July 15, 2022 9:00am

Power Poll Members Support the Sittenfeld Verdict and Duke's Repair Work, and They're Ready for Vacation

They're in a fairly agreeable mood as they contemplate trips to the beach and to Europe.

Photo of John Fox
Cincinnati, OH Correspondent

Results of the July edition of Cincinnati's Power Poll are out, featuring a discussion of two big local news stories and ruminations on summer vacations. Perhaps a focus on the latter (planning for vacation, returning from vacation) convinced most folks to offer agreeable verdicts on the former, but that’s OK. It’s summertime, and the living is easy—except for P.G. Sittenfeld and those in the path of recent stormy activity.

Let’s jump into the four questions posed in this month’s Power Poll Cincinnati and check out the results. Answers to the first three questions were required, and the final question was optional.

P.G. Sittenfeld was a rising political star in Cincinnati, finishing first in City Council open-field elections two different times and widely seen as the frontrunner to win the Mayor’s race in 2021 once John Cranley finished his two terms. Instead, after charges surfaced in late 2020 resulting from an undercover FBI investigation, Sittenfeld was arrested on six corruption counts. Following a jury trail, he was found guilty last Friday of two felonies: bribery and attempted extortion. He was acquitted on the other four counts.

Responding to a range of opinion options on the Sittenfeld verdict posed by Power Poll, 51% of members say it was appropriate. The remaining member votes are scattered across the other four options: Sittenfeld was guilty of more criminal activity than what the jury found; he was not guilty of any of the charges; he didn’t do anything different from what all elected officials do; and no opinion.

Sittenfeld maintained his innocence over the past year and a half, and he turned down a plea deal before his trial. Pending an appeal of the verdict, he’ll be sentenced to prison in the coming months.

A different kind of storm raged through the area in recent weeks, including tornadoes that touched down in Clermont County on July 6. Duke Energy brought in crews from its Indiana service areas and hired contractors to help restore power after approximately 104,000 power outages that evening. That followed an even more damaging storm in mid-June that caused 166,000 power outages in the region.

Power Poll members were asked their opinion of Duke’s response to the storms, and 55% say the repairs went as well as could be expected. Another 23% of members are fine with Duke’s efforts but think the repairs could have been done quicker. Only 4% rate Duke’s work as “terrible”—maybe they live in Clermont County.

And now on to a little fun, as we asked Power Poll members for their summer vacation plans in terms of the type of vacation they’re planning and where they’re going. We provided a menu of 13 vacation options—as well as the option to say they have no summer vacation plans—and asked members to rank them from 1 to 3 in chronological order. So if someone is planning a single vacation this summer, he or she would vote just once.

The top five answers are beach vacation, lake vacation, other type of vacation not on our list, a staycation at home and outdoors/camping vacation. Unfortunately, “no vacation plans” finishes in sixth place—let’s hope these people take come time off anyway, even if they don’t call it a vacation.

The least popular options from our menu are college visits vacation, cruise vacation and an organized tour in the U.S., Canada or Mexico.

As a bonus question, we asked Power Poll members to tell us where they’re going on vacation, and the airlines and hotel operators will be happy to see that the top destination is Europe—a full 20% of responses say they’re headed to the continent this summer. Next in order are North/South Carolina, Florida, the eastern U.S., Michigan and the western U.S., so plenty of us are staying in the country to spend our vacation dollars.

Six percent of members are doing staycations in Cincinnati, while 7% aren’t taking a vacation. A few destinations we offered as options have no takers this summer. And one person says he or she is going “some other place.” Since we listed every continent except for Antarctica, they’re either traveling to watch penguins or they're headed out on a SpaceX flight. Bon voyage!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

More on This Poll

More Polls

More on This Poll