The Affordable Care Act: Placing Healthcare Reform in a Historical and Comparative Context

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Healthcare has been an important issue for Utah voters throughout the past decade, but the 2012 Utah Priorities Survey revealed they are now more concerned with it.  In the 2012 survey, 69% of respondents indicated that they were concerned or very concerned with healthcare, making it the fourth most important issue to voters in this election year. Healthcare is not only an important issue to voters, but a divisive one as well.  The Utah Priorities … Continued

Utah Priorities 2012, Issue #2: K-12 Education

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In 2012, voters listed K-12 education as the 2nd most important priority in the election year. Utah voters have ranked K-12 education as one of their top three concerns in each of the Utah Priorities Project surveys dating back to 2004. Voters list the top three issues within K-12 education as funding, student preparation for college and career, and teacher quality. This report addresses those funding challenges, as well as recent budgetary and policy developments. … Continued

Utah Priorities 2012, Issue #5: Taxes & Government Spending

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In 2012, voters listed higher taxes and government spending as the 5th most important priority in the election year. This policy brief explains that while Utah has historically had a high burden of taxes and fees, its burden has actually fallen below the national average in recent years. This is largely due to major reductions in Utah’s income and sales taxes in 2006 and 2007. These changes, as well as the Great Recession, had significant … Continued

Utah Priorities 2012, Issue #6: Higher Education

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In 2012, voters listed higher education as the 6th most important priority in the election year. This policy brief addresses the increase in enrollment in Utah’s colleges and universities, the decrease in state funding for higher education, and the increase in tuition throughout USHE institutions. It also discusses the issue of student loan debt, which is currently at a record high in the U.S. Finally, it examines the goal that by 2020, 66% of Utah’s … Continued

The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey of Party Delegates and Voters

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

As part of the 2012 Utah Priorities Project, Utah Foundation and the Hinckley Institute of Politics have surveyed Utah voters and delegates to the major parties’ state conventions.  This survey was conducted for the first time in 2010, showing distinct differences between party delegates and voters, with delegates usually taking more zealous positions than their parties’ voters.  The 2012 survey also shows differences between voters and delegates, but those differences are not as pronounced as … Continued

Utah Priorities Gubernatorial Survey: A Comparison of Candidates’ and Voters’ Top Priorities for 2012

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah Foundation recently released The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey, which provides a summary of the findings of a statewide Dan Jones & Associates survey assessing which issues are most important this election year and how voters feel about Utah’s economy, society and politics.  For the first time, Utah Foundation also requested that the gubernatorial candidates complete part of this survey.  All of the Republican and Democratic candidates and two of three third-party candidates completed the … Continued

The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey: The Top Issues and Concerns of Utah Voters for the 2012 Election

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In this election year, Utahns are more confident that the state is heading in the right direction than they were two years ago. However, they are still not as confident as they were in the 2004 and 2008 elections.  Their concerns about issues like jobs and the economy, public education, and healthcare remain strong.  Some issues that were important in the 2010 election, such as ethics of elected officials, states’ rights vs. the federal government, … Continued

U.S. Federal Deficits and Debt: Understanding the History and Context

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Throughout its history, the U.S. federal government has often operated under a deficit, and has always held a federal debt.  Over this time there have been many debates over these issues, and the current contest over the presence of large deficits and the size of the debt is not surprising.  However, with the drastic increase of the deficit the past few years, and projections that show the persistence of large deficits because of mandatory spending, … Continued

Utah’s Education Funding Effort: State Faces Long-Term Challenges

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Each gubernatorial election year, Utah Foundation identifies the public policy issues Utahns find most important through our Utah Priorities Project. In that research, Utahns consistently rank education as one of the most important issues. In the 2010 election cycle, when voters were asked their level of concern on various education topics, funding ranked highest among all education issue areas. Because of this, information about current education funding and historical trends is vital knowledge for voters … Continued

The 2010 Utah Priorities Fall Survey: Voters’ Preferences for Candidates and Policy Solutions

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

The purpose of this Utah Priorities Survey is to delve deeper on five critical policy issues to better understand voters’ preferences surrounding the most often discussed solutions. Voters were surveyed about K-12 education, economy and jobs, immigration, government spending, and states’ rights. The survey also asked voters about whom they plan to vote for in the upcoming election.