Washington voters can't agree on how to fix the state budget.
The bad news for lawmakers looking to the latest Elway Poll for some insight into what voters really want from the coming legislative session is that they might as well not read the Elway Poll at all—it's an unsurprising, nonspecific mishmash of the usual conflicting priorities. The good news for lawmakers is that voters aren't really expecting much from them anyway.
Only 40 percent of respondents said that they were "very" (5 percent) or "somewhat" (35 percent) confident that legislators would make progress on their top priority, while 58 percent said that they were "not very" (35 percent) or "not at all" (23 percent) confident. And that Republican coup state Senator Rodney Tom engineered? Just 41 percent said it would make the Senate "more likely" to achieve progress, while 45 percent said "less likely."
As for the voters' priorities, no surprises and no consensus:
The economy! Great! Of Course! Okay, what should we do about it? Not much useful information in the poll here. As for how to address the state budget, respondents were pretty much split between the various options.
Still, there was one victory for Republicans and their editorial board surrogates: 42 percent of respondents named government "waste and overspending" as the “most significant reason why state government is short of money.” Only 21 percent blamed "lack of revenue because of a struggling economy."
Yes, if we can only eliminate all that waste, everything will be fine! It's wishful thinking at best, and a calculated lie at worst, but congratulations to Republicans for successfully getting their message out. And good luck with that governing thing.