Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘Garrity Perception Survey’

A Political Divide as Scenic as The Taos Gorge

In Reputation, Uncategorized on May 24, 2016 at 10:15 pm

TGG Taos GorgeThe divide in the Republican party is not quite as prominent as the Taos Gorge, but it is close.

In the headlines, the Republican split is playing itself out on the national level with the presidential primary.  On a state level the split has manifested itself with the election of a new national committeeman.

The 2016 Garrity Perception Survey tells a somewhat more in-depth story, highlighting a fundamental rift among New Mexico residents who consider themselves “somewhat conservative” or “conservative.”

The philosophical split surfaced as a part of a scientific, statewide, third party survey commissioned by The Garrity Group and conducted by Albuquerque’s Research & Polling.  The survey focused on gauging favorability of industries, trust of professions among other topics related to perceptions of government and business.  The demographic data, also known as the “cross-tabs” is where some of the disparities between those who consider themselves to be “somewhat conservative” or “conservative” surfaced.

Favorability of…

Somewhat Conservative


Oil & Gas Industry



Solar & Wind Industry



National Banks



Public Schools



Medical System



State Universities



National Laboratories



Church & Religious Institutions



The above chart highlights disparities of greater than 10 percent between those who identify themselves as “somewhat conservative” or “conservative.”  The survey, conducted at the end of February 2016 has a 95 percent level of confidence.

The survey shows clear splits in favorability of the oil/gas, solar/wind and  church/religious institutions.  Come voting time, it will be interesting to know if these split ideologies will are reflected on the primary and general election ballot.

Finally, responses to the question “what do you feel causes more problems in government?” highlights an additional rift between the traditionally Republican factions. Those who identify themselves as somewhat conservative are more likely to blame problems in government on “elected officials who are not willing to compromise” opposed to conservatives who blame “elected officials who are not willing to stand up for their principles.”

What do you feel causes more problems in government?

Somewhat Conservative


Elected Officials who are not willing to stand up for their principles



Elected officials who are not willing to compromise






Don’t Know/Won’t Say



TGG Taos Gorge Bridge

One final insight on the split related to favorability of industries and institutions; in the areas of the greatest differences, those who identify themselves as “somewhat conservative” align more with registered Democrats than registered Republicans.

A copy of the topline results can be secured through

Understanding the East (ern Part of New Mexico)

In Messaging, Reputation on April 14, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Roswell2Eastern New Mexico has a complex.

It is misunderstood and stereotyped by people who live along the Rio Grande corridor of central New Mexico.

Politically diverse, the 2012 Presidential election provided a significant wakeup call for Republicans.  Their votes, for Republican Mitt Romney, in the seven counties that border Texas were off-set in Santa Fe County, by Democrats who were voting for President Barak Obama.

Tourism in Eastern New Mexico is defined by Carlsbad Caverns and the UFO phenomenon.  But it is accented by the Norman & Vi Petty Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum and roadside attractions like the windmill farm in Portales.

Economically, the region relies upon agriculture, fossil fuels and renewable energy for jobs.  As a result, the region sees significant domestic and foreign immigrant traffic.  The area also has a strong federal and state government presence.

When we look at the 2012 Garrity Perception Survey, we learn a little bit about who residents trust, which industries are viewed as favorable as well as how Eastern New Mexico residents access news and information.

Residents living on the Eastern plains have a very favorable impression of the farm and ranch industry, organized religion and the oil and gas industry.  They favor local banks over national banks by a 2:1 margin, and have the same level of favorability in K-12, higher education and the solar/wind industry.

Blood is thicker than water as Eastern New Mexico residents trust family members twice as much as doctors, teachers or police officers. While Eastern residents access news and information in similar ways to those around New Mexico, they have a very low level of trust in journalists.

When it comes to New Mexico’s signature events, residents in Eastern New Mexico like the Balloon Fiesta at a rate that is three times higher than the annual UFO Festival that takes place in their own back yard.

The late and great Buddy Holly once said “I’m not trying to stump anybody… it’s the beauty of the language that I’m interested in.”  Perhaps, in a way, he was referring to Eastern New Mexico, where he recorded many of his “pop” hits.  Eastern New Mexico isn’t trying to stump anyone, it is just a unique place that can’t be easily placed in the New Mexico “box.”

Image from one of the original UFO themed marketing campaigns for the City of Roswell (circa 1997)

GPS: The Importance of Faith

In Life on April 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

The conclusion of Easter and Passover, provides a moment for many people to reflect on the importance of faith in their personal lives. 

New Mexico has a very diverse “faith” history.  Native American Spirituality, Spain’s quest to promote the Catholic religion, the rich Jewish history in our state, a growing base of Eastern religions and the long established Christian outreach to people in urban and rural areas is a hint of how important faith is in New Mexico.

Curious about the importance of faith in the lives of New Mexico residents, my public relations firm ask a question on the topic in our recently completed Garrity Perception Survey.

The question was simple, “what is the importance of faith in your personal life?”  It didn’t focus on a specific religion, theology, practice, mantra, belief (or lack there of) or relationship.  The possible responses were very important, fairly important, not very important and don’t know/won’t say.

Overwhelming, New Mexico residents responded that faith is very important (74 percent) in their personal life.

Hispanic’s rely on faith more than Anglo residents and women more so than men.

New Mexico residents in the age ranges of 35-49 years and over 60 years of age rely more on it than other age groups.

Republicans outpace democrats; but democrats rely on faith more than both independent and nonregistered voters.

The connection between income and faith is interesting.  New Mexico residents who are “in the middle” rely on more faith than those with higher and lower incomes.

While it is interesting to see how faith is viewed in different parts of New Mexico, I found it particularly interesting that Albuquerque residents have the lowest reliance on faith in our state.

Cassie Bernall, a victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, relied on her personal faith, choosing death instead of compromising her belief.  As I reflect on the results of this question, I wonder how many of the 74% that replied “very important” would be willing to make the same sacrifice as Cassie. 

Yes, there are some questions that just can’t be answered in a survey.

GPS: Accountants

In Reputation on April 19, 2011 at 11:27 am

This is April 19, 2011… the day after tax day!  In honor of those certified public accountants who helped most of us get from point A to point B for our various 1040, 1099, K-1 and PIT forms, lets see what New Mexico residents think of the time honored profession.

The Garrity Perception Survey queried a random sample of New Mexico residents to gauge their trust of 16 professions.  Sandwiched between judges and lawyers (I know there is a joke in there somewhere), the eighth most trusted profession in the Land of Enchantment is the accountant.

New Mexico residents who earn less than $20,000 a year and those who earn more than $80,000 a year completely trust accountants; putting to rest the myth that the more money you have the more trust you place in accountants.

When it comes to party affiliation, Democrats and Independents completely trust accountants, outpacing Republicans and unregistered voters.  The age-old argument that accounts and republicans are bedfellows to “milk the system” appears to fall short here… at least in New Mexico.

Trust among residents increases with formal education.  Those with a graduate degree have greater trust in Accountants than those with a high school education.  Females also have a higher trust level of Accountants than males.

The greatest area of opportunity to build trust for the Accountant is in the age range of 50-64 years.  This group, which includes some of the highest wage earners, has a lower level of trust than any other age group in New Mexico.  Perhaps the recession coupled with discussion of higher taxes clouds the trust.  Whether or not that is the case, accountants can increase their trust level through “plain speak” about the issues facing this age group and the solutions they might want to consider as they approach retirement.

GPS: Government

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

A writer for the Seattle Times posed the question: “Which can Americans afford to live without: The NFL or Government?” I guess the answer to that question could depend largely upon your NFL team and the prospects for a 2011 Football Season.

The premise of the question is gauged to generate a reaction.  But, the quiet response, muttered under our breath, is based on connection.  Lets face it, the NFL has a greater connection to the American population than the Federal government. 

The 2011 Garrity Perception Survey of New Mexico residents provides a unique take on the perception of government.  Only 18% of residents trust government to do the right thing most of the time.  And 54% feel that Government is trying to do too many things.

In New Mexico, the size of government grew under the previous administration.  The new leadership is cutting the size of government and challenging philosophies concerning government’s role.  According to the GPS survey results, this is a popular theme in New Mexico.

Where are the lines drawn between government’s supporters and detractors?  New Mexico seniors are more likely than others to say government can be trusted most of the time.  Residents in the Albuquerque metro area are more apt to say they can trust the government at least some of the time, while those in the Northwest and North Central regions are more likely than others to say the government can hardly ever or never be trusted.

Click here for more comments on this topic from Brian Sanderoff and me.

GPS: Courts and Justice System

In Reputation on April 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm

The courts and the justice system has an image problem in New Mexico.

When you look at recent headlines in our state, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise:  A Judge is accused and pleads guilty to DWI; A Sheriff is caught selling his departments bullet proof vests on eBay; An entire police department is dismantled for running guns to Mexican cartels; An officer involved in a fatal shooting lists his occupation on Facebook as “human waste disposal”.

In the words of the Osmond family, “One Bad Apple don’t spoil the whole darn bunch”… but the bad apples sure give everyone else a black eye.

In the 2011 Garrity Perception Survey, New Mexico residents rated the “courts and the justice system” as the 14th least favorable out of 16 industries, finishing just behind “major business corporations” and just ahead of the “commercial construction industry.”

Residents in the South/Southwestern part of New Mexico give the most favorable rating to the courts and justice system; while those in the Eastern part of the state provide some of the lowest marks, according to the Garrity Perception Survey.  Residents in Albuquerque Metro, Northwest and North Central parts of New Mexico are lukewarm to the courts and justice system.  The strongest advocates for the courts and justice system have a landline telephone, earn less than $20,000 a year and have been lived in New Mexico for 8-20 years.

How can the “Courts and Justice System” increase their favorability?  For starters, the industry, as a whole, can increase favorability by focusing on their respective missions.  There are a number of talented and dedicated officers of the court and law enforcement, in addition to doing their jobs, they need to connect with their communities and show compassion to those they serve.

Often times audiences don’t understand complex and unapproachable systems.  The courts and justice system, through its various entities could connect with advocacy groups, serving as a connection to the “system” they are trying to impact.  That personal connection can be the first step to bridging an understanding of a complicated and sometimes courts and justice system.