Petri Releases Constituent Survey Results

Jul 22, 2013

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) released the results of his annual questionnaire sent to each household in the 6th Congressional District.

“As their representative in Congress, Wisconsin’s 6th District residents expect me to listen to their views and take their voices to Washington,” said Petri.  “And I use the results of this survey to guide and inform me on issues that come up in Congress.”

According to the survey, 51 percent of respondents believe that Obamacare will negatively impact them, and one in six are “not sure” how it will impact them.  Only 27 percent believed they would benefit from the law.

“I continue to believe the health care law is the wrong way to go about things,” said Petri.  “And with it being less than 6 months away from the biggest parts of the law going into effect, it’s not reassuring that so many people have a negative view of it.”

Respondents also voiced their opinions on issues such as balancing the federal budget, domestic drone use, how to pay for infrastructure improvements, immigration reform, reducing gun violence, and more.

On immigration reform, nearly 56 percent of respondents indicated they would favor a pathway to citizenship as part of a comprehensive package.  Petri said he would look at any package in its entirety before formulating an opinion, and that the issue is still working its way through Congress.

“It’s important that we don’t make the same mistakes that we have in the past where we reward people for coming to the country illegally over those who have been waiting in line to do things the right way, sometimes for more than 20 years,” said Petri.  “We are a nation of laws, and we should look at ways to strengthen our legal immigration system first, and then look at what to do with the 11 million people who are currently here illegally.”

On reducing gun violence, residents were given five choices—expanding background checks, limiting magazine size, banning assault weapons, enhancing mental health assessment and treatment, or none of the above—and could select more than one response.  Seventy-three percent of respondents support enhanced mental health assessment and treatment, while 58 percent support expanding background checks.

“I think the most important thing to focus on is to do more to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” commented Petri.  “I’d be all for expanding background checks if there was a way to do it practically for all transactions, but unfortunately that’s just not the case and many private buyers would have to wait weeks just because of a backlog.  It’s something I think we should keep looking at so we don’t disadvantage law-abiding gun owners.”

This year, 10,446 individuals responded to the survey, which was offered both online and through a mail-back form, and all responses were counted in the final tally and percentages. 

To view the newsletter with the full list of questions, click here.

Please click here to view the results, or see below.

Petri added that “The answers to this survey are extremely helpful in informing my opinion about some of the biggest issues facing the country, and I’d like to thank everyone who responded.”


1. Do you support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents as part of comprehensive immigration reform?

A. YES, 55.9%

B. NO, 44.1%

2. Do you support increased oil and gas exploration on federal lands?

A. YES, 69.6%

B. NO, 30.4%

3. Do you support tolls to pay for transportation infrastructure?

A. YES, 45.8%

B. NO, 54.2%

4. Would you support increased domestic drone use for commercial and law enforcement purposes if civil liberties and personal privacy protections were enacted?

A. YES, 43.6%

B. NO, 56.4%

5. Have you personally been affected by the $85 billion across-the-board cuts known as "sequestration" that went into effect this year?

A. YES, 32.3%

B. NO, 67.7%

6. Is it important to balance the federal budget within 10 years?

A. YES, 80.7%

B. NO, 19.3%

7. Do you believe you will be positively or negatively affected by the implementation of the new health care law?

A. Positively Affected, 26.7%

B. Negatively Affected, 51.2%

C. Will Not Affect Me, 6.2%

D. Not Sure, 16.0%

8. Should the U.S. do more in response to Iran and North Korea advancing their nuclear programs?

A. YES, 63.2%

B. NO, 36.8%

9. Various proposals have been put forward as ways to reduce gun violence. Which of the following do you support? Check all that apply.

A. Expanded background checks on gun transactions, 58.7%

B. Limit magazine size, 46.1%

C. Ban on the sale of assault weapons, 48.0%

D. Enhanced mental health assessment and treatment, 73.3%

E. None of the above, 15.0%

10. Should the federal government recognize same-sex marriages in states that have passed laws legalizing them?

A. YES, 39.1%

B. NO, 60.9%

To view graphs of the results, click here