Unified Business Oregon
P O L L I N G M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Interested Parties
FR: Fritz Wenzel, Founder and Pollster, Clout Research
RE: Survey of likely voters statewide in the state of Oregon regarding public policy issues
Clout Research is an opinion research and voter data modeling firm based in Dublin, Ohio working with clients in politics, business, media, government, and non-profit agencies nationwide for more than a decade. It uses the latest technology in research, telephony, texting, and big data to help clients identify opportunities and challenges to influence lawmakers, win elections, and improve service to their clients, constituents, and voters. Since its founding in 2005, it has worked with notable success for clients at the highest levels, from presidential campaigns to governor to township trustee and city council.
Clout conducted a telephone survey of 709 likely General Election voters in Oregon regarding political issues. The survey was conducted July 22-23, 2019. It carries a confidence interval of 95% and a margin of error of +/- 3.65 percentage points.
The survey shows there is overwhelming opposition to a recent $2.8 billion tax on business activity that crosses most demographic sectors, and even more opposition to new laws that would circumvent efforts to put the new tax up for a vote of the people in the form of a ballot measure in a future election.
In addition, nearly 7 in 10 voters said they would be more likely to vote against their state senator or representative who voted in favor of the new tax.
Respondents also said they strongly opposed House Bill 2020, the legislation known as “Cap and Trade”, as 64% said they stood against the proposal. Opposition to Cap and Trade increased to 74% when respondents learned the proposed law could increase gas prices by 22 cents per gallon the first year with more increases likely in the future, and that it could cause home heating bills to also increase.
Further, 68% of respondents across the political spectrum said they opposed efforts by Democratic lawmakers to change the state Constitution to amend legislative quorum requirements to make it easier for the majority party to pass legislation without the participation of the minority political party. Cap and Trade legislation was considered by the Oregon legislature earlier this year, but was scuttled when Republican senators departed the state and thus prevented the Senate from gaining a quorum to vote on the bill.
On the $2.8 billion new tax on business activity, 85% of Republicans and 60% of independent voters said they opposed the tax. Even a slim plurality of Democrats – 40% - said they also opposed the tax. Only self-described liberals supported the tax, while moderates, conservatives, and those who said they were “very conservative” were opposed to the tax. While 57% of men were opposed to the tax, 63% of women were opposed to it.
While just 40% of Democrats said they personally opposed the business activity tax, 60% of Democrats said they were more likely to vote against their own state senator or state representative who voted in favor of the tax. On that point, Republicans were far more consistent, as 85% of GOPers are against the tax, and 82% said they would vote against their own state senator or state representative who voted in favor of the tax.
All partisans were more likely than not to vote against their state senator or state representative who supports new laws circumventing voters’ rights to place the $2.8 billion tax on a future ballot for voters either affirm or overturn.
Regarding Cap and Trade, voters across the political spectrum are opposed to it. A plurality of 45% of Dems oppose it, as does 92% of Republicans and 64% of independent voters. As with the business activity tax, moderates, conservatives and very conservative voters are opposed to the tax. Among moderates, 58% are opposed, as are 91% of conservatives and 98% of those who self-identify as “very conservative”.
Sentiment toward Cap and Trade is uniformly bad across the political spectrum when respondents considered the gas price and home heating cost increases. Among Democrats, 58% said they were more against the law, compared to 93% of Republicans and 78% of independent voters.
Perhaps as a reflection of the negative views that voters are expressing on the legislation considered in this survey, Governor Kate Brown’s favorability rating is quite low. Just 37% said they have a favorable view of the governor, while 59% said they now hold an unfavorable opinion of Brown. Among Democrats – her political base – 59% said they hold a favorable view of her, but just 12% of Republicans and 30% of independent voters held the same opinion.
It is notable that, among Democrats, Brown’s support is less intense than is the sentiment against her. While 20% of Democrats said they held a “very favorable” opinion of Brown, 24% of Democrats said they held a “very unfavorable” opinion of her – an indication that she faces a great challenge to turn things around even within her own party members. Unfavorable intensity is so strong against her among Republicans and independents that there is little hope she will be able to reverse her current standing in their eyes.
- Respectfully submitted.
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