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Saint Leo University Poll Finds About Half of Floridians Project Their 2016 Annual Charitable Giving Will Repeat 2015 Contribution Levels

SAINT LEO, FL – Just about half of the respondents in a statewide survey conducted after Thanksgiving by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) anticipate their 2016 giving to charitable causes will be level with their 2015 contributions.

Specifically, 47.4 percent of the 501 respondents across the state said their total levels of 2016 giving would be “about the same” as the prior year. Another group, 18.8 percent, said their 2016 charitable giving would increase compared to 2015, while 13.6 said it would decrease.

Of the remaining respondents, 14.6 percent said they have not and will not be giving to charity in 2016, and 5.6 percent were unsure. The results were collected online from November 27 to November 30, 2016, and the margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The 399 respondents who reported giving to charities were asked how they go about their decision making, and most of them strongly agreed (40.6 percent) or somewhat agreed (39.8 percent) that they research charities before donating. Specifically:

Donors strongly agreed (38.1 percent) or somewhat agreed (34.8 percent) that they check to see what percentages of charities’ budgets for actual programs or services before giving (total agreeing = 72.9 percent).
More than six in 10 had been negatively influenced by bad reviews; 32.8 percent strongly agreed and 33.1 percent somewhat agreed they had stopped giving to one or more charities over time because of poor reviews.
So-called “report cards” on charities were apparently not as broadly influential with donors. While 48.1 percent either strongly or somewhat agreed that they use report cards before donating, 47.4 percent disagreed strongly or disagreed somewhat. In practical terms, that is an even split between “yes” and “no” on report cards […]

By |December 14th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Annual Giving to Charities Will Hold Steady this Year, Nearly Half of Americans Report in New Saint Leo University Poll

SAINT LEO, FL – Just about half of the respondents in a national survey conducted after Thanksgiving by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) anticipate their 2016 giving to charitable causes will be level with their 2015 contributions.

Specifically, 48.2 percent of the 1,001 respondents nationwide said their total levels of 2016 giving would be “about the same” as the prior year. Another group, 18.8 percent, said their 2016 charitable giving would increase compared to 2015, while 12.6 said it would decrease.

Of the remaining respondents, 14.2 percent said they have not and will not be giving to charity in 2016, and 6.2 percent were unsure. The results were collected online from November 27 to November 30, 2016, and the margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The 796 respondents who reported giving to charities were asked how they go about their decision making, and most of them strongly agreed (39.7 percent) or somewhat agreed (41 percent) that they research charities before donating. Specifically:

Donors strongly agreed (38.1 percent) or somewhat agreed (33.2 percent) that they check to see what percentages of charities’ budgets for actual programs or services before giving (total agreeing = 71.3 percent).
More than six in 10 had been negatively influenced by bad reviews. Thirty percent strongly agreed and 32.5 percent somewhat agreed they had stopped giving to one or more charities over time because of bad reviews.
So-called “report cards” on charities were apparently not as broadly influential with donors. While 45.1 percent either strongly or somewhat agreed that they use report cards before donating, 47.2 percent disagreed strongly or disagreed somewhat. In practical terms, that is an even split between “yes” and “no” on report cards being relevant.

The […]

By |December 14th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Cybersecurity Emerges as a Political Concern as Well as Personal Issue in Latest Saint Leo University Poll

Professor offers concrete tips for those who may have been lax with their devices

SAINT LEO, FL – A new national survey from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) reveals more than half of Americans think the U.S. government is not doing enough to protect American citizens from cyber hacks specifically by the Russian government. These opinions were gathered shortly before new revelations that the U.S. intelligence community concluded that hacking conducted before the presidential election into Democratic and possibly Republican campaign computer accounts and various other email accounts was done to tilt the election toward Donald J. Trump.

The intelligence agencies had already suspected the Russians of the hacking before now. That was publicly known—the new part is that intelligence officials this month ascribed a motive of election meddling to the government of Vladimir Putin. After accounts were hacked, some previously confidential Democratic-related content was made public by WikiLeaks, the online publisher of secret information.

Since Russia and WikiLeaks emerged in the news about the breaches months ago, the Saint Leo University Polling Institute added pertinent questions on the digital intrigue to the cybersecurity portion of its nonpartisan 2016 survey, conducted online November 27 through November 30. The survey of 1,001 adults mostly focuses on Americans’ own personal computer safety habits—which could be improved.

The Russian government and WikiLeaks were covered in a section in which respondents were asked to read a statement and indicate whether they agreed, disagreed, or were unsure.

