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During the summer of 2015, the A.L. Burruss Institute conducted a survey of Georgia residents to measure opinions on subjects that were popular news items at the time of the survey. The survey compiled results from 1,256 respondents from across the state to obtain a representative sample of Georgia’s residents. Participants were reached via landline telephone and cellular phone in order to increase the representativeness of the sample. 

The results from the survey are presented below. 

  • The sample of participants was weighted to ensure that the characteristics of the sample matched those of the population of Georgia. Some of the sample characteristics include gender, educational attainment, race, and whether participants lived inside or outside of metro Atlanta. Participants in the survey were comprised of 48.5% male and 51.5% female. Reported educational attainment of participants ranged from 15.4% who completed less than high school, 29% completed high school or attained a GED, 27.9% attended some college but did not obtain a bachelor’s degree, 17.7% received a bachelor’s degree, and 10% attained a graduate degree or professional degree. The race of participants who took part in the survey were reported as 60.5% Caucasian, 32.1% African American, 1.5% multiracial, 0.8% Asian, 0.2% Native American, and 4.9% other. Latino heritage was indicated by 8.3% of respondents. Participation in the survey was distributed among 39.9% of respondents who indicated they lived in metro Atlanta and 60.1% who indicated they lived outside the metro area.
  • Participants were asked whether they believed that law enforcement officials in their area treated everyone fairly. Responses indicating some level of agreement with this statement comprised 58.6% of all responses. Responses of “strongly agree” were reported by 12.4% of participants while 46.2% of participants reported “agree” as their response to the statement. Those reporting some level of disagreement comprised 32.1% of all responses with 23.7% reporting “disagree” and 8.4% reporting “strongly disagree.” Participants that reported they did not know whether law enforcement officials treated everyone fairly comprised 9.3% of all responses. 

  • The survey asked whether participants felt gay marriage should be legal in the State of Georgia. At the time this survey was conducted, the United States Supreme Court released its ruling on this issue making gay marriage legal in the United States. Despite this fact, participants were still asked for their opinion on this topic. Agreement at some level with the statement that gays and lesbians should be able to marry in the state of Georgia was reported by 44.6% of respondents. Those that reported “strongly agree” to the statement comprised 13.6% of participants and those that reported “agree” comprised 31%. Some level of disagreement with the statement was reported by 46.6% of respondents. “Strongly disagree”was indicated by 21.3% of participants and “disagree” was indicated by 25.3% of participants. A response of "don't know" was reported by 8.8% of participants.

  • Those taking part in the survey were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement that Georgia should build high-speed rail lines that connect the major cities around the state. The majority of participants (68.6%) believed that high-speed rail lines should be built in Georgia. “Strongly agree” was reported by 17.7% of participants and “agree” was reported by 50.9%. Some level of disagreement with the statement was reported by 21.2% of participants. Those that reported “strongly disagree” comprised 5.3% of responses and “disagree” was reported by 15.9% of respondents. A response of “don’t know” was reported by 10.2% of participants in this question.
  • Participants were asked whether they would support a proposal to legalize casino style gambling in Georgia. Some level of support for such a proposal was reported by 50.1% of participants with 11.2% indicating “strongly support” and 38.9% reporting “support.” Some level of opposition to casino gambling was reported by 42.7% of participants. Those who reported “strongly oppose” comprised 12.2% of participants and those that reported “oppose” comprised 30.5% of participants. “Don’t know” was reported by 7.2% of participants in response to the proposal of casino style gambling in Georgia.
  • Participants were asked whether they believed undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States or whether they should be deported back to their home countries. The majority of participants (74.6%) reported that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay, and 21.2% of participants believed they should not be allowed to stay. Participants who were unsure of their response to this question comprised 4.2% of responses to this question.
  • Participants were asked whether they believed that there were too many restrictions on guns already, whether there was a need for more restrictions, or whether the current amount of laws were about right. Those that believed there were already too many restrictions comprised 48.2% of reported responses. A need for more restrictions was reported by 42% of participants, and 5.7% of participants indicated that the current amount of gun control laws was about right. Participants that reported a response of “don’t know” comprised 4.1% of all responses to this question.
  • Participants were asked to rate the favorability of the Affordable Care Act. Some level of a favorable response was reported by 40.3% of participants. “Very favorable” was reported by 10% of participants and “somewhat favorable” was reported by 30.3%. Some level of an unfavorable response was reported by 48.4% of participants with 33.3% indicating a “very unfavorable” view and 15.1% indicating a “somewhat unfavorable” view. A response of “don’t know” was reported by 11.3% of participants. This question was very polar with the largest concentration of support for the Affordable Care Act were reported as  “somewhat favorable” whereas the largest concentration or participants not in favor of the Act were concentrated in the “very unfavorable” group. This difference demonstrates the disparity that those who do not favor the Affordable Care Act are very much against it while those who report supporting the act are not as firm in their support.
  • Participants were asked whether they agreed with or disagreed with the statement that marijuana for personal use should be legal in the state of Georgia. Support for this statement was reported by 44.3% of participants with 12.2% reporting "strongly agree" and 32.1% reporting “agree." Some level of disagreement with the statement was reported by 42.8% of participants. Those that reported “strongly disagree” comprised 14.1% of participants and those that reported “disagree” comprised 28.7% of all responses. Participants that indicated marijuana should only be legal for medical purposes comprised 7.6% of respondents. A response of “don’t know” was indicated by 5.3% of participants.
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