Phoenix, Ariz.: The kickoff to the 2019 legislative session saw a sea change in Arizona politics. Reinforcing this shift in power and changing dynamics in the state are the findings from a recent statewide poll which shows broad and robust support for progressive policy priorities.
“This research shows that when looking to the future, Arizonans have progressive priorities,” said Joaquin Rios, Arizona State Director for the State Innovation Exchange (SiX). “The Arizona Sunrise Agenda, which will launch on Monday, articulates a progressive vision for the state that matches the priorities of Arizonans, as demonstrated in this poll.”
Arizona Voters Prioritize Health Care, Education, Clean Air and Water
When it comes to issues on which the state legislature could focus, Arizona voters are most likely to cite these issues as top priorities:
- Making health care and health insurance more affordable (72 percent top priority);
- Improving (68 percent top priority) and increasing funding for (66 percent top priority) neighborhood public schools; and
- Keeping Arizona’s air and water clean (65 percent top priority).
Notably, these results are very similar to the voter priorities highlighted in polling conducted this time last year.
Voters Know Schools Are Underfunded and Want Concrete Outcomes
Arizona voters prioritize education and support various ways to raise revenues to help improve schools. However, support is even stronger when funding increases are tied to desired outcomes, including:
- Increasing teacher pay to the national average (76 percent very effective);
- Cutting down on class sizes by hiring more qualified teachers (70 percent very effective); and
- Making sure small towns and rural Arizona get their fair share of funding (75 percent very effective).
Air, Water, and Public Lands Central to Arizona’s Economic Future
Keeping Arizona’s air and water clean is a top priority for most Arizona voters. This survey reveals that Grand Canyon state voters draw a clear connection between the outdoors and the state’s economic future. To begin, the critical importance of the outdoor recreation economy is near consensus public policy, as 93 percent of Arizonans believe it is an important to Arizona’s economic future. Voters also overwhelmingly oppose uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and voters oppose the transfer of federal public lands to state control by a by a roughly two-to-one margin.
Click here to see the poll memo.
SiX commissioned TargetSmart to complete the research. The survey was conducted December 29, 2018 – January 3, 2019 with 650 respondents and has a margin of error: ± 3.8 percentage points.