kukura with Dr. Lauren Copeland.

Dr. Lauren Copeland's students have been crunching and releasing survey data as part of a research methods course.

From Russia to pocketbook issues, BW wraps up analysis of statewide survey

April 9, 2018

Students Bryan Istenes, Holly Lisco, and Anthony Kukura with Dr. Lauren Copeland.About half of Ohio voters say President Trump's policies have made no impact on their personal financial situation, according to a Baldwin Wallace University statewide survey. Roughly one quarter say the president’s economic policies have helped them and one in five say they have hurt.

Ohioans surveyed by BW's Community Research Institute (CRI) also do not appear to see big personal benefits from recent federal tax cuts, with 80 percent saying they have seen "a little" or "no increase" in take-home pay and just 4 percent noting "a big increase."

The survey was conducted in conjunction with a research methods course taught by Dr. Lauren Copeland, associate director of BW CRI and assistant professor of political science. Copeland and her students have been working through the data since the survey closed in March, releasing results and analysis to the public and preparing for presentations at Ovation, BW's spring celebration of student achievement.

Meddling, Mueller and the FBI

Maddie Brotzki (l), a senior political science major from Amherst, Ohio and Jack Smith (r), a senior political science and history double major from Parma, Ohio, analyze data with from a BW CRI surveyWhen asked whether the FBI investigation is biased against President Trump, a little more than half (52%) reported that "the FBI is just trying to do their job," about a quarter (25%) believe the investigation is biased against President Trump, and another quarter (23%) are unsure. Among Trump voters, however, 27 percent believe the FBI is just trying to do their job.

"It's surprising to see Republicans, and Trump voters in particular, skeptical of the FBI, especially when the Republican Party has traditionally backed law enforcement agencies," said Jack Smith '19, a senior political science and history double major from Parma, Ohio.

The survey also asked whether people were more likely to trust Special Counsel Robert Mueller or President Trump if the two men disagreed. About 37 percent reported they would trust Mueller, 22 percent would trust Trump, 19 percent would trust neither and about 22 percent were unsure.

#MeToo and more

A BW student review survey numbersBeyond the Russia investigation and pocketbook issues, the final data release looked at attitudes on a range of additional questions. Among the findings:

  • #MeToo movement: About 56 percent have favorable opinions about the movement to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual misconduct, compared to about 28 percent who have unfavorable attitudes. An additional 18 percent are unsure.

    Michael Rivera '18, a senior political science and economics major from Oakland, California, said he was "surprised to find that men and women are equally likely to have favorable attitudes, while Democrats have a much more favorable opinion of the movement than Republicans."

  • Women in politics: Some 39 percent of those surveyed believe that the "country would be better off with more women in office." About half are neutral on this, while about 11 percent disagree. Democrats are much more likely to agree with this statement, while Republicans are much more likely to be neutral.

    "Women make up just over half of the population, but only one quarter of Congress," said Brooke Turner '18, a senior acting major from Bellefontaine, Ohio. "With important topics such as equal pay, sexual harassment and health care in the news, we thought more people would want women to have a seat at the table."

  • Mixing politics, sports and entertainment: A majority of Ohioans would prefer to escape politics when they are watching sports or award shows, but people have slightly more favorable attitudes about political statements in music.

Methodology and Topline Data

Access a pdf file of the survey methodology and a topline data report for this final batch of results.

A wrap-up, emphasizing party divisions in the results, is posted on cleveland.com.

Previous Results

Previous survey results gleaned from both a statewide survey and a seven-county Northeast Ohio poll included: