With the 2015 state legislative session (for which I do not have high hopes) upon us, the AJC has released a fascinating interactive poll on a variety of issues.
Let me say at the outset that one could make a fair bet that the will of residents will not be reflected in any legislation that makes it into law during this 40-day session, but it’s still worth noting some areas where there are large majorities.
You can sort the answers by various demographic characteristics, but not by age, which would be an especially telling number.
Anyway, a few highlights:
- 69% of Georgians think “government efforts to improve transportation in Georgia should include providing more public transportation options, such as trains or buses”
- 77% think the law should “allow cities and counties to raise the minimum wage if they so choose” (right now, cities and counties do not have this right)
- 84% support medical marijuana, and 49% support recreational marijuana use by adults
Not surprisingly, there are sharp disparities when you start sorting the results. For example, only 55% of Republicans favor additional transit funding compared to 82% of Democrats. But — that’s 55% of Republicans, a solid majority of the most powerful party in the state.
Southeast Georgia residents take an especially dim view of education in the state and are even more likely to support transit funding, marijuana legalization, and municipalities’ rights to raise the minimum wage.
I’ve grown really weary over the years of cynics remarking that nothing ever changes, people’s attitudes never change, that Georgia will never embrace this or that. Opinions change, times change, places change — and sometimes for the better.