FM3 Partner Dave Metz recently conducted a survey of California voter about issues related to software piracy. The following op-ed by Mr. Metz was published by Capitol Weekly on February 21, 2012. Below is an excerpt from the piece; it can be viewed in its entirety on the Capitol Weekly website by clicking here.
The vast majority of California voters support a legislative crackdown on information-technology piracy, based on their desire to prevent economic damage and job loss in California.
This is one important takeaway from our firm’s recent voter survey on the skyrocketing use of illegal, unlicensed software in the state and around the world by businesses, individuals and even government agencies.
By wide margins, voters think the consequences of software piracy go well beyond the technology industry, impacting many other businesses and the economy as a whole. A striking 84 percent of those we surveyed believe California loses jobs to non-American companies using stolen technology.
Most voters say they personally would never use unlicensed technology and they strongly reject the notion that IT theft is a victimless crime. They make no distinction between stealing in general and the use of unlicensed computer software.
Those surveyed believe companies have the right to protect themselves from theft and virtually all of them believe that laws should protect against software piracy. This is a clear indication that voters would look favorably on state policy makers who protect the economy and jobs by supporting legislation to prevent the use and proliferation of stolen information technology products.
In fact, the survey shows that 88 percent of voters support enacting a law requiring state agencies and their contractors to use only legally licensed software products. Voters of all demographic groups, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or party registration want to ensure that state government and its contractors do not use stolen software.
Most people in four Midwestern states would pay slightly higher utility bills to boost clean energy and energy efficiency, a poll has found.
The survey of 1,600 voters Jan. 9-15 found that 51 percent of people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio were willing to pay up to $6 more per month on electric bills for energy conservation efforts and clean power sources like wind and solar. Another 37 percent of those surveyed would pay $2 to $4 more, while 8 percent were not willing to pay anything more.
The poll was conducted jointly by Democratic pollster Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Metz and Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies for the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a St. Paul nonprofit that supports renewable energy. The poll has a 2.9 percent margin of error.
The poll asked people what energy sources they believed should be increased. The top three were solar (87 percent), wind (86 percent) and natural gas (85 percent), but majorities favored increasing most kinds of energy, including coal and nuclear.
Biomass fared poorly until pollsters explained what it is. Then support shot to 80 percent. Biomass energy comes from grasses, wood chips and other plant matter.
Despite support for natural gas, three of five of respondents opposed hydraulic fracking, the blasting of water, chemicals and sand underground to release gas in shale. The technique, used in Ohio and other states, has boosted output and driven down gas prices.
According to a new poll, Orinda residents are willing to pay a higher sales tax to help fix their city’s damaged roads.
Sixty-one percent of the more than 400 voters who took a city-sponsored phone survey in January said they would support a half-cent sales tax hike to fund street, road and storm drain repairs and other general services.
But a $20 million bond measure, which garnered 55 percent overall support in the new poll, and a $200 parcel tax, which received 46 percent support, would fall short of the two-thirds majority needed for voter approval.
Still, the poll indicated there may soon be progress on fixing Orinda’s beat-up roads.
“There is the potential to pass a ballot measure in November of this year,” pollster David Metz of the firm Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates told the council at a meeting Tuesday.
The survey is the fourth the city has undertaken to gauge resident’s willingness to fix roads identified as some of the Bay Area’s worst.
FM3 recently teamed up with Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies for the 2012 Colorado College State of the Rockies Conservation in the West Poll. The full report can be found here. The survey found that western voters across the political spectrum – from Tea Party supporters to those who identify with the Occupy Wall Street movement – support upholding and strengthening protections for clean air, clean water, natural areas and wildlife. They also view America’s parks and public lands as essential to their state’s economy, and quality of life
The survey was widely covered in the media this week. Here are a few news items and blog posts that explore the findings of the survey in more detail:
Today the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project released a new poll demonstrating that westerners of political affiliations ranging from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street support strengthening protections for clean air, clean water, and the public lands that belong to all of us.
