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Voices of Austin’s August 2020 Poll

Interested in how we listened to the voices of Austin’s majority?

Voices of Austin knows the majority of Austinites think the city is headed in the wrong direction. Voices of Austin knows the majority of Austinites want positive change.

The Voices of Austin 3Q2020 Poll was supervised by Executive Director William “Peck” Young, a veteran political consultant with 40 years of political polling experience. The scientifically conducted survey was executed by the Polling Company with a telephone (both landlines and cell phones) survey of 415 registered voter respondents in Austin, Texas from August 20th-24th.

The VofA Poll was statistically accurate to plus or minus 4.8%, with a truly random sample of Austin registered voters, which was appropriately distributed amongst our 10 single member districts. The use of scientific methodology, professionally executed, separates the Voice of Austin Poll from self-selected, inherently biased surveys like online polls.

KEY METHODOLOGIES

Sample: Registered voters. Travis County has 95% of eligible-to-vote voters registered and most live within Austin city limits.

Sample size: 401 registered voters. Sample sizes of 400 or 1,000 are industry standards, the only difference being the margin of error in the poll. A sample size of 400 was chosen for efficiency, trading off a slightly larger margin of error.  A sample size of 400 reliably produces a 5% margin of error, with a confidence 95%. A sample size of 1,000 produces a 3% margin of error with the same confidence level. The poll measured such large margins that the difference in margin of error (5% versus 3%) was not significant.

Rotation of question structure: Done to eliminate bias.

Sample Demographics: The VofA Poll’s participants were randomly selected within sample characteristics to model Austin registered voters’ political affiliation, race and ethnicity, age, and gender. Specifically:

POLITICAL AFFILIATION
Democrat
63%
Republican23%
Independent9%
Unsure4%
RACE AND ETHNICITY
White 68%
Hispanic/Latino 11%
African American/Black9%
Asian 3%
American Indian1%
Other6%
Refused2%

Note:  Percentages add up to over 100% because of Race and Hispanic/Latino intersectionality.

AGE
18-3428%
34-4421%
45-5417%
55-6415%
65+19%
Refused0%
GENDER
Female53%
Male47%

SELECTIVE LIST OF FINDINGS

Q: “How concerned are you about the way things are going in Austin?” 

Both our January and August surveys asked the same question. Over 80% of Austinites remain concerned.

Poll dateVery concernedSomewhat ConcernedTotal ConcernedNot Very Concerned
1Q202039%42%81%15%
3Q202042%40%82%16%

Q: “Aside from the Austin City Council, which one of the following has the most say so and influence on Austin’s policies?”
(Randomize choices) IF VALUES 1 to 5, THEN ASK: “Which one of the following has the NEXT most say so and influence on Austin’s policies?”

PowerMostNext MostTotal
City Staff14%26%40%
Lobbyists37%19%56%
Activists13%20%33%
Neighborhood Groups13%16%30%
Citizens17%9%26%
Other0%0%1%
Unsure/Refused6%2%8%
No second response6%

Q: Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? (Randomize Qs)

TopicAgreeDisagreeUnsure
The budget process is too complex for most citizens to understand.68%27%4%
The budget process is too complex for most citizens to understand.62%31%8%

Q: Do you favor or oppose reducing Congress Avenue from three vehicle lanes each way to one vehicle lane each way, and using the lost lanes for buses, rail cars, bicycles and scooters, with a grassy medium down the middle of Congress Avenue?

FavorOpposeDependsUnsure
35%60%0%5%

Q: Are you not concerned, somewhat concerned or very concerned that CodeNEXT would allow high-density, multi-family housing in what have been neighborhoods with only single-family residences, and which will increase traffic congestion and decrease parking availability in these neighborhoods, while also making it more difficult for fire and EMS apparatus to use neighborhood streets for emergencies? This question was asked in two ways, inverting the order of “not concerned, somewhat concerned, very concerned”.

Very concernedSomewhat concernedTotal concernedNot concernedDepends / OtherUnsure / Refused
36%30%65%23%0%11%

Q: Do you think the new CodeNEXT zoning will mostly benefit … ? (choices were rotated)

Existing homeownerDevelopersDepends (volunteered)Unsure / Refused
13%70%1%16%

Q: Is there racism in …? (Randomize subjects)

SubjectYesNoUnsure
… Austin City Government60%23%17%
… The Austin Police Department64%23%13%
… city land use planning and CodeNext53%20%27%
… Austin’s transit and bus system38%35%27%
… Austin’s health system for the poor58%28%15%

Q: With Austin’s continued growth, not hiring additional officers will make Austin safer?

Strongly agreeSomewhat agreeTotal agreeSomewhat disagreeStrongly disagreeTotal disagreeDepends / neutralUnsure
11%18%29%24%38%62%2%8%

Q: I would like to see Austin police officers driving through my neighborhood more frequently as a visible deterrent to burglaries, car thefts, assaults, and vandalism.

Strongly agreeSomewhat agreeTotal agreeSomewhat disagreeStrongly disagreeTotal disagreeDepends / neutralUnsure
33%22%55%20%23%43%1%1%

Q: I am dissatisfied that the City Council has abolished the Park Police, Special Investigations Intelligence Center, Organized Crime Unit and Lake Austin Patrols, and is not sending any officers to situations with potentially dangerous domestic violence incidents.

Strongly agreeSomewhat agreeTotal agreeSomewhat disagreeStrongly disagreeTotal disagreeDepends / neutralUnsure
36%21%56%18%17%35%4%5%