A poll released to the public June 23 shows most likely voters support Gov. Jan Brewer and her budget plans, including a proposal to temporarily raise the sales tax by a penny, while most oppose the Republican-led Legislature and its budget proposal.
Fifty-three percent of voters in a poll conducted by Oregon-based Moore Information support a sales tax increase. If the new sales-tax revenue was dedicated to education, healthcare and public safety, support jumps to 64 percent.
Meanwhile, the survey shows strong opposition to education cuts included in a budget proposal crafted by Republicans and approved by lawmakers June 4. A $220 million cut to K-12 education was panned, with 74 percent of voters opposing the move. Also, 54 percent of those polled were against a $90 million reduction to the university system included in the GOP budget.
Pollster Bob Moore said he wasn’t paid to do the poll, but instead did so to expand his firm’s business in Arizona. The opinion research firm, which was founded in 1981 and has offices in Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C., has done work for corporate clients in this state, but not political campaigns.
“To be totally frank, it’s for marketing our company,” Moore said.
The poll also shows that 37 percent of voters approve of Brewer’s performance since taking office in January, while only 27 percent disapprove. The opposite is true for the Legislature, which has a disapproval rating of 42 percent and an approval rating of only 27 percent.
Additionally, lawmakers would get the blame if a budget isn’t in place by July 1 and state government has to shut down; 54 percent said such a shutdown would be the fault of lawmakers, while only 13 percent would blame Brewer.
There also is widespread support for a budget solution that combines tax increases and spending cuts. Overall, 62 percent of the voters surveyed preferred a mixed-method approach to bridging the deficit, while only 21 percent wanted to see only budget cuts and 10 percent favored only tax increases.
That support is also maintained across party lines, with 57 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of independents desiring a mixture of both methods.
The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted June 17 and 18 and has an error rate of 4 percent.