2022 Louisiana Survey Shows Pessimism Growing About Direction of State

April 12, 2022

Louisiana Survey 2022BATON ROUGE—Researchers in the Public Policy Research Lab (PPRL) at LSU’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs in the Manship School of Mass Communication found state residents are most worried about the economy, infrastructure and education. Confidence in the state government to solve these problems dropped to its lowest point since 2004.

The 2022 Louisiana Survey includes two distinct efforts to sample residents of the state and conduct interviews. The Louisiana Survey polled 508 adult residents through traditional telephone-based surveys from across the state to find out how Louisianans view their government and its policies. The survey was conducted from Feb. 21 to March 14, 2022, and the total sample has a +/- 5.8 margin of error. Additionally, the Louisiana Survey polled 623 adult residents in a survey administered online. The survey was conducted from March 1 to March 21, 2022, and the total sample has a +/- 6.1% margin of error. The primary report is based on the traditional telephone-based portion of the study. 

Findings from the first of six reports indicate the following opinions on Louisiana government, economy and vaccinations for COVID-19:

  • Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said the state is heading in the wrong direction. Just 26% of respondents said the state is heading in the right direction, the smallest share over the nearly two decades that the Louisiana Survey has included this question.
  • Respondents mention the economy, infrastructure and education as the most important problems facing the state. The share mentioning COVID-19 dropped from 30% last year to 7% this year. In contrast, the share concerned about crime more than doubled from 10% to 24%.
  • Just 25% of Louisiana residents say they are either “very confident” or “somewhat confident” in state government to address important problems effectively – the smallest share since the Louisiana Survey first included this question in 2004.
  • Only 21% of respondents said they expect to be better off financially a year from now. Just 7% expect good business conditions a year from now.
  • Respondents were divided about evenly between those who approve how the state is handling the pandemic (41%) and those who disapprove (39%). This reflects a shift toward less approval compared to a year ago when 49% approved and 38% disapproved.
  • Approximately two-thirds of respondents (65%) said they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A much smaller share of respondents (36%) said they received a booster against COVID-19.
  • Most oppose vaccine mandates for employees and students: 62% said employers should not be allowed to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19; 58% oppose the state government requiring vaccination for public employees; 61% oppose requiring children who are age 12 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend school in person; and 67% oppose a similar rule for children who are between the ages of 5 and 11.

Michael Henderson, LSU Manship School associate professor and Reilly Center research affiliate, is available for interviews. Contact acharbonnet1@lsu.edu to schedule.

The Louisiana Survey has been conducted for the last 22 years, 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 LSU 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 first report from the Louisiana Survey at https://www.lsu.edu/manship/research/centers-labs/rcmpa/research/la_survey.php. The second of six reports from the Louisiana Survey is slated for release on Thursday, April 14.

For more information, contact acharbonnet1@lsu.edu


LSU's Public Policy Research Lab is a joint effort of the Manship School of Mass Communication’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at LSU. It provides a variety of services including survey research, ‘big data’ analytics, social media tracking, and focus group interviews. The Lab combines professional capability, the latest data technologies, and the variety of intellectual assets available at LSU to serve our clients’ research needs.

The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: master of mass communication, Ph.D. in media and public affairs, certificate of strategic communication, and dual MMC/law degree.