More than half of the voters surveyed as part of the Utah Priorities Project expressed a high level of concern (4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) about partisan politics. The issue ranks 8th on the top ten list of issues identified by voters in the statewide survey.
A research brief issued today by Utah Foundation shows the concern was consistent across party lines, though there were significant differences among voter responses to other questions depending on their party affiliations. 27% of Republican voters, for example, felt that the policies of their own party are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being. 22% of Utah Democrats felt the same about their own party’s. 25% of unaffiliated and 3rd party voters felt that the policies of both parties were on the wrong track.
Party affiliation also played a role in whether voters expected their elected officials to stand on principle or to compromise to get things done. Two-thirds of Republicans said standing on principle is more important than compromise, while only 38% of Democrats felt the same way. Slightly more than half of independent voters felt sticking to principles was more important.
“While the divide between the responses of voters of the two major parties wasn’t surprising, it was interesting to see how the unaffiliated and third party voters responded to the survey,” said Research Analyst Mallory Bateman, the author of the research brief. “Unaffiliated voters are the second largest group of voters in the state, so their responses are something that should be listened to.”
State voter registration records show unaffiliated voters make up about 40% of Utah’s 1.47 million registered voters. Republicans are about 47% and registered Democrats are about 11%, with other parties accounting for 2% of the total.