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Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill (480) 965-7051
Can be used after 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 20 2003




A new statewide poll of registered voters conducted by KAET-TV/Channel 8 and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University May 15-18, 2003, found that 49% of all registered voters were willing to borrow to help solve the budget deficit in Arizona. Thirty percent (30%) preferred cutting government programs and services, 6% supported both borrowing and reducing programs, 10% did not support either proposal and 5% did not have an opinion. Support for borrowing was highly partisan. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of the Democrats compared to 31% of the Republicans interviewed supported borrowing.

Almost one-half (48%) of political independents favored borrowing. The possibility of raising state taxes also was highly partisan. Thirty-eight percent of all registered voters supported raising taxes, 56% were opposed and 6% had no opinion. However, while 58% of the Democrats and 43% of the Independents supported tax increases, only 24% of the Republicans were favorable. College-educated voters also were more likely to support raising taxes (48%) than voters with high school or less educations (28%).

The survey also found that voters rejected the idea of cutting back childcare subsidies by a three-to-one margin. Sixty-six percent (66%) were opposed, 23% favorable and 11% were undecided. Forty-three percent (43%) of the Republicans interviewed supported cutting subsidies to children compared to 10% of the Democrats and 26% of the Independents. Women were less supportive of cuts (22%) than men (32%).

Voters also were reluctant to reduce spending for the state's universities and community colleges. Seventy-two percent (72%) said they would not support cutting spending, 21% would cut spending and 7% had no opinion. Republicans, men, and voters over 60 years of age were the groups most supportive of cutting spending for universities and community colleges.

A majority (50%) of registered voters also indicated they favored cutting federal income taxes. Forty-one percent (41%) opposed cutting federal taxes; 9% said they didn't have an opinion. As one would expect, Republicans were much more likely than Democrats, 81% to 32%, to favor a tax cut. Voters over 60 years of age also were more supportive of a tax cut than other age groups.

The survey also found that only 38% of those favoring a tax cut were willing to support President Bush's $726 billion proposal. Thirty-four percent (34%) favored the House's $550 billion proposal and 16% supported the $350 billion cut being proposed by the Senate. Twelve percent (12%) of those favoring a cut were unsure how much taxes should be cut.

Finally, the poll found that a majority (57%) favored either eliminating (23%) or reducing (34%) taxes on corporate dividends. Thirty-six percent (36%) did not want taxes on dividends reduced and 7% said they did not have an opinion. Again, opinion about this issue was highly partisan. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Republicans favored eliminating (43%) or reducing (40%) dividend taxes; only thirty-seven percent (37%) of the Democrats wanted the dividend tax eliminated (8%) or reduced (29%).

The statewide poll of 389 registered voters has a sampling error of plus or minus 5.0%. Fifty-one percent (51%) of those interviewed were female, 49% male. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County, 16% in Pima County, and 26% in the less populated counties. The sample consisted of 41% Republicans, 37% Democrats and 22% independents. The sample was statistically weighted by sex.

1. President Bush is suggesting cuts in the federal income tax as a way to stimulate the economy. In general, are you

1. In favor of or
2. Against cutting federal income taxes? 41 (45)
3. Don't know/no opinion 9  

*entries in parentheses are for those with an opinion.


2. IF FAVORABLE TO A TAX CUT: President Bush is suggesting federal income taxes be cut $726 billion, the House of Representatives wants a $550 billion cut, and the Senate wants to cut taxes $350 billion. Which of these three proposals would you most favor?

1. Bush - $726 billion
2. House - $550 billion 34 (39)
3. Senate - $350 billion 16 (19)
4. Don't know/no opinion 12  

*entries in parentheses are for those with an opinion.


3. President Bush wants to eliminate taxes on corporate dividends. Both the House and Senate tax cut proposals call for the reduction but not the elimination of taxes on corporate dividends. Which of the following comes closest to your own opinion about cutting taxes on corporate dividends and capital gains.

1. I support President Bush's proposal to eliminate taxes on corporate dividends.
2. I support the Senate and House proposals to reduce but not eliminate taxes on dividends (or) 34 (37)
3. I don't think taxes on corporate dividends should be reduced. 36 (38)
4. Don't know/no opinion 7  

*entries in parentheses are for those with an opinion.


Republican lawmakers in Arizona recently released their proposed budget for next year. Their proposal differs from Governor Napolitano's proposal in several ways. We would be interested in knowing which general approach you prefer.

4. For instance, the Governor wants to reduce the State's budget deficit by borrowing money until the economy improves. The Republicans think the budget should be reduced by cutting state programs. Which of these two positions do you tend to favor - (read only 1 and 2)

1. Borrowing money or
2. Cutting state programs? 30 (32)
3. Both 6 (6)
4. Neither 10 (10)
5. Don't know/no opinion 5  

*entries in parentheses are for those with an opinion.


5. The Republicans and Democrats also differ on what to do about childcare subsidies to low income families. The Republicans want to make cuts in these subsidies while the Democrats would not reduce them. Do you

1. Favor or
2. Oppose reducing child care subsidies to low income families? 66 (74)
3. Don't know/no opinion 11  

*entries in parentheses are for those with an opinion.


6. The Republican budget includes reducing funding to universities and community colleges. The Democrats' budget does not include cuts for universities and community colleges. Do you

1. Favor or
2. Oppose reducing funding for universities and community colleges? 72 (77)
3. Don't know/no opinion 7  

*entries in parentheses are for those with an opinion.


7. Finally, neither the Republican or Democratic budget includes increasing state taxes as a way to reduce the budget deficit. Would you personally

1. Favor or
2. Oppose increasing state taxes to reduce the deficit? 56 (60)
3. Don't know/no opinion 6  

*entries in parentheses are for those with an opinion.


KAET-TV is a part of Arizona State University