New poll released on transit attitudes in Orange and Wake Counties

This arrived in the last hour from Triangle Transit staff. Interesting timing for the Commissioners' meeting!


The Regional Transportation Alliance is out with its spring 2012 survey of potential voters in Orange and Wake counties on transit improvements.

 In a nutshell:

            Nearly 60% of Orange County voters support a sales tax for transit; this year the number of respondents in Orange opposing the measure fell to its lowest level ever

 In Wake, numbers remain above 50%; support has dropped slightly since 2010; 70% of those questioned say they believe they would benefit from improved transit whether or not they use it. 

A link to the news release and all crosstabs from this year and past polling periods can be found here:

The 2012 news release is here:

 The 2012 crosstabs for Orange are here:

 The 2012 crosstabs for Wake are here:


poor survey methodology, the poll was done May 9-10 AFTER most students were long gone and probably totally unreachable in any case, so I think this poll really understates approval in BOTH counties.I was one of the 501 persons polled on this in Wake County.

Looks like the voter screen was for the polling was either1) Voted in 2008 AND 2010 general elections, OR2) registered since 2008 and voted in 2010 general electionso the screen basically eliminates ALL voters registering since 2010 and ALL 2008 voters who did not vote in 2010.that's separate from the problem of polling in the summer

In Orange County the census shows 32% of the population age 18-29 but the Fallon Research RTA voter screen only shows 19.6% of the electorate in that age group. For Wake, the corresponding figures are 23.1% and 12%. I finally got a defensive email back from RTA saying Fallon stands behind its work and they do to and the survey was very reliable because it was within one point on the Durham referendum. I told them their methodology is fine for a low turnout municipal election in a college town but all wrong for a presidential election in a college town. They seemed to think that by polling a sample voted in 2008 and 2010 to vote that this picked up students.  Maybe it would if the election was being held in 2010, but not 2012.My prediction for Orange based on the 59-32 survey result and the defective polling screen?  70-30.

Regardless of the sampling issue, the data on the Orange poll highlights the difference between the theories people profess (transit is good, they will pay extra for it) and their personal practices (don't use it). Chris Argyris and Donald Schon labelled this theories in use vs theories in action. Indicates a need for intervention to help identify the barries to putting held theories into action.


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