The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce released its annual survey of voter attitudes earlier this month, yielding possible insight into election trends come next November.
Overall, just over one-quarter of voters (27%) feel as if the City is headed in the right direction.
When it comes to crime, 55% of the residents polled feel less safe than they did a year ago. When asked about police service funding, 88% of voters reported a need for additional funds.
Residents were provided a short list of public services in Oakland and asked to prioritize the need for each service. Despite the fact that public education is not administered through the city, it came out on top with 80% of respondents emphasizing a great need for additional funding. Police services trailed with 75% of voters responding to the same question.
The future isn’t exactly bright for the city’s first female mayor should she seek reelection in 2014. More than three-quarters of those surveyed (77%) gave Mayor Jean Quan a negative job rating and less than one-fifth of voters (18%) would reelect her if the election were today. On the whole, less than one-quarter of voters (24%) feel favorable towards her, in comparison with the almost two-thirds (62%) who are unfavorable. According to the report, her ratings have declined since last year.
Mayor Quan’s ratings aren’t entirely unique, however. Voters citywide gave the Oakland City Council a 75% negative job rating.
The happiest voters reside in District 2 while the least content hail from District 6.
Diversity, weather and location rank as the best reasons to live in Oakland when asked for an open-ended response. Meanwhile, crime accounted for a whopping 69% of the open-ended answers.
Some other highlights include:
- 92% of respondents expressed a great need for additional funding to be allocated towards road repair and maintenance, an increase over the past year.
- 53% of voters strongly favor requiring affordable housing to be a part of any new housing development, while only 17% either somewhat or strongly oppose.
- 79% of voters are either strongly or somewhat in favor of offering tax incentives to encourage businesses to move to Oakland.
- More than half (52%) have taken BART at least 12 times in the past year.
- The results were almost exactly half-and-half as to whether or not it is important to keep local sports teams in the area. It was also reported that 55% of voters polled had never been to an Athletics’ game, and 82% had never attended a Raiders game within the last year.
Despite the many negatives listed above, 70% of respondents ranked Oakland as either “excellent” or “good” with only 28% said that the Bay Area city was not.
As with any polling, it is important to know how exactly the survey was conducted. EMC Research sampled 500 likely voters in the November 2014 election. The poll was conducted in late September 2013. The following statistics define survey base:
- 45% men, 55% women
- 53% had lived in Oakland more than 20 years
- 57% of respondents were employed, 27% retired
- Only 44% were between 18-49 while the remaining 56% were above 50
- 71% were Democrats, 6% Republicans and 23% reported No Party Preference
Download the report here or view the Chamber’s findings below:
Editor’s note: many thanks to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce for making this information available to the public.