The University of Texas at Tyler has conducted a public opinion poll relating to the upcoming elections to understand basic political attitudes of East Texans, Dr. Martin Slann, College of Arts and Sciences dean, announced.
The UT Tyler Center for Social Sciences Research, led by associate dean Dr. Kenneth Wink, received more than 400 responses from East Texans in Anderson, Cherokee, Gregg, Henderson, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood Counties this summer. Respondents were asked questions related to demography, party identification, political ideology, religious affiliation, policy preferences, candidate preferences in the 2014 general election, and some specific questions related to the issue of mental health as it interacts with the criminal justice system.
"We are now in the analyzing phase of this project, and so far the results have been pretty much what is expected," Wink said. "The citizens of the region are overwhelmingly Republican. No big surprise, but I was a little surprised at how skewed to the Republican side it really is.
"Another interesting finding is that while people have a tendency to choose the middle ground position when offered questions like this many times, a relatively large number identify themselves as strong partisans. That mirrors the national trend," he added.
The center will use the fully analyzed results for future UT Tyler faculty research and related academia usage. Officials hope to conduct the poll every two years before election time for further evaluations.