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Monday, January 7, 2013

Great News for State Lawmakers: Voters Have Low Expectations

Posted by on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Washington voters cant agree on how to fix the state budget.
  • Elway Poll
  • 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:

  • Elway Poll

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.


Comments (4) RSS

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I have high expectations that our legislators, Democrat and Republican, will do whatever the state's billionaires and biggest business interests tell them to.
Posted by PCM on January 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
Part of the problem is you're mixing three populations.

One: people in rural areas who mistakenly think they're subsidizing everyone else and who think roads are free and so is school.

Two: people in suburban areas who mistakenly think they're subsidizing everyone else and who think roads should be free but that school isn't so they put their kids in private school.

Three: people in urban areas who are subsidizing everyone else but are too polite to say so and mistakenly think everyone else respects them and will pay their fair share.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 7, 2013 at 6:08 PM · Report this
Add Economy to Budget Spending and you get an incredible two-thirds of the public mostly concerned with purely financial issues. This aligns with the consistent public vote for limiting tax increases in Washington State.

The only "social" issue that has consistent mind share is education.

The one anomaly you highlight, 33%, Transportation, in 2008, might have been cumulative dissatisfaction with approaches to mass transit (?). Perhaps a criticism of the previous administration's approach favoring BRT over rail (?)
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on January 7, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
The less they do in Olympia, the better.
Posted by Sugartit on January 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM · Report this

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