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Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Poll: To Know the Jones Act is to Oppose It
By Michael Hansen @ 12:22 PM :: 1747 Views :: Jones Act

Hawaii Business Magazine polls the Jones Act again

by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, July 26, 2022

The Hawaii Business Magazine published on July 30, 2022, the results of its most recent “BOSS Survey and 808 Poll,” which asked about the Jones Act among other issues.

The polling results were published online in an article, “Here’s What Residents Say about Tourism, the Minimum Wage, Remote Work, Personal Finances and More.” The article will appear in Hawaii Business’ August 2022 hard copy issue.

The article’s subtitle states the polling parameters, “[The] BOSS Survey and 808 Poll asked 396 Hawai‘i business leaders and 444 members of the public to share their thoughts on pressing issues.”

The current BOSS Survey and 808 Poll asked about nine issues including, “What’s Your Opinion of the Jones Act?”

This is the first time in two years that Hawaii Business Magazine has conducted its Boss Survey and 808 Poll. The previous version, published on May 4, 2020, also included the same Jones Act questions.

This allows for the direct comparison of the results to determine how perception of the Jones Act in Hawaii has changed over the past two years and assess how effective various Jones Act reform efforts have been in the interim.

In general, familiarity with the Jones Act increased somewhat among respondents: business by 6% and the public by 3%. Support for either elimination or modification of the Jones Act also increased marginally among those familiar with the Jones Act: business by 7% and the public 2%.

The Jones Act issue was addressed in two stages.

The first stage question asked about the respondents’ familiarity with the Jones Act. For the business executives/leaders in the BOSS Survey, familiarity increased from 2020 by 6 points to 55% in 2022. For the general public in the 808 Poll, familiarity increased by 3 points to 41% in 2022.

The follow-up question, only directed to those respondents familiar with the Jones Act, asked what if anything about the Jones Act should be changed?

The business executive/leader’s responses to the ‘scrapped entirely’ and ‘modified’ options combined totaled 89% in 2022 as compared to 82% in 2020 an increase of 7 points with the greatest increase of 8 points in favor of modification.

The general public’s responses to the ‘scrapped entirely’ and ‘modified’ options totaled 87% in 2022 as compared to 85% in 2020 an increase of 2 points with the greatest increase of 5 points in favor of scrapping entirely.

Clearly business is more aware of the Jones Act as an issue than the public by 14% and more inclined support changing it (especially when familiarity is factored in).

When factored by the familiarity selector, those favoring repeal/modification of the Jones Act was for: business 49% in 2022 and 40% in 2020 an increase of 9 points; and, the public 36% in 2022 and 32% in 2020 an increase of 4 points.

It appears for business, familiarity with (55%) and support for liberalization (i.e., either repeal or modification when factored for familiarity collectively at 49%) of the Jones Act may be approaching a tipping point in terms of forming a meaningful majority opinion within the State’s business community. However, the Islands’ general public lags business significantly both in familiarity with (41%) and support for liberalization (factored at 36%) of the Jones Act.

The pace of change would appear to be slow with familiarity increasing annually at 3% for business and 1.5% for the public, and support for liberalization at 4.5% for business and 1% for the public. Presumably, a significant change in the position of the State’s majority political party in full support of the Jones Act without change will have to await broader public support.

The results are as follows:

The first Jones Act question asked, “Are you familiar with this law [i.e., the Jones Act]?”

Business Executives/Leaders – The BOSS Survey

  • Familiar: 55% in 2022 (49% in 2020) an increase of 6 points
  • Not Familiar: 44% in 2022 (50% in 2020) a decrease of 6 points
  • DNK/DNA: 1% in 2022 (0% in 2020)

General Public – The 808 Poll

  • Familiar: 41% in 2022 (38% in 2020) a increase of 3 points
  • Not Familiar: 59% in 2022 (62% in 2020) a decrease of 3 points

The follow-up question asked, “. . . those respondents in both surveys who were familiar with the Jones Act were asked which of these options best mirror their own views of what should happen to this law.” Should it be:

Business Executives/Leaders – The BOSS Survey

  • Scrapped Entirely: 32% in 2022 (33% in 2020) an increase of 1 point
  • Modified: 57% in 2022 (49% in 2020) an increase of 8 points
  • Remain unchanged: 10% in 2022 (12% in 2020) a decrease of 2 points
  • DNK/DNA: 2% in 2022 (7% in 2020) a decrease of 5 points

Note: The business executive/leader’s responses in the two categories calling for change – ‘scrapped entirely’ and ‘modified’ – totaled 89% in 2022 as compared to 82% in 2020 an increase of 7 points with the greatest increase of 8 points in favor of modification. However, when factored by familiarity selector for those representing business and favoring repeal/modification of the Jones Act was 49% in 2022 and 40% in 2020 an increase of 9 points

General Public – The 808 Poll

  • Scrapped Entirely: 38% in 2022 (33% in 2020) an increase of 5 points
  • Modified: 49% in 2022 (52% in 2020) a decrease of 3 points
  • Remain Unchanged: 13% in 2022 (15% in 2020) a decrease of 2 points
  • DNK/DNA: 0% in 2022 (0% in 2020) no change

Note: The general public’s responses in the categories calling for change – ‘scrapped entirely’ and ‘modified’ – totaled 87% in 2022 as compared to 85% in 2020 an increase of 2 points with the greatest increase of 5 points in favor of scrapping entirely. However, when factored by familiarity selector for those representing the public and favoring repeal/modification of the Jones Act was 36% in 2022 and 32% in 2020 an increase of 4 points.

Some percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding.

DNK/DNA = Did not know or did not answer.

---30---

HB: Here’s What Residents Say about Tourism, the Minimum Wage, Remote Work, Personal Finances and More

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