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Washington Post Prince George's County Election Poll
August 2002

The latest Washington Post poll is based on telephone interviews with 1,201 randomly selected adults, including 911 self-described registered voters, in Prince George's County. The poll was conducted August 14 - 19, 2002. The margin of error for overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Interviewing was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.

RV = Registered Voters

1. Are you registered to vote in Prince George's County, or haven't you had a chance to register?


            Yes     No     No opin. 
8/19/02      67     33         0

***IF NO, DK, REF AT Q1***

2. Are you a resident of Prince George's County?


            Yes     No     No opin. 
8/19/02     100      0         0

***IF YES, REGISTERED AT Q1*** 3. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or something else?


            Dem     Rep     Ind     Other     No opin.
8/19/02      71      14      9        5          1

***ASK IF REGISTERED DEMOCRAT*** 4. This year's Democratic primary election for county executive is September 10. Some people have busier schedules than others. Because of this, some people who plan to vote can't always get around to it on election day.

With your personal schedule in mind, I'd like you to rate the chances that you will vote in the Prince George's County Democratic primary election on September 10.

Are you absolutely certain to vote, very likely to vote, probably will vote, are the chances 50-50, or don't you think you will vote in that election?

            Certain   Likely    Probably  Chances  Don't think     No 
            to vote   to vote     vote     50/50    will vote     opin.
8/19/02        55       15         11        11         7           1


 

***ASK IF REGISTERED DEMOCRAT *** 5/6. 5. Suppose the primary election for county executive were held today. Would you vote for: Rushern Baker, Jim Estepp, Jack Johnson, C. Anthony Muse or Major Riddick? Which one are you leaning toward right now?


Net Leaned Vote -Democratic registered voters
								    Wouldn't    
          Baker   Estepp   Johnson   Muse   Riddick   Vote    Undecided 
8/19/02     5       12        26      14       7       8          28

Net Leaned Vote - Likely Democratic voters
          Baker   Estepp   Johnson   Muse   Riddick   Undecided
8/19/02     5        16       31      16       9         23


***ASK IF SELECTED CANDIDATE AT Q5 OR Q6*** 7. Would you say you strongly support or just somewhat support (SHOW NAME OF SELECTED CANDIDATE)?


Summary Table: 

8/19/02

            Strongly     Somewhat     No opin. 
Baker          **           **           **
Estepp         **           **           **
Johnson        49           51            *
Muse           43           57            0
Riddick        **           **           **
**BASE TOO SMALL TO ANALYZE


***ASK IF SELECTED CANDIDATE AT Q5 OR Q6*** 8. As things stand now, are you absolutely certain that you will vote for (CANDIDATE NAME), or is there at least a chance that you might change your mind?


Summary Table: 

8/19/02

            Will vote     May change   No opin. 
Baker           **            **          **
Estepp          **            **          **
Johnson         52            48           0
Muse            44            56           0
Riddick         **            **          **
**BASE TOO SMALL TO ANALYZE


9. Generally speaking, how interested are you in the current campaign for county executive: would you say you are very interested, fairly interested, not too interested, or not interested at all?


               -----Interested-----     -----Not interested-----      No
               NET    Very    Smwt.     NET    Not too     At all    opin.
8/19/02        59      27       32      40       19          21        1
8/19/02 RV     72      34       37      28       17          11        1

13. Do you think things in Prince George's County (are generally going in the right direction) or do you feel things (have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track)?


                  Right       Wrong      No
                direction     track     opin.
8/19/02             47          44        8
8/19/02 RV          46          51        4
10/21/96 RV         50          42        8
7/20/94 RV          40          51        9


14. Overall, how would you rate Prince George's County as a place to live: Excellent, good, not-so-good, or poor?


                ----Excellent/Good-----    -----Not so good/Poor-----   No  
                NET   Excellent    Good    NET    Not so good   Poor    op.
8/19/02         77       16         61     23        16           7      *
8/19/02 RV      75       17         57     25        19           7      *
10/21/96 RV     74       13         61     26        18           8      *
7/20/94 RV      76       11         65     24        17           7      *


15. In the past 10 years, would you say the quality of life in Prince George's County has (gotten better), (gotten worse), or has it stayed about the same?


