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Oklahoma lawmakers' popularity drops in survey

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahomans are pessimistic about the current economic condition of the state and disenchanted with the performance of the Legislature, a poll shows.

The Oklahoma Opinion Quarterly telephone poll was conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 3 by Wilson Research Strategies, a Virginia-based company with an office in Oklahoma.

Chris Wilson, head of the company, said the poll is part of an ongoing "omnibus" survey and was published in a newsletter to subscribers interested in Oklahoma. He said his company counts as clients 107 of the Fortune 500 companies.

The scientific survey of 303 Oklahomans statewide had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.7%.

The poll showed 62% of Oklahomans believe the state is headed in the wrong direction economically. That's up from 51% in a June survey.

49% of those polled believe the state's businesses will enjoy good times in the next year, with 56% saying it is a good time to buy big-ticket items such as furniture and 77% saying an Oklahoma home is a good investment.

58% of those polled disapproved of the job the Legislature is doing, up 10 points from the 48% recorded in June.

61% percent still approved of Gov. Brad Henry's performance, a decline from 65% in June.

President Bush's approval numbers dropped from 69% in June to 61% in the latest poll.

According to the poll, 45% said their families are better off financially than they were a year ago, with 41% saying they are worse off and the rest saying they are about the same.

54% said they expect their families' finances to be about the same a year from now.

Most Oklahomans said the status of the Oklahoma economy was caused by uncontrollable economic trends or companies leaving the state. 15% blamed the Legislature and 12% blamed President Bush. Only 2% said Henry was at fault.
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