Health care, not immigration, viewed as most serious problem in stateMiddle Tennessee State University has released its Fall 2006 poll of Tennesseans. It showed that regardless of whether the word "illegal" or "undocumented" was used to described illegalized foreigners, a majority of respondents (roughly 6 of every 10) said that such people make life worse in Tennessee, and 4 of 10 disagreed. Respondents were split as to whether immigration in general is good for Tennessee. Some excerpts of the press release:
Attitudes towards immigrants not improved by politically correct terminology. A majority (52%) think immigration is a good thing, but 53% also want to reduce levels. In an experiment, fully 60% think 'illegal' immigrants make life worse, while another 58% say 'undocumented' immigrants make life worse." Education is the best predictor of thinking immigration is generally a good thing, ranging from 67% for those with college degrees or better to 52% for those with some college or trade school and just 36% of those with high school educations or less. Job competition might explain this finding to some degree.
Health care continues to be Tennessee's No. 1 problem, named by 19%. Health care emerged as the No. 1 problem in spring 2004. Education, crime, and the economy follow.
Tennessee mood brightens; national mood sour. The Tennessee barometer stands at a high of 61. The national barometer stands is 35. Each barometer is an index of chief-executive approval, economic perception, and the direction of the nation or state. [This is in contrast to Nashville's recent ranking as the fifth angriest city in the country (story here).]
For detailed findings and sampling breakdowns of the Fall 2006 MTSU Poll, visit www.mtsusurveygroup.org.
WKRN ran this story about the poll, its findings related to immigrants, and what it means for immigration to have less perceived priority in comparison to health care, education, crime and the economy.