                Better     Worse     Same     No opin.
8/19/02           27         28       37          7
8/19/02 RV        27         32       36          4
10/21/96 RV       23         35       37          4
7/20/94 RV        23         41       34          3


16a. What do you like most about living in Prince George's County?


                                        8/19/02    8/19/02 (RV)    7/94 (RV)
Convenient/accessible to DC, MD, VA       26           30              39
Neighborhood/area/countryside             24           22              34
Affordable housing/low cost of living      9            9              12    
Public services/good transportation        7            7               8   
Friends or family nearby                   6            5               9 
Cultural/ethnic/racial diversity           4            5               6
Safety of area                             3            2               7
Schools                                    2            2              NA
Taxes are reasonable                       1            2               2
Economy                                    1            1              NA
Everything                                 1            1              NA
Other                                      1            1              NA
Nothing                                   11           11               8
Don't Know                                 4            4              NA


16b. What do you like least about living in Prince George's County??


                                        8/19/02    8/19/02 (RV)    7/94 (RV)
Crime/violence                            18           19              28
Education system/poor schools             13           17              13
Police                                     8            7               5
Crowded areas                              7            7               6
Lack of public transportation              5            4               9 
Taxes too high                             4            5               9
Government system                          3            4               4
Housing or rent costs too high             3            2               3
Negative image/no community pride          3            3               4
Traffic is bad                             3            3               8
Inadequate shopping options                3            5              NA
Area run down                              2            1               3
No jobs/jobs scarce                        2            2              NA
Poor services/streets and roads            2            2              NA
Drugs                                      1            1               8
Racial issues                              1            1              NA
Decline of social system                  xx           xx               3
Nothing                                   13            9              15
Other                                      3            3              NA
Don't Know                                 7            5              NA




17. I am going to read to you a list of names. For each, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of that person, or perhaps you don't know enough to say:


Summary Table:

8/19/02

All Respondents:

                  Favorable     Unfavorable     No opinion
Rushern Baker         11              6              83
Jim Estepp            24              6              70 
Jack Johnson          31             13              57
C. Anthony Muse       23             10              67
Major Riddick         19              9              72

Registered Democratic Voters:
 
                  Favorable     Unfavorable     No opinion
Rushern Baker        15              7               78   
Jim Estepp           28              7               65 
Jack Johnson         44             13               43
C. Anthony Muse      31             13               56
Major Riddick        23             11               66


18. Now I'm going to read you a list of things that some people say are problems in the county, but others do not. For each, please tell me if you think this is a big problem, a small problem or not a problem in Prince George's County.

 

Summary Table

8/19/02

All Respondents:

                                         Big      Small     Not a       No
                                       problem   problem   problem   opinion
a. The quality of the public schools      52        24        14         9
b. Unemployment/not enough good jobs      49        30        14         8
c. Violent crime                          70        23         4         2
d. Drugs                                  69        21         6         4
e. Relation between the police and the
community                                 47        30        20         2
f. The overall health of the local 
economy                                   35        40        21         4
g. Low income residents moving from the
District into Prince George's County      41        25        26         8
h. The absence of stores specializing
in exclusive, high-end merchandise*       39        27        32         3  
i. Relations between the races*           18        47        33         3
j. Transportation and roads*              32        37        31         *
k. Problems related to immigrants*        25        27        37        11
*Items h-k asked of half sample. 