The statements and results were as follows:

 

Statement
Agreed
Disagreed
Unsure

The U.S. government is doing enough to protect U.S. citizens from hacks by groups like WikiLeaks
13.1%
57.7%
29.2%

The U.S. government is doing enough to protect U.S. citizens from hacks by the Russian government
12.9%
52.8%
34.3%

 

In the same section, respondents were also presented with a […]

By |December 13th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

INFOGRAPHIC: Favorite Holiday Songs and Shows

By |December 12th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Favorite Christmas Movies, TV Shows Spotlighted in New Saint Leo University Poll

SAINT LEO, FL ­– Choosing a favorite Christmas movie or TV show can be a challenge. There is a movie about a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. Or how about a holiday movie plot with a suicidal man who sacrificed his dreams for the good of his small town and is guided by a guardian angel to see that he made a difference. Then there is a classic cartoon featuring beloved characters who take a stand against the commercialization of Christmas and find the real meaning of the holiday.

A new survey released by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) shows Miracle on 34th Street claimed the top spot as a Christmas favorite among 18 choices. It garnered 39.8.percent. The online poll surveyed 1,001 adults in the United States from November 27 through November 30, 2016.

The majority of poll respondents, 90.1 percent, said they celebrate Christmas. Those who celebrate the holiday were asked to name their favorite Christmas movies and TV shows. Multiple responses were accepted.

In a poll of 501 Florida residents, Miracle on 34th Street also was the No. 1 pick with 43.3 percent. Perhaps those who flocked from the North to the South fondly remember Christmas shopping at Macy’s in New York City, where the movie is set.

Second place went to the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life, which starred Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. The USA network will air the movie on Friday, December 16, and it will air at 8 p.m., EST, Christmas Eve, on NBC. The movie, celebrating its 70th anniversary, earned second place in the national poll with 36.8 percent, while Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a 1964 stop motion animated television special, placed […]

By |December 12th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Favorite Christmas Tunes Ranked by Saint Leo University Poll Respondents

SAINT LEO, FL – Do you run screaming into the street when you hear the first note of Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Christmas Don’t Be Late? Does the sound of dogs barking Jingle Bells give you a nervous twitch?

Rest assured that most folks select an old classic—a very old classic dating back to 1818—when naming their favorite Christmas song.

A new survey released by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) shows Silent Night comes in first among 47 choices for the top Christmas song pick. The online poll surveyed 1,001 adults in the United States from November 27 through November 30, 2016, as many radio stations began playing holiday tunes.

The majority of poll respondents, 90.1 percent, said they do celebrate Christmas. Those people were asked to name their favorite Christmas carols. Multiple responses were accepted.

Three religious songs, focusing on the birth of Christ, and five secular songs make up the Top 8 in Saint Leo’s poll. Silent Night earned the top spot with 50.4 percent listing it as a favorite. Next, is the classic White Christmas. The song written by Irving Berlin garnered 48 percent. Coming in third was Jingle Bells with 44.4 percent.

Rounding out the top spots are O, Come, All Ye Faithful; Joy to the World; I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Saint Leo’s poll of 501 adults in Florida, shows even those in the sunny south are pining for the frozen stuff with White Christmas coming in third with 48.4 percent while Jingle Bells was No. 1 with 49.7 percent. Silent Night came in a close second with 49 percent.

When Dr. Cynthia Selph was involved in planning music for contemporary services, she said […]

By |December 12th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Not All Election Wounds Healed, New Saint Leo University Poll Shows

But More Say They Are Mending Fences With Family, Friends

SAINT LEO, FL – A combative election season has left some strife among friends and families, a new survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) shows.

Respondents were asked if the contentious election cycle put them at odds with family or friends. Almost one-quarter, 23.8 percent, suggest they did find themselves in conflict with family/friends.

The national online poll of 1,001 adults was conducted from November 27 through November 30, 2016, and has a plus or minus 3.0 percent margin of error. A poll of 501 adults in Florida was taken at the same time and has a plus or minus 4.5 percent margin of error.

The political cycle overlapped this year with another set of topics that Saint Leo regularly explores. As a Catholic institution, Saint Leo University regularly polls on the impact of Pope Francis and his personal popularity. In the November poll, the pope continues to have a high favorability rating of 62.6 percent.

The post-election survey also asked about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which was opened by Pope Francis in 2015, and which officially ended on November 20. Pope Francis called for continuing the year’s essence as a time of forgiveness and reconciliation. But those surveyed may not be ready to forgive.

Of those poll respondents who said they were estranged from friends and family because of the election, 40.6 percent say they have not forgiven those they are at odds with, 35.5 percent say they are working on forgiveness, 15.8 percent say they have forgiven some family and friends, and another 8.1 percent say they are unsure.

