New survey from MSU, U-M taps Michigan insider opinions

Posted at 10:31 AM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 10:31:12-04

Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are launching a new public policy survey designed to tap the attitudes and opinions of political insiders.

The Michigan Policy Insiders Panel, making its way into the field starting this week, reaches out to those considered most deeply involved in Michigan political advocacy, influence and policymaking.

Legislators, legislative staff, administrative officials and interest group leaders and lobbyists will be invited to take part in the MPIP, an online survey panel.

The survey is conducted jointly by MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, or IPPSR, and U-M’s Center for Local, State and Urban Policy.

“Our goal is to understand how policymakers learn about state problems, how they develop political influence and how they interact to produce policy solutions,” said Matt Grossmann, IPPSR director and political scientist. “It is an ambitious undertaking, and one we expect will be highly valuable to academic researchers, journalists and decision-makers at every level.”

The new survey will enable panel members to share their opinions in 2016 and beyond on public policy ideas and the performance of Michigan’s institutions. Individual panel members and their data will be held in complete confidence, Grossmann said.

The results will enable comparisons between the opinions of state political leaders and those of Michigan citizens and local government leaders. Michigan public opinion is regularly measured in IPPSR’s State of the State Survey. Local official opinion is assessed biannually in U-M’s Michigan Public Policy Survey.

“We want to understand how the state policy community views its work and pinpoint any disconnect between the public and political insiders’ opinion,” said MSU political scientist Eric Gonzalez Juenke, who co-directs the project.

“Recent events have shown that Michigan local and state officials don’t always see eye-to-eye,” said Thomas Ivacko, administrator of U-M’s Center for Local, State and Urban Policy. “We are excited to compare state and local opinion to find out where and why government leaders differ.”

Grossmann expects panelists to be surveyed at least four times a year. A second round of panel opinion will be sought later this year. The new panel survey is administered by IPPSR’s Office for Survey Research, which has longstanding and wide-ranging expertise in online surveys.