The 2016 Garrity Perception Survey provided direction for the business community on how its leaders needs to be more involved in helping to turn around New Mexico’s languishing economy.  It also provided some signs that the presidential vote was a “change” election in the making.

The information included in the “topline” results of the annual Garrity Perception Survey featured the grand total for an industry.  The gold mine of information is found in what is called the “cross-tabs.”  The cross-tabs provide insights about how demographics (age, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, etc.) and residents in different geographic locations feel about an issue, industry and/or a profession.  Communicators use this information to identify target audiences that are on the fence or are favorable/trust a specific industry and/or profession.

The 2016 GPS cross-tabs showed significant volatility among residents who identified themselves as “somewhat conservative” and “conservative voters.”  For example the rifts between these groups when asked about the oil & gas, mining, renewable, medical systems, universities and the national laboratories were significant.

Party affiliation was an area where the independent voters’ opinion reflected a preferred middle ground.  This was reflected in the favorability of courts and justice system, unfavourability of religious organizations, trust of doctors, trust of police officers and the justice system and distrust of teachers.  Not that a high or low favorability/trust is a predictor of voting trends.  However, when there are such swings in areas that are considered traditional strongholds of Democrats or Republicans, you need to take notice that something is amiss.

Finally, we saw more alignment between Republicans and Democrats on our questions about perceptions of business owners, indicating that, in some key areas, Liberals and Conservatives were aligned.  This indicated that a business-friendly candidate would have pulled from both camps with relative ease.

For more information about the 2016 Garrity Perception Survey, click here