Crime and Public Safety No. 1 Issue With Hamilton County Voters

Hamilton Flourishing poll shows electorate hammered by inflation, gang shootings, and K-12 education concerns.

Doug Daugherty, Executive Director of Hamilton Flourishing, felt that it was imperative to run a deep-dive hybrid method survey, focusing on issues, ideology, and the dramatic shifts in public sentiment due to social media and the 24-hour news cycle. 

Conducted by Spry Strategies, the Hamilton County Issues & Ideology Survey randomly sampled 416 Landline and 400 Mobile Interviews from Jan. 7 - Jan. 10. Of those sampled, 322 of 816 responses were likely Republican Primary voters on ballot test question for Hamilton County Mayor. The data used for the survey was made up of 37,000 Hamilton County voters who voted in at least one of the past three County Mayoral Elections. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%. 

Links to top lines & crosstabs:

Matt Hullander leads the field in the Republican Primary for Hamilton County Mayor at 26.1%; Sabrina Smedley, who just entered the race, received 8.6%, and Weston Wamp received 19% with 46.3% still undecided.

President Biden's job approval number, 44.6%, reflects the national average according to Real Clear Politics. Outgoing Republican Mayor Jim Coppinger leaves office with very strong approval numbers with 26.2% strongly approve and 43.2% somewhat approve of his tenure as Hamilton County Mayor; Jim Coppinger's overall job approval is just under 70% at 69.4%.

Crime and public safety were the number one issue with 27%; followed by economic development and job growth at 15.3%; homelessness, mental illness and addiction at 13.2%; K-12 education at 13%; affordable housing at 12.2%, and local roads and bridges at 10.4%.

Daugherty was not surprised that Crime and Public Safety is the top issue for Hamilton County voters. "It was one-third higher than any other local issue. The new elected officials must address this with priority and diligence and not sweep it under the rug for all the citizens."

A resounding 82.2% of Hamilton County residents have felt the impact of rising inflation. While 67.1% of respondents were impacted by social security, a shocking 51.6% have been impacted by gang shootings. Road conditions, flooding, homelessness and drug addiction were well above a 50% impacted rate as well.

"One huge surprise," according to Mr. Daugherty, "was the take on so-called 'White Privilege' being taught in various ways in the K-12 County Education system. Less than a majority of blacks, only 49.3% approve or strongly approve. This clearly has been taken beyond what even the black community supports."

When looking to the future, Hamilton Flourishing believes that K-12 education, specifically K-3 literacy, is the most important issue to the future of Hamilton County. "If you can't read, it leads to a host of problems for the individual, taxpayers, employers, tourism, and the criminal justice system. 85% nationally of people in Juvenile Court are illiterate," Daugherty said.

Source: Spry Strategies

About Spry Strategies

Ryan Burrell is President of Spry Strategies a Knoxville, TN-based consulting firm specializing in hybrid-method research. Spry Strategies has established itself as one of the premier polling firms in the country.

Spry Strategies
8870 Cedar Springs LN , #Suite 105
Knoxville, Tennessee

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