ABC27 Reform Poll Leaves Doubts

Posted on August 1, 2008. Filed under: General Politics |

If our recent “legislative reform” poll for ABC Channel 27 News proves anything, it proves that when it comes to reforming state government, unless you bring up the bonus-gate investigation directly mid state voters have more important things on their minds.  This may disappoint the reform gadflies out there who live and breathe this stuff for a living.  In the poll, before we specifically bring up the bonus-gate investigation, we first asked voters to pick their top priority for the legislature to concentrate on (from a list of 7).  The results show mid state voters rank “reforming state government to cut down on corruption and abuse” third highest (at 18%) – behind “creating jobs and strengthening the economy” (at 24%) and “reducing property taxes” (at 20%).  This suggests that voters still rank traditional pocketbook issues – the kind that affect their daily lives and their ability to make ends meet – of paramount importance.  However, reforming state government does rank higher than some quality of life-type issues, like health care (15%), fixing roads/bridges (at 8%) or fighting crime/drug problems (3%).  So, this 3rd place ranking shows the issue does have some sizzle to it, which is impressive because to some extent what our polls continually show us on a macro level is that during tough times when Americans are having a hard time making ends meet, they don’t have the luxury of worrying about things like corruption in government, or even social issues like guns, God or abortion (contrary to what Barack Obama might think).  So, this poll seems to suggest that the reform issue is still lurking in the back of people’s minds, and even though it’s not the #1 priority for most, they’re not ready to let state legislators off the hook just yet.  This is why almost all mid state voters (80%) say they are aware of bonus-gate, and most (or 82%) go on to say they think it should be a “high” priority for the legislature to concentrate on, even though we told them some reform measures have already been accomplished (like an open records law, changes to the internal rules of the House, and others).  So, what this says to me is that voters are kind of saying to politicians: “we have bigger fish to fry right now, but you still have some unfinished business left to do, so let’s get to it sooner rather than later, because we’re still watching.”  The poll results are available on our website at http://www.susquehannapolling.com.

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