OCEAN CITY, Md. -- Maryland and Washington, D.C. "likely voters" look most favorably on credit unions for returning their profits to their members and assisting low-income members.
Eighty-eight percent of likely voters in Maryland view credit unions favorably in light of returning their earnings to their members in the form of lower rates on loans, lower fees, and higher rates on deposits, according to polling sponsored by the Maryland & D.C. Credit Union Association. Washington, D.C. voters responded similarly at 86% on the same question as well as 86% favorably for providing special programs for low-income households and teaching them financial skills. Among likely Maryland voters, this was also rated favorably at 84%.
Other features of credit unions that rated favorably but not as high were their nonprofit, cooperative status, and volunteer boards of directors.
The polling, the results of which were released at the MDDCCUA Annual Meeting, was performed by Public Opinion Strategies Republican pollster Glen Bolger.
The survey also found that, in a legislative show down, Maryland voters would side with banks while D.C. voters would go with credit unions. Roughly 42% of Maryland voters would "side with" or "lean" toward banks with credit unions capturing just 38% of likely voters. However, in D.C., 43% would go with credit unions and 31% with banks.
In Maryland, credit union legislative support among likely voters fell from 43% in July 2006 to 38% in June 2007, outside the margin of error, whereas banks are up from 29% to 38%. White voters in Maryland lean toward the banks while in D.C. they strongly favor credit unions. Africa-Americans in Maryland go with the banks as well but are divided in D.C.
In both places, voters favor credit unions' tax-exemption (61% in Maryland and 68% in D.C.). However, Bolger cautioned that credit unions cannot take these figures for granted because 40% in Maryland and 39% in D.C. only said they "somewhat approve" of the tax-exemption. Most said they earned it from their nonprofit status.