TAMIU Texas Center Survey Takes
Pulse of Community Leadership
The city’s political pulse is quickening, but a recent leadership survey by Texas A&M International University’s Texas Center for Border Economics and Enterprise Development (Texas Center), indicates some candidates may have stronger pulses than others.
The Texas Center conducted a random public opinion survey in two intervals from May 17-May 19 and from Oct. 25-27. The surveys tracked opinions of various community leaders, issues most important to city and county residents and those leaders respondents perceived best capable of addressing them.
Dr. Michael Patrick, Center director and Richard Perez, program manager, conducted the 9-question survey that yielded 245 responses for analysis.
Dr. Patrick said the summary results show that those surveyed already have clear perceptions of possible candidates for city and county races.
“Even at this relatively early juncture, we see that those who responded to the survey already have strong notions of what they think the candidate or potential candidate can or can’t do,” Dr. Patrick explained.
Perez noted that the respondents’ perspectives might also predict their future voting behavior.
“Our survey respondents were generated randomly from the County’s voter registration list of over 93,955 voters and the majority indicated that they did vote in the last elections, so we feel that these results might project future votes,” Perez explained.
Community leaders included in the survey were, in alphabetical order, C.Y. Benavides III, Louis Bruni, John Galo, Judith Gutierrez, Mercurio Martinez Jr., Raul Salinas, Rosaura Tijerina and Danny Valdez.
Regarding leadership qualities of various individuals, respondents were asked “What is your opinion of the leadership qualities of …” and asked to rank the individual as very good, good, poor, or no opinion. Resulting rankings were based on the aggregate of the good and very good responses.
Survey respondents ranked Danny Valdez first with 74.2% of responses. Second was Judith Gutierrez with 60% and Mercurio Martinez, Jr., third with 58%. Additional rankings were Rosaura Tijerina, 57.1%, Louis Bruni, 53.5%, John Galo, 40.8%, Raul Salinas, 40.4% and C.Y. Benavides, 36.3%.
Respondents were also asked to attach a level of importance to issues facing the county and city today, including economic development and jobs, quality of public education, quality of public education, quality of medical care/health services, control of domestic violence/gang violence and drug trafficking, quality of entertainment/outdoor recreation/museums/cultural events and border security.
Of these issues, all respondents ranked as “very important” Quality of Public Education -- first with 87.3% of responses. Economic Development and Jobs and Quality of Medical Care/Health Services were tied for second with 85.7%. Fourth was Control of Domestic Violence/Gang Violence/Drug Trafficking with 84.1%
When asked which of these areas was most important to them personally, 32.7% indicated Quality of Public Education, followed by Economic Development and Jobs, 21.6% and Control of Domestic Violence/Gang Violence/Drug Trafficking, 19.6%.
When surveyed for the leaders they felt could best address their top issue, 37.6% had no opinion, but 17.1% selected Danny Valdez first. Second was Rosaura Tijerina with 11.4% and Louis Bruni, third with 9%. Additional rankings were Mercurio Martinez Jr., 7.3%, Raul Salinas, 5.3%, John Galo, 4.9%, Judith Gutierrez, 4.9% and C. Y. Benavides, 2.4%.
71.4% of the respondents indicated they had voted in the last Mayoral election, while 66.5% said they had voted in the last County Judge election.
The entire survey with additional breakout information on demographics of those responding to the survey will be available soon from the Texas Center’s Web site at texascenter.tamiu.edu
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