The UI Department of Political Science completed a series of reports evaluating the results of the Hawkeye Poll conducted in March of 2015. The Hawkeye Poll surveyed 657 Johnson County residents as part of a teaching/learning mission of the University. This rigorously designed public opinion polling operation provides information to and about Iowans and their attitudes and preferences on an array of issues. The Iowa Social Science Research Center provides the expertise and data collection services to make the Hawkeye Poll successful.
The series of five reports includes:
Johnson County Justice Center:
In recent years special elections to build a Johnson County Justice Center have not succeeded. The Hawkeye Poll asked Johnson County residents about their thoughts on the justice center. 33.65 percent of respondents want to build a new justice center next to the courthouse to enhance courthouse space and security and to replace the existing jail. 24.54 percent of respondents support building a new addition to the courthouse to address courthouse space and security concerns, but continue to use the current jail. 31.34 percent wish to continue using the current courthouse and jail with minor repairs as needed.
Police Support Among Johnson County Residents:
A survey of 657 Johnson County residents revealed strong trust in the police. 70.66 percent of respondents completely trust or somewhat trust the police, while 5.90 percent completely distrust the police, and 12.20 percent somewhat distrust the police. The poll also revealed that trust for the police increases with age.
Johnson County Residents Support for Vaccinations:
Residents of Johnson County overwhelmingly believe that all children should be vaccinated. When asked if childhood vaccinations should be mandatory, 79.8 percent of respondents believe that all children should be vaccinated. Only 16.3 percent of respondents believe that parents should be able to decide whether to vaccinate their children. This is 20 percentage points higher than the national average of 60.0 percent who believe that all children should be vaccinated (Reason-Rupe October 2014 poll).
Iowa Citians Weigh in on Charter Review Proposal:
Of the 657 residents of Johnson County, 363 respondents indicated they live in Iowa City, and were asked to weigh in on some of the proposed changes to the city’s Home Rule Charter. 61 percent of respondents agree with the proposal to allow any eligible voter to sign initiative petitions while 31.8 percent preferred the current rules, which limits signatures to registered voters. Respondents prefer to keep the current number of required signatures, about 2500, over the proposal to raise it to about 3600 by over a two to one margin, with 63.7 percent preferring the lower threshold and 26.7 percent the larger threshold.
Local School Boards Setting School Start Dates and Support for Free Community Colleges:
When asked about school start dates, 68.4 percent of Johnson County residents responded that local school district officials should set school start dates, compared with 19.5 percent of Johnson County respondents who said that state officials should set these dates. Additionally, when asked about free community college, 46.0 percent and 24.8 percent of Johnson County respondents strongly or slightly support free community college. 9.3 percent of respondents strongly oppose free community college.
Access the results from the March 2015 Hawkeye Poll of Johnson County here.