Third Report from Louisiana Survey Shows Louisianans Believe Government is Wasteful, Ineffective

March 30, 2018 

Baton Rouge – The third of six reports from the 2018 Louisiana Survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School for Mass Communication, shows two-thirds of Louisiana citizens believe government is almost always wasteful and ineffective. The survey’s third report, released today, further reveals that despite those beliefs, 57 percent want to increase the scope of government action to solve the state’s problems.

“This survey demonstrates that people are ambivalent about the role of government,” said Michael Henderson, director of the Public Policy Research Lab, which conducted the survey.

Additional results of the survey include:

  • An almost even split on views of state government regulation in business: 51 percent say state regulation of business does more harm than good, but 45 percent say these regulations are necessary to protect the public interest.
  • 47 percent believe that state government cannot afford to do much more to help people in need in Louisiana.
  • 50 percent believe state government should do more to help these people even if it means spending more money.

The Louisiana Survey has been conducted each year since 2003 and twice in 2006, establishing rich longitudinal measures of public opinion in Louisiana. The mission of the Louisiana Survey is to establish benchmarks as well as to capture change in residents’ assessments of state government services. The survey is further dedicated to tracking public opinion on the contemporary policy issues that face the state. Each iteration of the Louisiana Survey contains core items designed to serve as barometers of public sentiment, including assessments of whether the state is heading in the right direction or wrong direction, perceptions about the most important problems facing the state, as well as evaluations of public revenue sources and spending priorities.

The survey is a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, an integral part of the Manship School of Mass Communication. The Reilly Center’s mission is to generate thoughtful programs, dialogue and research about mass communication and its many faceted relationships with social, economic and political issues.

Read the full report from the Louisiana Survey. View an archive of past Louisiana Surveys and results.

For more information, contact Henderson at


Contact Stephanie Malin
Manship School of Mass Communication


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations