Garrity Perception Survey Focuses on Seven Years of New Mexico Trends

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tom Garrity,, 505-898-8689


Albuquerque, NM - The 2018 Garrity Perception Survey (GPS) provides insights on select professions and industries and how topics of the day swayed perception in six sectors over the past seven years. Specifically, the survey looks at favorability and trust in the energy, education, religious, healthcare and legal communities as well as shifts in how New Mexico residents access news and information. 

“The data demonstrates that New Mexico is not a one size fits all state when trying to determine how residents perceive favorability of industries and trust of different professions,” says Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group. “The flight from traditional to digital media for news and information is occurring but not at a rate seen in other markets with greater Internet accessibility.”

The report’s focus on renewables and extractive minerals indicates that ‘over the past seven years, favorability of the two industries traditionally has had stark differences.  On average, 60 percent of state residents are favorable of the solar and wind industry versus 44 percent favorability of the oil and gas industry.

“Wind energy has been a growing economic driver for rural New Mexico within the past 20 years and has accelerated within the last four years,” says Myra Pancrazio of the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association.  “Wind energy provided 3,000-4,000 jobs in NM in 2017.  Cumulative investment in wind energy projects in New Mexico is $2.9 billion and the estimated annual lease payments to landowners in New Mexico is between $5-10 million.  The rural communities in NM host more than 99% of the wind fleet, providing local employment, land lease payments and property, income and state tax revenues.”


Other areas tracked in the 2018 survey:

  • Education– ‘In 2011, public schools enjoyed 47 percent favorability.  The next year, it slipped to 38 percent. The ebb and flow of favorability continued.  Favorability increased for three years to 46 percent in 2015 only to drop again to 39 percent in 2017. Trust in teachers is not as volatile, increasing three percent over the past seven years.  Teachers saw the lowest level of trust in 2013 at 63 percent and the highest level of trust in 2015 at 74 percent.’
  • Religion– ‘However, drilling down into the numbers shows the impact that scandal can have on perceptions of any industry. In 2013 and 2014, lawsuits against the Catholic Church, alleging abuse by several priests against parishioners, were in the headlines.  The New Mexico lawsuits were filed in 2013 and were reflected, in part, when the 2014 survey was in the field (February/March 2014). The lowest levels of favorability and trust in religious leaders and institutions were seen in the 2013 and 2014 surveys.  When news started to hit, statewide trust in religious leaders dropped 10 percent and favorability of religious institutions dropped eight percent.
  • Healthcare– ‘Geographically, residents in the Albuquerque area are the most consistent and generally have the highest levels of trust and favorability regarding doctors and the medical system.  Residents in the Northwest have the largest swings in favorability of the medical system with a low of 45 percent in 2015 and high of 75 percent in 2016.  Trust in doctors also has some extreme swings in North Central New Mexico with 39 percent favorability in 2014 followed by 70 percent favorability in 2015.’
  • Legal System– ‘Interestingly, while New Mexico residents are not favorable of the courts, they trust its judges.  An 18 percent gap exists between trust in judges at a 44 percent average and favorability of the courts at 26 percent.  Geographically, judges have higher trust among residents living in the Eastern, Southern and Southwestern parts of the state. Police officers and law enforcement officers are the most trusted when compared with their two counterparts, judges and lawyers.’
  • Media/News and Information – ‘The challenge for both traditional and digital media sources is trust and relevancy.  Traditional media is more trusted than digital media.  Digital media is more relevant because of the “now” component, but it lacks trust.  The good news for traditional media is that you do not need to worry about digital media edging into your space.  The bad news for traditional media is that if you are leveraging digital media sources outside of your proper voice (meaning that you are not truly engaged in digital media and jump into it simply out of fear of missing out), you risk losing trust. It is all about balance when you are a traditional media business trying to share your voice in both traditional and digital media environments.’

About The Garrity Perception Survey:

The Garrity Perception Survey (GPS) was established in 1997. Over the past seven years, the firm has commissioned Albuquerque-based Research & Polling to conduct the GPS. Each year, the survey features responses of approximately 405 New Mexico residents consistently providing a 95 percent level of confidence.  More information and analysis of this information is available online at:


About the Garrity Group Public Relations:

Based in Albuquerque and celebrating its 20thyear in business, The Garrity Group Public Relations firm helps small organizations to be heard and large corporations to be understood.  More information about the Garrity Group team and services are available by visiting