Trend where available:

a. The quality of the public schools

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            52        24        14        9
8/19/02 RV         60        24         8        7
10/21/96 RV        55        25        13        7
7/20/94 RV         61        35         2        1

b. Unemployment/not enough good jobs

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            49        30        14        8
8/19/02 RV         50        30        12        7
10/21/96 RV        54        29        12        5
7/20/94 RV         59        24        10        7  

c. Violent crime

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            70        23         4        2
8/19/02 RV         72        23         3        2
10/21/96 RV        77        20         3        *
7/20/94 RV         34        46        19        1 

d. Drugs

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            69        21         6        4
8/19/02 RV         72        21         3        4
10/21/96 RV        84        12         2        2
7/20/94 RV         81        15         3        1

e. Relation between the police and the community

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            47        30        20        2
8/19/02 RV         52        32        16        1
10/21/96 RV        34        41        22        3
7/20/94 RV         29        39        30        3  

f. The overall health of the local economy

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            35        40        21        4
8/19/02 RV         36        43        18        3
10/21/96 RV        40        41        18        2
7/20/94 RV         42        37        17        4

g. No trend. 

h. The absence of stores specializing in exclusive, high-end merchandise

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            39        27        32        3
8/19/02 RV         42        26        29        3
10/21/96 RV*       33        31        33        3
7/20/94 RV         82        16         2        *    
*"exclusive" was added 

i. Relations between the races

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            18        47        33        3
8/19/02 RV         19        50        29        2
10/21/96 RV        38        40        21        1
7/20/94 RV         31        41        25        3

j. Transportation and roads

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            32        37        31        *
8/19/02 RV         33        37        29        1
10/21/96 RV        33        40        25        1
7/20/94 RV         56        28        12        4

k. Problems related to immigrants

                  Big      Small     Not a      No
                problem   problem   problem   opinion
8/19/02            25        27        37       11
8/19/02 RV         27        30        32       11
10/21/96 RV        25        37        32        6
7/20/94 RV         23        41        29        7


19. Overall, how would you rate the quality of public schools in Prince George's County: Excellent, good, not-so-good or poor?


                ----Excellent/Good-----    -----Not so good/Poor-----   No  
                NET   Excellent    Good    NET    Not so good   Poor    op.
8/19/02         43        4         39     48        29          19      9
8/19/02 RV      39        3         37     54        33          21      7
10/21/96 RV     50        4         46     44        29          14      7
7/20/94 RV      46        3         43     49        32          17      5


20. Do you think the quality of public schools in Prince George's County is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?


                Better     Worse     Same   No opinion
8/19/02           25        22        43         9
8/19/02 RV        23        26        43         8
10/21/96 RV       15        33        44         7
7/20/94 RV        13        40        41         6


21. As you may have heard, the county's elected school board was dismissed earlier this year, and has been replaced by a new board appointed by the governor and the county executive. Do you think it was generally a good idea or generally a bad idea to replace the existing board with a newly appointed one?


               Good idea     Bad idea     No opinion
8/19/02            62           24             14
8/19/02 RV         63           25             11


22. Considering everything, how well do you think whites and blacks get along in Prince George's County: Very well, fairly well, not-too-well or not well at all?


                ----------Well----------     --------Not well--------      No
                NET      Very     Fairly     NET     Not too   At all     opin. 
8/19/02         86        18        68       11         9         2         3
8/19/02 RV      88        16        72       10         9         1         2
10/21/96 RV     84        10        74       14        11         4         2
7/20/94 RV      84        13        71       15        10         5         1


23. How important is it that the next county executive be African-American? Very important, fairly important, not too important, or not important at all?


               -----Important-----   -----Not important-----       No
               NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   At all      opinion
8/19/02        35     15      20     62       21       41           3
8/19/02 RV     34     14      20     63       21       42           2
7/94           25     12      13     74       21       54           2


24. Do you think that whites in Prince George's County have too much, too little or just about the right amount of influence in county politics?


               Too much    Too little   Right amount     No
               influence   influence    of influence   opinion
8/19/02            26          12            50          12
8/19/02 RV         27          15            49           9
10/21/96 RV        38           8            46           8
7/20/94 RV         38           8            44          11


25. Do you think that blacks in Prince George's County have too much, too little or just about the right amount of influence in county politics?


