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ODU Hosting Program to Explore Results of Recent Political Polls

Old Dominion University's Social Science Research Center (SSRC) and the Department of Political Science will host a brown bag luncheon for the purpose of exploring the results of recent political polls at noon Monday, Nov. 21, in Room 9024 of the Batten Arts and Letters Building. The polls, which collected information from local residents regarding their feelings about national, regional and local issues, were conducted this summer and again in October.

Hosted by Tancy Vandecar-Burdin, SSRC associate director, and Jesse Richman, ODU assistant professor of political science, the session will delve into national elections, including President Obama's chances in Virginia in 2012; public perception of taxes; public preferences in the commonwealth; how policy preferences divide across congressional districts; and the ways in which members of Congress represent their districts' political views. The program is open to the campus community and the general public.

According to Vandecar-Burdin, this summer's political poll focused on national spending, fiscal issues and the debt ceiling. The second poll was more Virginia focused, she said, looking at the confidence of voters in the state and federal government, and spending on education and transportation.

"Some of the interesting things we have found so far involve the tensions between people's attitudes on spending and the budget," said Richman. "These tensions point to the difficulties and opportunities that face those who are trying to reach a compromise on budget reductions in Washington."

Further findings indicated that most Virginians are confident that elected leaders in Richmond can solve major issues, that public schools are giving their children a good education, and that drilling for oil and gas off the coast won't harm the environment. When it comes to Congress and President Obama, however, the polls found that most Virginians don't have much faith in their ability to solve the country's major problems.

The statewide polls were conducted by the SSRC and The Virginian-Pilot and funded by the ODU Office of Research and the Perry Fund for the Study of Critical Issues, which encourages collaborative, evidence-based solutions to problems within the region, state and nation.

This article was posted on: November 12, 2011

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