A poll of just over 1,000 Californians selected by an area sampling plan were asked early in Governor Jerry Brown’s tenure whether they felt that Governor Brown was doing a good, fair, or poor job as governor. They were then asked why they held those opinions. The results were coded into 35 response categories. Each respondent’s answer was coded in from one to six of the categories. A total of 1,351 responses were coded. The most frequently used categories (besides “No answer,” given by 135 of the respondents) were the following:
(i) Not bad or good; OK so far; Too soon to tell (253)
(ii) Doing his best (123)
(iii) Trying to help people; cares about people (105)
(iv) Cutting down government expenses (88)
(v) Like or agree with his ideas (69)
(vi) Not afraid to take a stand (61)
Do you think the responses are being analyzed properly? A respondent who gives a lengthy reply that includes as many as six coded responses will have more weight than a respondent who gives a short direct response that is coded into only one category. Is that appropriate? Are there any alternatives? Code the following responses, using the above categories.
a. I like his position on welfare. It’s probably the most critical problem facing the state. On the other hand, he is not helping the business climate. All the regulations are making it impossible to bring in industry. It’s really too soon to make a judgment, however.
b. He’s reducing unemployment, improving the economy. I like his ideas about welfare and cutting down government expense. However, I don’t like his position on the smog device bill. On balance, he’s doing okay.
c. He’s too much of a politician. He will swing with the political currents. He has started some needed government reorganization, however.
d. I dislike his stand on education. He is really not interested in education, perhaps because he has no children. He’s young and immature. He takes strong stands without getting his facts straight.
e. He’s concerned about the farm workers. He’s doing a good job. I like him.