Pollsters Dave Metz and Lori Weigel, representatives of Democratic and Republican polling firms, spoke to ThinkProgress about the results of their “Conservation in the West” poll, which was conducted amongst registered voters in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Metz told us that the surprising results show how conservation is “a pretty unique issue in the current political environment”:
And one of the things that were most interesting about this survey is the degree to which Democrats, Republicans and Independents in the West really share some common values when it comes to public lands and their importance, both to their quality of life and to the economy. What we found was that roughly 9 out of 10 westerners, regardless of party affiliation, believe that public lands in their state play an important role, not just in their quality of life, but as a driver of their economy. And to see that kind of agreement and unanimity across party lines reflects a pretty unique issue in the current political environment.
The survey, completed in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming by Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies (a Republican firm) and Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (a Democratic firm), found that swing voters across the West – who may be key to deciding the presidential race – nearly unanimously agree that public lands such as national parks, forests, monuments, and wildlife areas are “an essential part” of the economies of these states. Four in five Western voters view having a strong economy and protecting land and water as compatible.
Two-thirds of Western voters say America’s energy policy should prioritize expanding use of clean renewable energy and reducing the need for more coal, oil and gas. Even in states like Wyoming and Montana, which are more often associated with fossil fuels, voters view renewable energy as a local job creator according to the survey.
“Western voters consistently believe that conservation helps create and protect jobs for their states,” said Dave Metz in a press release. “In fact, by a 17 point margin, voters are more likely to say that environmental regulations have a positive impact on jobs in their state rather than a negative one.”
Seven in 10 Western voters support implementation of the Clean Air Act, and updating clean air standards. They see regulations designed to protect land, air, water and wildlife as having a positive impact on public safety (70 percent), the natural beauty of their state (79 percent) and their quality of life (72 percent).
For the first time during this tumultuous political season, Coloradans and Westerners in general have found something to agree on: the value of America’s public lands to both our economy and quality of life.
The proof is in the polling.
According to the “Conservation in the West” poll released Monday by Colorado College, 93 percent of Colorado voters surveyed believe our national parks, forests and wildlife areas are a vital part of the state’s economy. The prevailing sense among Westerners that habitat and the environment don’t need to suffer for the sake of economic growth is undeniable. And that sentiment is echoed loudly by voting sportsmen.
The survey conducted in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana showed near-universal agreement (92 percent) on the value of public lands, strong support (two-thirds) for renewable energy development over traditional fossil- fuel exploration and opposition (nearly two-thirds) to allowing private companies to develop public lands when it would limit the public’s access and enjoyment of those lands.
While the majority of the 2,400 voters polled consider themselves politically conservative or moderate, the survey completed by Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies (a Republican firm) and Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (a Democratic firm) spanned voters across the political spectrum, including supporters of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.
Four out of five of those Western voters view a strong economy and protections for clean air, clean water, natural areas and wildlife as compatible.
A large majority of Utah hunters and anglers are concerned about loss of habitat for fish and wildlife, water pollution and funding cuts for state parks.
They are less worried about the impact of oil and gas drilling on the land, toxins and pesticides in food and drinking water, and inadequate water supplies. Many think companies should have greater access to public lands for mining, drilling, timber harvest and other extractive development.
Those were among the results of the 2012 Colorado College State of the Rockies Conservation in the West Poll released Monday. The survey covered Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and those who identified themselves as hunters and anglers were broken out of the main poll.
The survey found that 92 percent of hunters and anglers — the majority of whom identify politically as conservative or moderate — believe that national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas are an “essential part” of the economies of their states. Nearly two-thirds of sportsmen opposed allowing private companies to develop public lands when it would limit the public’s enjoyment of, or access to, these lands.
The sample size of 153 Utah sportsmen showed that they want to both protect the land and grow the economy through development of public land resources.
A survey of Westerners shows overwhelming support for conservation of the landscape, with strong pluralities agreeing that “national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas, are an essential part” of their state economies.
In the states of Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Montana, some of which rank among the “reddest” states, politically, in the country, the survey showed a broad bipartisan support for a clean, healthy environment.
Despite the sluggish economy and various calls for more development on public lands, the survey of 2,400 registered voters in thsoe six states found growing support for protection of public lands and resources and a declining belief that protections of these places often are in conflict with strong economies.