Overall Confidence Levels Sky High in Mobile County

People in Mobile County are feeling good about where they live, and the economy and job market are far and away the major reasons.

A News-5/Strategy Research poll reveals that 74-percent of people who live in Mobile County say things are “heading in the right direction.” Just 26-percent say things are “heading in the wrong direction.”

Nationwide, post recession, local confidence polls tend to average about 54-percent, according to pollster Jon Gray, President of Strategy.

“It’s very impressive,” said Gray. “We do this all the time. Statewide that number is not 2:1. It’s nowhere near 70-percent.”

“I’m glad that the work we’re doing is being affirmed and confirmed by these numbers,” added Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood.

Good feelings about the local economy are driving optimism among those who live in Mobile County. The first major components rolled from the port to the Airbus plant two days ago. Last week, three new Airbus suppliers announced plans to open facilities in Mobile.

Among those saying Mobile County is headed in the right direction, the overwhelming number-one reason given is jobs and the economy. At 44-percent it dwarfs all other responses.

“I think Airbus is driving that,” said Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson.

“We are on a roll and I can see people saying that. We are on a roll and we need to just keep on doing what we’re doing.”

But Gray says that huge percentage citing jobs and economy can be a concern.

“If you lose jobs there’s really no number two,” he said. “That’s what concerns me. And I think that’s why you’re seeing public official like Connie Hudson and Sandy Stimpson pushing for better quality of life, better parks, amenities, services.”

Among those who see Mobile County heading in the wrong direction, most site crime as the primary reason. Crime figures are actually trending down, but Mobile’s Police Chief says perception is everything.

“What you are really measuring is fear of crime and certainly where there exists a fear of crime there is going to be dissatisfaction with where we are headed,” said Chief James Barber.

30-percent of people who think Mobile County is headed in the wrong direction say they feel that way primarily because of crime. Schools are number-two at 18-percent. Educators, however, say the public schools are much better than a decade ago.

“The schools have some a long way,” said Nancy Pierce, spokesperson for the Mobile County Public School System. “We really pride ourselves on graduating kids and making sure they’re ready to go to college or a career.”

The poll was conducted by telephone June 22. More than 1,900 registered voters in Mobile County responded. The poll has a 3-percent margin of error.

Wednesday – results from Baldwin County.

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