Tom Garrity

Archive for November, 2018|Monthly archive page

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: The Law

In Reputation on November 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.13 PMNew Mexico’s legal system is ripe with opportunity to gauge public opinion when compared to community conversations.

The Garrity Perception Survey measures four areas related to the New Mexico legal and justice system.  It includes favorability of the courts and justice system as well as measures trust of judges, lawyers and law enforcement officers.

Favorability of the courts and trust of lawyers do well to hover in the lower quarter of favorability.  Based on a seven-year statewide average, the courts system averages 26 percent favorability and lawyers average 21 percent favorability. Geographically, the two areas are hard pressed to find any pockets of significant support in any part of the state. It is safe to say that despite some very good people and qualified professionals, favorability of the court and trust of attorneys is difficult to increase given awareness of high crime rates, drunk drivers and repeat offenders.

Interestingly, while New Mexico residents are not favorable of the courts they are trusting of its officers, the judges.  An 18 percent gap exists between trust of judges and favorability of the courts.  Geographically, judges have higher trust among residents living in the Eastern and South/Southwestern parts of the state.

Police officers and law enforcement officers are the most trusted when compared with their two counterparts, judges and lawyers. However, New Mexico residents didn’t always have this level of trust (a 49 percent average) of police officers.

In 2013 and 2014, a series of high profile incidents captured local, statewide and national attention.

In 2013, the New Mexico State Police pulled over a van carrying the suspect and her five children.  After the second time the driver tried to speed away, officers fired three shots at the van’s tires. The police dash-cam video captured the exchange which made national coverage.  The officers were cleared of the shooting as a judge said they were justified to shoot at the tires.

Also, in 2013, the Deming Police Department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a full cavity search on a person who was pulled over for allegedly for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign in a Walmart parking lot.

In 2014, the Albuquerque Police Department was involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man who also suffered from mental disorders. After the shooting, the suspect was found to have knives in each hand.  The incident was one of several officer involved shootings faced by the department in as many months.

The APD shootings captured the media attention and attracted attention of the United States Justice Department.  Police Chief Gordon Eden, an experienced law man and relatively new to his role as police chief, led changes to the force.  With the help of the Mayor and Albuquerque City Council, the Civilian Police Oversight Agency was established.

These actions helped to rebuild trust among Albuquerque residents which in turn increased trust of police offices statewide.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.44 PMMore information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

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The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Healthcare

In Reputation on November 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.13 PMFrom 2011-2017, perceptions of healthcare in New Mexico have been impacted at a variety of levels.

Consider these milestones at the Federal and State level.

2010 inaugurated the Affordable Care Act (or ACA), also known as Obamacare.

In 2013, the New Mexico Human Services Department halted funding to 15 behavioral health providers in response to allegations of Medicaid fraud this resulted in coverage interruptions for 30,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Also in 2013, the New Mexico Healthcare Exchange was created by state law to help residents get affordable health care coverage.

In 2014 the Veterans Health Administration was embroiled in a scandal where allegations of negligence were reported in the treatment of United States military veterans.

As if 2013 didn’t have enough activity, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez expanded healthcare coverage, through the ACA, to include recipients of Medicaid. The expansion provided coverage for residents with household incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal poverty level.

And according to US Census data, the uninsured rate in New Mexico fell from 18.6 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in 2016 — a drop of more than 50 percent, versus the national average drop of a little more than 40 percent.

A 2015 report issued by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center shows that New Mexico only has “nineteen hundred” primary care physicians. When compared to the State’s population, at the time, that equaled one primary care physician for every “thousand ninety-nine” New Mexicans in the state.

Politically, in 2016, a unique political showdown developed between the legislature, Attorney General, State Auditor and Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.  At the center of the issue, the release of an audit claiming the Insurance Superintendent failed to collect nearly $200 million in taxes from insurance companies.

The seven-year period also included new hospital construction and improvements as well as the creation of and merger of various insurance and medical groups.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.34 PMDespite the changes, New Mexico residents are generally consistent in how they feel about the medical system.  Favorability, hovers just below the 50 percent mark with the most fluctuation occurring in 2013 when it dropped from 49 percent to 46 percent.  Over the past seven years, the medical system has averaged 47 percent favorability among New Mexico residents.

Geographically, residents in the Albuquerque area are the most consistent and generally have the highest levels of trust and favorability regarding doctors and the medical system. Residents in the Northwest have the largest swings in favorability of the medical system with a low of 45 percent in 2015 and high of 75 percent in 2016.  Trust of doctors also saw some extreme swings in North Central New Mexico with a 39 percent favorability in 2014 followed by 70 percent favorability in 2015.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.57 PMInterestingly, the oldest and youngest residents have the highest level of trust in physicians. The youngest (18-34 years of age), typically the lightest users of insurance and healthcare, have an average 66 percent trust of physicians compared to residents over the age of 65 years, the most frequent users of insurance and health care, who have a 69 percent average of trust in doctors.

