Poll: What Issues are Most Important to Utahns?

blue 06Utah voters say the economy and education are most important to them in the 2016 election while the fight over public lands ranks near the bottom.

A new UtahPolicy.com survey by Dan Jones & Associates finds 18% of Utahns say the economy is the most important issue for them when they decide which candidates to support in this year’s election. 13% picked school and education while 6% said healthcare. No other issue got more than 4% support.
Control of public lands in the state of Utah was identified by just 3% of respondents as the #1 issue while 4% said government overreach was their top concern for picking a candidate. 
More than 30% of Utahns chose some other issue or said they didn’t know.

23% of Republicans chose the economy as their #1 issue while just 11% of Democrats agreed with that. 16% of independents identified the economy as their top issue.
Education was the #1 issue for Democrats at 14%. Independents also picked education at the top (17%), while just 12% of Republicans said it was their #1 priority in the election.

There’s a clear partisan divide when it comes to some political issues. 
  • 10% of Democrats said health care was their top issue. 5% of Republicans and 6% of independents agreed.
  • 10% of Democrats picked air quality at the top issue. Only 1% of Republicans and 4% of political independents were on the same page. 
  • 7% of Democrats cited the environment as their primary issue. Only 1% of Republicans and 2% of independents agree with that.
The men in our survey said the economy was their top issue (23%) while schools and education came out on top among women (17%). 
Millenials pick education as their top issue while other age cohorts say they are most concerned about the economy.
The fight over public lands, which is a favorite topic among Republicans in the Utah Legislature, is not resonating with Utahns as an election issue this year. The only group where the subject approached 10% were those Utahns who identified themselves as members of the Tea Party (8%).

In fact, Utah Tea Party members are mostly out of step with Utahns as a whole. The two groups say the economy is their top issue, but the two groups diverge from there.
  • 12% of Tea Partiers say gun laws are their most important issue while just 3% of Non-Tea Party members agree.
  • 10% picked government overreach as most important, opposed to 3% of those who are not members of the Tea Party.
  • Just 2% of Tea Partiers chose education.
  • Surprisingly, only 1% of Tea Partiers said taxes was most important to them.
The survey was conducted January 6-13, 2016 among 845 adult Utahns. Respondents were contacted via telephone (both landline and cell phone) and an online panel. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.37%.