In Florida, more respondents say they have forgiven some folks—23.8 percent—and more say they are working on […]

By |December 7th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

New Saint Leo University Poll Shows Opinion of Pope Remains High

SAINT LEO, FL – Pope Francis continues to post a high favorability rating, according to a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) survey. Poll respondents were asked if their opinion of the pope is strongly favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or not at all favorable.

While his popularity dipped slightly to 62.6 percent overall, the poll shows among Catholics, 85.8 percent favorability, which is up slightly from 84.2 in September 2016, but down from 87.5 percent in the June 2016 poll.

In the time between polls, Pope Francis ended the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which began on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015. “The attention given to its closing at the end of November may have drawn more attention to Pope Francis and positively affected his favorability rating among Catholics,” said Dr. Marc Pugliese, Saint Leo University assistant professor of theology and religion.

According to Saint Leo’s most recent poll, among 1,001 respondents, 62.6 percent hold a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Pope Francis. The September poll showed his favorability at 65.4 percent. In June 2016, it was 68.9 percent. The highest percentage 75.8 percent, which Pope Francis received in Saint Leo’s poll conducted in September 2015 after his visit to the United States.

“The pope has not been as ‘publicly active’ since September 2016 as he had been the year before in September,” Pugliese said, and this could account for a slight decline in Pope Francis’ favorability rating among the general population.

On September 4, 2016, he canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta. “Many people—not just Catholics and religious people in general, but even those who are not religious—had great respect and admiration for Mother Teresa.”

The second factor contributing to the slight dip could be […]

By |December 7th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Confidence in Law Enforcement Continues, But Viewpoints Vary by Race

SAINT LEO, FL ­– Despite issues of shooting deaths at the hands of police and attacks on police officers, a new nationwide survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) found that trust and confidence in law enforcement officers, police departments, and the judicial system is steady or slightly increasing.

In tracking questions from the polling institute’s October 2015 survey, ratings of policing overall have improved during the last year. The overall positive rating of community police departments increased from 54.3 percent last year to 60.7 percent this year in a national poll, a result that is statistically significant. Likewise, 60.9 percent of the 1,103 adults polled say they have a favorable opinion of the police officers in their community. Last year, 53.6 percent rated officers in their community as “good.”

In Florida ratings held in the same range. In Saint Leo’s online poll of 502 state residents, the positive rating for community police department was 57.4 percent in October 2015, compared to 53.3 percent in September 2016—not a statistically significant decrease. The percentage of Florida residents who rated their community’s policing agency as “poor” in this year’s poll was 22.6 percent, compared to as 18.7 percent in 2015.

Still, Dr. Eloy L. Nuñez, associate professor in the Department of Public Safety Administration at Saint Leo University, said that “a favorability rating in the 50-percent-to-60-percent range is a fairly good one, and compares favorably with almost all other government services.”

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute also asked those responding to think about their own trust and confidence in police officers, police departments, and the judicial system. They were asked to rate the following based on their belief that they would be treated in a fair, impartial, and […]

By |September 21st, 2016|Institute|0 Comments

Saint Leo Poll Finds Americans Wary of Refugee Situation

Many Polled Seem to See Other Immigrants to U.S. Differently

SAINT LEO, FL – While President Barack Obama has been making the case that the United States and other nations should take in more refugees, a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu) survey shows that Americans may be reluctant. Less than half agree that the United States “has an obligation to accommodate refugees when possible.”

Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced a plan to increase the overall number of refugees accepted into the United States to 110,000 in a one-year period beginning October 1 because of the crisis in Syria and the Mideast. And this (Tuesday) morning at the United Nations, President Obama told fellow world leaders: “We must now open our hearts and do more to help refugees who are in desperate need of a home.”

Within domestic political circles in the United States, some Republicans oppose the expansion idea on security grounds. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he wants to stop the entry of more Syrian refugees specifically for fears of admitting terrorists. The Hillary Clinton campaign favors refugee resettlement and an overhaul of the immigration system.

The Saint Leo University Polling Institute, in a mid-September survey of political attitudes nationally and in Florida, included four questions on immigration topics. The online respondents to the polls—1,103 nationally and a separate sample of 502 just from Florida—were presented with a series of statements, and asked to indicate whether they agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly. They were also allowed to say they didn’t know.

When the responses for strongly and somewhat agreeing to the four statements were combined, the results were as shown in this table.

Immigration Statements
U.S. –  % strongly and somewhat […]

By |September 20th, 2016|Institute|0 Comments