Utah Voters Cite Healthcare, Air Quality as Top Issues

New Utah Foundation LogoHealthcare has moved into the top spot on the Utah Priorities Project survey of voters across the state of Utah for the 2016 election cycle.

Jobs and the economy, which had been the highest priority issue in 2010 and 2012 dropped to fifth place, and air quality moved into the second position on the Priorities Project’s top ten list of voter concerns.

The top ten list is based on polling done for Utah Foundation by Dan Jones and Associates.  In this year’s preliminary survey, we asked 507 Utahns to report what they considered to be the top two issues facing Utah that the governor could do something about. Based off of those responses, Utah Foundation created a list of 21 priorities. Dan Jones then surveyed a group of 818 registered voters to rate their concern of these 21 priorities on a 1 to 5 scale. The priorities were then ranked based on their average score, and this ranking was used for the Utah Foundation Priorities Project top ten list. Here’s what voters told us were their highest priorities in 2016 and in the last Utah Priorities Project in 2012:

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Utah Foundation President Steve Kroes says the report is an important tool to show how Utah voters are changing their priorities over time. “Twelve years ago,” Kroes said, “Utah Foundation created the Utah Priorities Project as a way to focus Utah candidates, news outlets, and voters on the issues that rank highest for voters in gubernatorial election years. This effort has grown and evolved each election cycle, winning national recognition for outstanding citizen education.”

The 2016 voter survey will be released on Thursday, March 24th at a luncheon featuring four candidates for governor. Republicans Gary Herbert and Jonathan Johnson and Democrats Vaughn Cook and Mike Weinholtz will respond to the issues raised by voters. The event will be streamed live online and made available afterward with help from our media partner Deseret Digital Media at http://www.utahfoundation.org/priorities-project-2016/  Utah Foundation is working with a number of media partners to ensure wide coverage of the survey and follow-up reports that will be published in the months leading up to the general election. Meetings to discuss the results are also planned at public colleges around the state.

The report detailing the voter survey is available online at www.utahfoundation.org. Reports detailing a survey of the gubernatorial candidates and state party convention delegates will be available in the coming weeks.