More information and analysis of this information is available online at http://www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Religion

In Reputation on November 28, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.31.50 PMFaith and religion are intertwined with New Mexico history and who we are as a society.

Generally, more than 70 percent of New Mexico residents place a high value of faith in their personal life.  Their favorability of religious institutions and trust of religious leaders isn’t far behind.

Sixty five percent of New Mexico residents, on average, have a favorable view of religious institutions.  Sixty one percent of residents, on average, have a favorable view of religious leaders.

However, drilling down into the numbers shows the impacts that scandal can have on perceptions of any industry.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.32.43 PMIn 2013 and 2014, lawsuits against the Catholic Church, alleging abuse by several priests against parishioners, were in the headlines.  The New Mexico lawsuits were filed in 2013 and were reflected, in part, when the 2014 survey was in the field in February/March of that year.

The lowest levels of trust and favorability of religious leaders and institutions were seen in the 2013 and 2014 surveys.  When news started to hit, Statewide trust of religious leaders dropped ten percent and favorability of religious institutions dropped eight percent.

The negative hit was most evident among resident’s trust of priests in areas where there is a high level of catholic residents. Specifically, trust of religious leaders went from a high of 74 percent in 2013 to a low of 41 percent in 2015, a drop of 33 percent over the course of the year.  Trust of religious leaders in that region has still not recovered and trust among North Central residents remains the lowest in the state (an average of 58 percent).

Conversely, areas with high level of protestant membership (Northwest and Eastern New Mexico) saw increases in trust of their religious leaders during that time.  In fact, residents in Northwest New Mexico saw an eleven percent increase in trust from 2013 to 2014.

Paralleling legal settlements was an aggressive effort by the Catholic Church to own the narrative of showing compassion to the victims.  This resulted in a gradual increase of trust and favorability for all pastors and priests as well as churches.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.32.23 PMMore information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Education

In Reputation on November 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.30.10 PMPerceptions of education swing wildly in New Mexico.  Media coverage and controversy tend to be the biggest sway of favorability and trust.  Another motivator of “perception” is political ideology.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.30.38 PMFor example, favorability of universities tends to dip whenever there is controversy or transition in leadership.  Favorability of Universities in Southern New Mexico dipped when New Mexico State University was in the midst of a very hostile leadership transition. The same dip was seen in the Albuquerque area when the University of New Mexico’s sports programs grabbed the headlines.

The scenario for K-12 education is not much different.  While people connect with people and not so much institutions, it should not be surprising about the general differences between the lower favorability of public schools and higher trust of teachers.  However, there are some things to notice in the seven years of perception surveys.

In 2011, Public Schools enjoyed a 47 percent favorability.  The next year, it slipped to 38 percent. The ebb and flow of favorability continued.  Favorability increased for three years to 46 percent in 2015 only to drop again to 39 percent in 2017.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.31.02 PMTrust of Teachers is not as volatile, increasing three percent over the past seven years.  Teachers saw the lowest level of trust in 2013 (63 percent) and the highest level of trust in 2015 (74 percent).

The age groups most vested in K-12 education are the 18-34 and 35-49 year old age group. New Mexico residents in these age groups are the most likely to have children in the public schools. Both of these age demographics place a high level of trust in teachers, both seeing peaks in 2015. The age groups tend to split a little more dramatically when it comes to favorability of public schools. The 18-34 age group, despite an 18 point shift from 2012 to 2015, tends to be more favorable of public schools than the 35-49 age group.

Statewide, residents in Eastern New Mexico are the most favorable of public schools (51 percent average) while residents in Albuquerque have the lowest level of favorability (38 percent average).  Trust of teachers is highest in North Central New Mexico (an average of 70 percent).

More information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Energy

In Reputation on November 26, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.28.29 PMThe energy industry will singlehandedly shape New Mexico’s future. Oil and gas coupled with “wind and solar” will respectively shape future state budgets and could become the state’s largest export to the west coast over the next 20 years.

According to the Legislative Finance Committee, “New Mexico typically receives about $2 billion in direct revenue from oil and gas production through severance and property taxes and royalty and rental income. Additional indirect income is generated by sales and income taxes on “oil and gas” drilling and service, which generate about $300 million. The State of New Mexico’s 2018 budget is $6.3 billion.”

According to the Wind Energy Foundation: “New Mexico stands out as an emerging windScreen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.29.15 PM.png powerhouse, adding wind power capacity at a faster rate than any other state in 2017. Wind farms supplied over 13 percent of the state’s electricity generation last year, enough to power over 422,000 average homes. New Mexico is now ranked 15th in the nation with installed capacity. A wave of new wind investment will soon advance the state’s leadership” in this arena.

