Some of us were surprised to learn that 56 percent of Colorado's prisoners are minorities (mainly African-American or Hispanic), almost as much as the nationwide number. So in a recent poll, we asked 604 local residents to guess the percentage.
This time, we were surprised in a different way: As the accompanying graph shows, every age group, political affiliation, ethnicity and geographic section came very close to being right.
Asked if they knew someone who has been to jail or prison in the past five years, 59 percent said no and 41 percent yes. But only 37 percent of whites said yes; among minorities, 64 percent (blacks) to 71 percent (Latinos) said yes. Predictably, the 18-to-29 age group had the most yes answers (55 percent), working down to 24 percent for 70 and older.
About the Independent/Luce Research Poll: The Independent has contracted with Luce Research, a national survey company based in Colorado Springs, to poll local residents. Between Jan. 4-8, 604 registered voters were surveyed by phone, 422 who live in Colorado Springs, and 182 El Paso County residents living outside the Springs. We controlled gender and age ratios to ensure an accurate representation of the local voting community. Within those demographic categories, individuals were called randomly at the numbers on their voter registration forms: 48 percent of those surveyed were registered Republicans; 24 percent, registered Democrats; and 28 percent, unaffiliated.
In theory, in 19 cases out of 20, our findings will differ by no more than 4.9 percent in either direction from the results had every eligible Colorado Springs voter been surveyed.
Next week: The Jan. 19 Independent will feature poll data on what Colorado Springs and El Paso County registered voters think about Mayor Steve Bach, Douglas Bruce, fracking and free-speech zones.