Friday, December 2, 2016

Colorado Policy Priorities

Colorado voters, when asked to prioritize a series of public project and program improvements in Colorado, including considering that public funding may be required, put K-12 education at the top of their list. The University of Denver/Crossley Center pre-election survey offered five program areas and K-12 education led the list with 66 percent of voters rating it a top priority. In second place, ten points back was “improving the health care system (56% top priority).

Leading the second tier of improvements was the state’s water system, which had nearly half the voters (48%) rating it a top priority. Higher education was in fourth place with only 42 percent rating it a top priority. And the state’s transportation system, which generates considerable commentary and criticism from elected and appointed officials, came in last place with only 39 percent of voters ranking it a top priority.

Examining the geographic pattern of opinion shows that improving K-12 education is the priority of the metro area whereas it ties with health care on the Western Slope. Water is the issue of highest priority on the Eastern Plains.

The University of Denver/Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research survey was conducted by live interview telephone calls with 550 likely Colorado voters. The Crossley Center is a part of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. The survey was in field from October 29-31, 2016 by Floyd Ciruli, Director of the Crossley Center. The sample was selected by random probability design from a list of registered voters from the Colorado Secretary of State and included 258 landlines and 286 cell phone respondents. The data was weighted based on likely voter statistics for age and ethnicity. Overall, the survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. The margin of error for subgroups is larger.

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