Over the past seven years, favorability of the two industries traditionally has had stark differences.  On average, 60 percent of state residents are favorable of the “solar and wind” industry versus 44 percent favorability of the “oil and gas” industry.

Politically, those who identify themselves as republican are favorable of oil/gas while those who identify as democrat are just as favorable of solar/wind.

Breaking down favorability of the industries by age reveals the 35-49 demographic is the most favorable of solar/wind while the 50+ demographic is most favorable of oil/gas.  Interestingly, the 65+ age group is least favorable of solar/wind compared to the 35-49 age group which is least favorable of oil/gas.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.29.42 PMGeographically, residents in North Central New Mexico are the most favorable of solar/wind  versus residents in Eastern New Mexico are the most favorable of oil/gas.

Gender and ethnicity don’t really come into play as a differentiator for the solar/wind industry.  Male/Female and residents who identify themselves as Hispanic or Anglo are, on average, favorable of the renewable industry.

The oil and gas industry is viewed with greater favorability among males versus females as well as residents who identify themselves as Anglo versus Hispanic.

Post Script – August 26, 2018 – Since the 2018 Garrity Perception Survey was printed, the State of New Mexico announced a 1.2 billion dollar surplus… the result of increased revenues from the oil and gas industry.

More information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm

GPS_Cover_FanIntroduction

In 1997, The Garrity Group embarked on its a journey to be a firm that shares its trusted public relation skills and unique New Mexico insights generously with its clients.

In 2011, the firm stepped up its offering pursuing thought leadership through our annual Garrity Perception Survey.

Over the past seven years’ the firm has commissioned Albuquerque-based Research & Polling to conduct the annual survey.

Each year, survey participants are interviewed by telephone (both landlines and cell phones) in the February/March timeframe. The scientific, statewide survey uses the current United States Census as its guide, to ensure there is no “over” or “under representation” of geographic or demographic populations. Each year, the survey features responses of approximately 405 New Mexico residents, consistently providing a 95 percent level of confidence.

As you will see on the printed version of this year’s overview, The cover of the 2018 Garrity Perception Survey features the iconic bridge crossing of the Rio Grande.2018 GPS Cover

Whether you are driving north on Highway 68 watching the gorge reveal itself, rafting on the Rio Grande, fishing the confluence with the Red River or reflecting from the bridge, there is something for everyone here.

The Taos Gorge represents a great divide in New Mexico, appropriate of our seven year look at how “different” residents view issues in our state.  Many of these differences are based in large part on their location, demographics and position in life. These unique perspectives shape how residents view industries, professions and consume media.

We will be exploring all three of those areas as well as how “news of the day” shapes perceptions of New Mexico industries and professions.  We will also take a look at how resident access news and information has changed, or not, over the past seven years.  The results may surprise you.

Overview – Providing Perspective on Perception

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.17.24 PMMy Sophomore year in high school marked a final venture in scouting. One of the things I tried to do during my final years in Troup 685 was celestial navigation. Separate from daylight or clouds, I’ve learned it is quite simple as long as you find the North Star.  Two of the easiest ways to find that beacon is by using aspects of the Big Dipper or Cassiopeia constellations.  Roaming the “hill country” of Texas, I was thankful for a clear night sky and a guide who helped me find those key Stars.

There are some similarities with the Garrity Perception Survey. Each year of the survey provides a snapshot in time showing who residents “trust” and revealing “favored” industries (think of those single stars). Connect those data points over seven years (2011 through 2017) and you can identify a baseline and as well as possible trends (a constellation). Add insight about how current events impact their responses and you have a basis of understanding “perception” (North Star).

The 2018 Garrity Perception Survey will highlight some of the seven-year trends for “favorability” of industries/institutions, “trust” of people/professions and how New Mexico residents get “news and information”. Specifically, we will focus on trends in the energy, education, healthcare, legal and media arenas.  We hope you will enjoy this new form of “celestial navigation” with us!

How We Use the Garrity Perception Survey

Providing insight and a voice for Fortune 500 companies that have a presence in New Mexico, The Garrity Group uses the data to demonstrate how New Mexico is not a “one size fits all” state.

For example, how residents in Northwest New Mexico view the oil and gas industry varies differently than those in the North Central part of the state. We use the information with our “instate” clients as a basis for understanding the best way to approach unique communities throughout the Land of Enchantment.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.17.52 PM

The Garrity Group (R to L: Lucia, Andie, Gayle, Amanda, Tom)

In the rapidly changing news industry, we use the information to shape our earned media plan. For example, if you want to use digital media to inform those who are favorable towards media, you will want to focus first on social media and then on bloggers.  If you are trying to decide whether print or radio is the best option to reach Farm & Ranch Industry advocates, the research skews toward newspaper. And if you are trying to chart ways to reach millennials, you will want to focus on “niche” digital campaigns.

More information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.