Maryland Public Television has commissioned a wide-ranging poll on Americans' attitudes toward financial issues ahead of the November presidential elections that will be featured on the broadcaster's flagship program, Wall Street Week with Fortune.
Conducted by well-known pollster John Zogby, the survey will be called "Investor Anxiety/Confidence Index." The poll will be formally announced today at the National Press Club. MPT officials and Zogby characterized it as an unusually intense effort to discern the beliefs of investors who could influence the election.
"I've been hearing and reading so much over the past year or so about the `investor class'," said Larry Moscow, executive producer of Wall Street Week. "I really wanted to see the nexus of Wall Street, the Beltway and Main Street."
The "investor next door," the term Zogby has adopted for the subject of his polling, are people with 401(k) retirement plans, or who are interested in President Bush's plan to allow Americans to invest part of their Social Security payments, or who have decided to buy stock in some companies to hold for long-term investments. They are, Moscow explained, the antithesis of day-traders interested in turning a quick buck.
For example, Moscow said that people surveyed by Zogby said - by more than a 3-to-1 margin - that they would rather invest in a company with a history of mediocre stock performance and strong employee relations than a company with a strong stock value and long-standing tensions with workers. "It's an incredibly community-oriented answer," Moscow said.
The polling effort also reflects the desire by MPT to continue to refashion Wall Street Week into a program that casts employment decisions in the context of larger social and political matters. The first batch of results will be broadcast on tomorrow's show, which airs on MPT at 8:30 p.m.