Illinois Wesleyan political science students surveyed 387 Bloomington residents over the 52 precincts and the results have a margin of error of five percent. (Stephanie Pawlowski/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - Which would you rather see, reducing the deficit even if it means slowing the economic recovery or stimulating the economy even if it means less deficit reduction?
That was one question Illinois Wesleyan political science students asked a number of Bloomington voters in a recent survey. Professor Tari Renner said 48 percent of the people asked would rather see the economy going.
"The attempt in that question is to basically put people into a box and say, 'If you had to make a trade off, which side would you come down on?' And, of course we have a diversity of opinions there," Renner said.
He said the question is a way to predict for how people respond to economic issues.
In the survey, 49 percent of respondents said they generally disapprove of the way President Obama is handling his job, while 45 percent said they approve. When it comes to political identification, Renner said the numbers are changing.
"Because we're the fastest growing city in downstate Illinois, we have been for decades, and that's beginning to change our city's demographic make up, our city's political make up," Renner said. "We're becoming more of a microcosm of the country and you see it's not just in the party identification figures, but you see it in responses to issues."
The results of the party identification came out to 32 percent Republican, 33 percent Democratic and 35 percent independent.
Respondents also said if the election for president were held today, 46 percent would rather see Republican Mitt Romney win, compared to 44 percent for President Obama.
On the issues, most respondents said they felt President Obama's healthcare plan is a bad idea, but Renner said 13 percent have mixed opinions that are consistent.
"They say, 'There are some parts that I like and some parts that I just don't want.' We didn't offer that as an option, but there were significant a core of people that gave a more nuanced answer than a pollster would ask," Renner said.
Fifty-two percent of the respondents said they follow political affairs somewhat closely, 31 percent very closely. Questions were also asked about gun control, global warming, gay marriage, abortion and immigration.