The Iowa Social Science Research Center at The University of Iowa, together with the Hawkeye Poll Cooperative, just concluded the spring Hawkeye Poll. Student participants completed a telephone survey intended to capture both national and local opinions on current political events.
Over 800 respondents answered questions about possible reforms to Social Security, potential candidates for the Republican nominee for the 2012 Presidential election, and state judicial elections, including reactions to Iowa voters failing to retain three state Supreme Court justices in 2010 following their decision in Varnum. According to the results of one poll released last week, nearly nine out of 10 respondents supported at least one Social Security reform, and two-thirds supported at least two reforms. Read the UI News Release .
Hawkeye Poll results released in late 2010 shed light on public opinion regarding several other issues in the national news. Americans are skeptical about an eventual victory in Afghanistan—although 57% of respondents indicated that they support maintaining troop presence for at least another year, 52% indicated that they did not believe that the U.S. would win the war in Afghanistan. Illegal immigration was “very important” in the 2010 vote choices for 61% of those polled in a separate survey, and 77% of respondents favored stricter immigration laws. Sixty-five percent of participants in a third poll said they favored legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
About the Hawkeye Poll
The Hawkeye Poll is supervised by Fred Boehmke, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. It is part of the teaching/learning mission of the University, as well as a rigorously designed public opinion polling operation. The Poll provides a platform for academic research on political and public policy topics, including elections, policy issues, and attitudes and beliefs about Iowa and the national political/public policy environment.
UI students get experience in survey research that is relevant to their academic work, serving as trained callers and working with results in their classes. Boehmke notes, “The new call center allows the Hawkeye Poll to get more students involved and to gather data more quickly, which is increasingly important as public opinion reacts to political events in the modern, 24-hour news cycle.” Learn more about the Hawkeye Poll .
About the Iowa Social Science Research Center
The Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC)  is a resource for interdisciplinary social science research on the University of Iowa campus. One year ago, the ISRC was reformulated as a division of the UI Public Policy Center. With support from the Office of the Vice President for Research and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the center has been able to offer survey data collection services, assist with finding and securing external funding for research projects, and provide post-award research support in an environment that fosters interdisciplinary research and ideas.
In May 2010, the ISRC moved to a renovated space on the 8th floor of the Jefferson Building. Since the move it has fielded seven surveys, including the fall and spring Hawkeye Polls; provided grant development support for over $8.4 million in external funding; and represented the University of Iowa at the CIC Center for the Study of International Competitiveness Research Summit.
Grant Development Services
Karen Heimer, Director of the Social Science Research Program at the Public Policy Center, and Professor Joseph Lang from the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, utilized ISRC’s grant development services to pursue external funds for their research. They were recently awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation. The project, jointly funded by the National Science Foundation’s Law and Social Sciences and Sociology programs, will analyze how the exposure of minorities and women to violent criminal victimization has changed in the United States over time, from 1973 through 2008. The project will combine individual-level data from more than 6.5 million interviews in the National Crime Survey and its successor, the National Crime Victimization Survey.
Heimer noted, “The expert assistance that we received from ISRC staff was key to helping us develop our proposal and negotiate the submission process, which can sometimes become complex. This resource is very important for social scientists on campus. The services of the ISRC make the process of grant preparation much more manageable and will result in increased submissions by UI faculty and students to federal and private funding agencies.”
To learn more about the services offered by the Iowa Social Science Research Center, please visit: http://www.isrc.uiowa.edu/ 
For more information about the Public Policy Center, please visit: http://ppc.uiowa.edu /
The Iowa Social Sciences Research Center is housed on the 8th floor of the Jefferson Building .