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Sooner Survey: Oklahoma Pit Bull Ban, November 25, 2005

Sooner Survey: Oklahoma Pit Bull Ban, November 25, 2005

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Published by DogsBite.org
A professional poll taken from Oklahoma citizens about a statewide pit bull ban and vicious dog laws. The majority of respondents favored a ban 55% to 35%
A professional poll taken from Oklahoma citizens about a statewide pit bull ban and vicious dog laws. The majority of respondents favored a ban 55% to 35%

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: DogsBite.org on Oct 10, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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by Pat McFerron Director of Survey Research
Voters Call on Legislature to Stop Vicious Dog Attacks
Key Facts
• A ban on Pit Bulls is popular among virtually alldemographic groups.A ban is popular amongthree critical swing voting blocs in Oklahoma - BushDemocrats, UndecidedGeneric GubernatorialDemocrats, and Democratswho attend church on aregular basis.• While Oklahomans as awhole would support a banon Pit Bulls, they actuallywould prefer strengthening alaw against all owners of dogs that attack, regardlessof their breed.• Virtually every demo-graphic group, ranging from parents, to senior citizens, allcorners of the state and allincome levels, supportsincreasing penalties onowners of dogs that attack.
Oklahomans are concerned aboutattacks by malicious dogs -- and they are passionate about the issue. When initially presented with the option of placing astatewide ban on Pit Bull Terriers, voters arevery supportive of the idea; however, when presented with other options on how to dealwith the problem of Pit Bull attacks,respondents, while not opposed to a ban, prefer increasing civil and criminal penalties for those owners whose dogs attack rather than anoutright ban of a particular breed.The Sooner Survey initially asked 500Oklahoma voters whether or not they were infavor of a proposal to ban Pit Bull Terriersstatewide. A majority of respondents favoreda ban (55% favor vs. 35% oppose), with 44%of those surveyed saying they were “strongly”in favor of the proposal.
The idea of a ban ispopular among virtually all demographicbreakdowns initially
, and surprisingly, giventhe nature of the dog’s propensity to attack children, a ban is more popular among thosewithout children in their home (56% favor vs.34% oppose) than those with children under 18 living under their roof (52% favor vs. 40%oppose). As might be expected, urbanresidents are more supportive of a ban (56%favor), but even in the rural parts of the state,support for banning Pit Bulls exceeds 50%(54% favor).Among the 65% of voters whoconsider themselves to be conservative in
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nature, the proposal would pass rather easily(57% favor vs. 35% oppose). Amongregistered Republicans, the proposalsucceeds by a 52%-favor-to-36%-opposemargin, and among registered Democrats,the proposal wins by an even greater rate(58% favor vs. 34% oppose). Senior citizens are actually the most adamant abouthaving a ban enacted (62% favor a ban;50% strongly favor).Perhaps most important to politicalfigures looking at their own prospects is thefact that a ban on Pit Bulls is stronglyendorsed by Democrats who supportedPresident Bush in the last election (55%favor ban vs. 35% oppose), thoseundecided on a generic gubernatorial ballot(50% favor ban vs. 37% oppose), andDemocrats who attend church on a regular  basis (60% favor ban vs. 29% oppose).These three groups are critical to electoralsuccess in Oklahoma.
Only 8% Say “Do Nothing”
While Oklahomans as a whole would support aban on Pit Bulls, they actually would preferstrengthening a law against owners of all dogs thatattack, regardless of their breed.
When asked what their  preferred action would be among several options, mostrespondents favored increasing penalties to those owners of malicious dogs (49%) rather than an outright ban on the dogs(12%), while an additional 25% favored taking both coursesof action. When totaled, it is clearly seen that 74% of Oklahomans favor stiffer penalties for attack dogs, while 37%favor banning the particular breed of Pit Bulls. This is not tosay that a ban would be unpopular, but rather that an across-the-board penalty system is preferred.
Perhaps the mostimportant finding is that only 8% of respondents believethat nothing should be done in response to attacksperpetrated by Pit Bulls and other breeds of dogs
.This issue transcends party lines. A super-majority of registered Republicans favors increasing penalties on those
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owners whose dogs attack (78% — 54% penalties only;24% penalties and ban on Pit Bulls), while 35% favored a ban in some form (24% ban with penalties; 11% ban only).Only 7% of those in the GOP favored doing nothing inresponse. Among Democrats, 71% say increase penalties(44% penalties only, 27% penalties and a ban on Pit Bulls)while 9% say do nothing.
Virtually every demographicgroup, ranging from parents, to senior citizens, allcorners of the state and all income levels, supportsincreasing penalties on owners of dogs that attack.
Although Drew Edmondson has recently stated thatmunicipalities cannot legally ban specific dog breeds in thestate according to a 1991 statute (S.B. 87), a statewide ban passed by the state legislature remains a possibility.
Thosewho love Pit Bulls would be wise to support very toughcivil and criminal penalties on the owners of dogs whoattack while the public still supports this less drasticaction.
Statewide Ban on Pit Bulls by Groups
AllMenWomenUrban RuralRepDem
Pat McFerron is anationally recognizedpollster who has beenwith Cole HargraveSnodgrass & Associatessince 1993. He hassupervised pollingnumbers for numeroussuccessful gubernatorial,U.S. Senate, Congres-sional and legislativeclients throughout thenation. In addition,McFerron conductedpolling for Oklahoma’sRight-to-Work campaign, OklahomaCity’s MAPS for Kids,Tulsa’s Vision 2025,Fortune 500 companies,and many local andlegislative campaigns.
Statewide Ban on Pitbulls by IdeologySupport For Ban and/or Increasing Penalties
Strongly LiberalSomewhatLiberalModerateSomewhatConservativeStronglyConservative
All -IncreasePenaltiesAll - BanUrban -IncreasePenaltiesUrban -BanRural -IncreasePenaltiesRural -BanRep -IncreasePenaltiesRep - BanDem-IncreasePenaltiesDem-Ban

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