Posted: May 9, 2003


The Delaware Barometer is a statewide public opinion survey designed to serve as a reliable and consistent source of timely information for the Delaware decision-making community.  This unique public opinion survey will be conducted on a yearly basis and is designed to measure the attitudes of Delawareans concerning key public policy issues and the social, economic and business environment. 

The survey was designed by the Rodney Group and conducted on its behalf by Voter Consumer Research (VCR), a nationally recognized polling firm.   VCR has extensive experience polling in the state of Delaware.  Among their clients are: Microsoft, President George W. Bush, the American Red Cross and Anheuser-Busch. 

The Rodney Group, a Delaware consulting firm featuring several seasoned political and governmental veterans, focuses on providing strategic leadership solutions to political, business and non-profit leaders and organizations.  For more information on the Delaware Barometer or the Rodney Group, please contact Bob Chadwick at (302) 345-7238. 

The Survey    

400 Registered Voters Contacted Statewide – April 8-10, 2003

Additional 50 surveys conducted in both Kent and Sussex Counties.

Margin of Error:  +/- 4.9%

 Major Findings                               

  • 56% of voters feel things in Delaware are going in the right direction and 27% feel we are off on the wrong track.   New Castle and Sussex Counties are upbeat while Kent County is pessimistic with only 41% feeling things are going in the right direction.

  • Voters in Delaware are slightly more optimistic about their personal economic future than voters nationally.  However, only 36% feel their economic situation will be better a year from now.

  • 73% of voters feel the taxation level in Delaware is “About Right.”

  • A majority of Delaware Voters (65%) approve of the job state government is doing, however only 13% “Strongly Approve.”

  • Education is the leading issue of concern for voters in New Castle and Kent Counties.  Health Care is the leading issue of concern in Sussex County.  Environmental Protection is a major issue in New Castle County (53%).

  • Delaware Voters give mildly positive ratings to schools:  11% Excellent and 41% Good.  However the age bracket of voters with school age children are very critical of their neighborhood public schools.  54% of females under the age of 45 rate schools as “only fair” or “poor.”

  • 53% of voters feel the rate of growth in Delaware is too high.  65% of voters in Sussex feel it is too high.

  • Only 37% of voters agree with a complete ban on smoking in bars, taverns and horse tracks.

  • 62% of voters favor medical malpractice legal reform.

  • 75% of voters feel casinos at horse tracks are good for Delaware.

  • 77% of voters favor mandatory bottle and can recycling. 

  • Voters are split in allowing Sunday liquor sales with 49% favoring and 48% opposing.