A PUBLICATION OF COLE HARGRAVE SNODGRASS & ASSOCIATES
VOLUME 15 - NUMBER 6 NOVEMBER 2005
by Pat McFerron Director of Survey Research
Voters Call on Legislature to Stop Vicious Dog Attacks
• 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”