7/14/05 Contact: David Granger, 334/844-9999 (grangdm@auburn.edu)
Jim Seroka, 334/844-4781 (jseroka@auburn.edu)

ALABAMIANS REMAIN CONFIDENT IN STATE’S DIRECTION; JOBS AND HEALTH CARE TOP CONCERNS

AUBURN – A majority of Alabamians are optimistic about the future of the State, and have confidence that Alabama is moving in a positive direction.

These are among the findings of a recent Ask Alabama public opinion survey, conducted by the Center for Governmental Services at Auburn University. Ask Alabama releases periodic results of polls on topics of interest to Alabamians.

Some 76 percent of citizens polled say that the quality of life in Alabama has improved or has remained the same during the past year. Fifty-four percent have some or great confidence that Alabama’s elected leadership is moving Alabama in a positive direction.

“The Alabama public continues to hold a relatively optimistic perspective that the State is moving forward, and that its elected leadership is helping in this regard,” notes poll director Jim Seroka.

While this is good news for the state’s elected officials, the bad news is citizens don’t altogether think their leaders are trustworthy. Eighty-three percent consider that assuring the honesty and integrity of State officials requires urgent or high attention.

“While most Alabamians agree that the elected leaders are moving the state in the right direction, they are very concerned that much of this progress can be lost through unethical behavior on the part of a few,” added Seroka.

Most Alabamians (81 percent) ranked job growth and access to health care among the state’s greatest needs. Other issues respondents consider important (respondents could select multiple concerns) include child welfare (73 percent), K-12 education (72 percent) and senior citizen services (71 percent).

Seroka observes that Alabamians’ priorities remain consistent over time.

“It is interesting to note that the public’s priority rankings have remained virtually unchanged since our last poll on this topic in 2004.”

Constitutional reform, though a hot news topic, is at the bottom of Alabamians’ list of priorities. Only 36 percent see a new state constitution as a priority.

“Despite major efforts to educate the citizenry about problems with the document, the message has not taken hold among the public that Alabama must have fundamental constitutional change,” observes Seroka.

Complete results of the Ask Alabama poll on “State Services and Policy Concerns” can be found at www.askalabama.org . The poll had a sample size of 603 resident Alabamians 19 or older, and an estimated margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

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