Voices of Austin

Austinites weigh in on really important topics like queso and Trump

Austinites weigh in on really important topics like queso and Trump

Austin aerial view downtown skyline
Austinites share opinions on queso, ride-sharing, and more. Austin, Texas - Your City Government/Facebook

The results of the 2017 Zandan Poll are in, providing insight into what Austinites think about everything from queso and barbecue to traffic and politics.

The annual poll is conducted by Peter Zandan, a longtime Austinite with a background in marketing and research. This year, over 800 residents were surveyed across the greater Austin area, including Travis, Williamson, Hays, Caldwell, and Bastrop counties.

The survey analyzed opinions on traditional topics like policy issues, but what we found most interesting were the responses that reflect the culture of the city. Here's what we learned:

We heart queso
When asked to choose between queso and guacamole, 53 percent of Austinites surveyed picked the cheesy stuff; 41 percent picked the green goodness. A surprising 7 percent said they don't care for either ... we find that hard to believe.

The best barbecue
Picking the best barbecue is hard in a city like Austin. The three clear winners: Salt Lick BBQ (No. 1), Franklin Barbecue (No. 2), and Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q (No. 3). Additionally, 8 percent of respondents said they don't care for smoked meat.

Breakfast taco indulgence
Twenty-four percent of respondents eat breakfast tacos a few times a month, while 19 percent indulge several times a week. Seven percent simply said "eggs in a tortilla are not my thing."

Keeping Austin weird
More than half of those surveyed believe that Austin is musical, creative, young, educated, entrepreneurial, liberal, innovative, healthy, culturally diverse, weird, laid-back, and philanthropic. Despite our penchant for the weird, 54 percent also believe that Austin is "unique, but becoming more similar to other major U.S. cities."

Our sister city is ...
We think Austin is most similar to Portland (although Seattle and San Francisco are close behind).

We've got issues
Traffic/transportation remains Austin's' biggest concern, followed by affordability/gentrification. In fact, a combined 88 percent think Austin is at some risk of losing its appeal due to higher cost of living. Sixty-six percent of respondents have had to cut back on spending.

And ride-sharing?
Austin was at the center of a ride-sharing controversy last year when Uber and Lyft pulled out of the city. Almost half of those surveyed said they don't support Uber/Lyft's decision to do. However, 59 percent also said they never use ride-sharing services.

According to the Zandan Poll, the majority of Austinites are:

  • Living without kids in the house (69 percent)
  • Not native Austinites (66 percent)
  • Not graduates of an Austin-area college (57 percent)
  • Owners of their place of residence (57 percent)
  • Favorable towards former President Barack Obama (57 percent)
  • Against building a border wall (55 percent)
  • Unfavorable towards President Donald Trump (54 percent)
  • Concerned about how life in Austin might change during Trump's presidency (50 percent)