               Too much    Too little   Right amount     No
               influence   influence    of influence   opinion
8/19/02            10          39            39          11
8/19/02 RV         13          41            39           7
10/21/96 RV         5          47            40           8
7/20/94 RV          7          55            29           9


***HALF SAMPLE***

26a. Right now, blacks make up about 60 percent of the population of Prince George's County. Would it be better for the county if the percentage of black residents increased, decreased or stayed about the same?


              Increased     Decreased     Stayed the same     No opinion
8/19/02           12            10              69                  9
8/19/02 RV        10             9              71                  9
7/94*             10             7              72                 11
*"Right now, blacks make up about half…"

***HALF SAMPLE***

26b. Right now, whites make up about 25 percent of the population of Prince George's County. Would it be better for the county if the percentage of white residents increased, decreased or stayed about the same?


              Increased     Decreased     Stayed the same     No opinion
8/19/02           37             2              48                 13
8/19/02 RV        41             *              44                 15
7/94*             26             4              58                 12
**"Right now, whites make up about 40 percent…"


27. As you may know, Prince George's County has a law in place called TRIM that caps county property taxes. TRIM prohibits the county council and county executive from increasing the real estate property tax rate beyond a certain limit. Do you think the TRIM law should stay in place or do you think it should be repealed?

 

               Should      Should be     Don't know        No
                stay       repealed      about TRIM      opinion
8/19/02          66           25              6             3  
8/19/02 RV       70           23              4             3  


28. These days, how safe from crime do you feel in your neighborhood? Would you say you feel very safe from crime, somewhat safe, not too safe, or not safe at all?


               --------Safe--------     -------Not safe------        No
               NET    Very    Smwt.     NET   Not too  At all     opinion
8/19/02        78      29       48      22       14       8           *
8/19/02 RV     80      29       51      20       14       6           *

COMPARE TO WASHINGTON D.C: These days, how safe from crime do you feel in your neighborhood? Would you say you feel very safe from crime, somewhat safe, not too safe, or not safe at all?


               --------Safe--------     -------Not safe------        No
               NET    Very    Smwt.     NET   Not too  At all     opinion
5/19/02        74      27       47      25       16       9          * 


29. Generally speaking, do you think the Prince George's County police force tends to use too much physical force, or do you think they use only the necessary and appropriate amount of physical force?


               Too much     Necessary/       Not        No
                 force      appropriate     enough     opin.    
8/19/02           48             42           2          7
8/19/02 RV        50             42           2          5


***SKIP IF "WHOLE LIFE" AT Q30*** 33. Where did you live before moving to Prince George's County?


                          8/19/02
Washington DC               38
Montgomery County, MD        9
Elsewhere in Maryland       17 
Northern Virginia            5  
Elsewhere in Virginia        4
Elsewhere in the country    20
Out of the country           7


34. If you had your choice, are there other places in the Washington area other than Prince George's County where you'd rather live, or not?


                                 8/19/02
Washington DC                       7 
Virginia                            6
Montgomery County, MD              16
Elsewhere in Maryland              15
Other                               9
Would not rather live elsewhere    46

35. Thinking about the past year or so, have you considered moving out of Prince George's County? (IF YES) Have you seriously considered moving, or just talked about it?


               ------------Yes-----------     Have      No
               NET    Seriously    Talked     not      opin.
8/19/02        44         25         19        56        *
8/19/02 RV     47         26         21        53        *


***ASK IF Q35=YES*** 36. What is the main reason you have considered moving?


                                        8/19/02     8/19/02 (RV)
Better schools                            15            18
Crime/violence/drugs                      19            19
Racial mix of county                       2             2
To be nearer to public transportation      4             4
Lower taxes                                4             5
Less traffic                               2             1
Job related/for work                       6             4
Retirement related                         3             4
Be closer to family                        4             3
Better home/buy home                       7             8
Cost of living                             5             5
Be closer to city                          2             3
Be away from city                         14            14
Other                                      9             6


*= less than 0.5 percent









© 2002 The Washington Post Company