Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #1: Healthcare

Written by: Christopher Collard

Healthcare was the number one priority in 2016 – a jump from 4th place, which it held for all prior iterations of the Utah Priorities Project (child healthcare was 4th and healthcare at 5th in 2004). The higher level of concern likely stemmed from the the discussion regarding Medicaid expansion during the 2016 legislative session and rising costs in healthcare for many Utahns. In 2015, Utah’s overall health ranking was seventh in the nation, a decline … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #2: Air Quality

Written by: Shawn Teigen

While air quality and the environment were a single topic in past Utah Priorities Project surveys, they were separated in 2016 based on preliminary survey feedback. Due in part to this change, air quality rose from seventh in 2012 (when combined with the environment) to the second most important issue to Utahns in 2016. Utah Voters’ Concern Over two-thirds of Utahns gave air quality a high level of concern (68% rated it a 4 or 5 on … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #3: K-12 Education

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utahns have always ranked K-12 education as a one of their top three concerns in the Utah Priorities Project. In 2016, K-12 education ranked third. Survey Responses Level of Concern In the Utah Priorities Project, over two-thirds (68%) of Utahns had a high level of concern for K-12 education (rating it a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). Liberal respondents were slightly more concerned than moderate and conservative respondents, but over 81% of “very … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #4: Taxes

Written by: Christopher Collard

State taxes and government spending has been a top priority for voters in every Utah Priorities Project. Because taxation is both explicitly controlled by the government and represents the principal form of interaction between voters and their state and local governments, it is no surprise this topic is a perennial concern. SURVEY RESPONSES Seven percent of respondents from the Utah Priorities Project’s initial open-response survey mentioned either taxes or government spending as one of their top two concerns. Three-quarters … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #5: Jobs and the Economy

Written by: Christopher Collard

The anemic economic recovery from the 2008 recession had kept jobs and the economy as Utah voters’ highest priority through 2012. Utah’s economy has since emerged as one of the best in the nation, with a low unemployment rate and many companies reporting employee shortages. Voters with lower levels of education had a higher level of concern than those with more education. Full-time workers were more concerned than retirees and stay-at-home parents.1 While jobs and … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #6: Water Supply and Quality

Written by: Web Admin

Water has bounced back onto the Utah Priorities Project top 10 list after dropping to eleventh place in 2010 and 2012. In this year’s project survey, 61% of respondents indicated concern (a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) for water supply and quality. SURVEY RESULTS The bump in the rankings could be due to increased media attention on water issues in 2015 and 2016 at both the regional and local level. The drought in … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #7: Crime and Safety

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In the 2016 Utah Priorities Project, crime ranked seventh among issues concerning Utahns. While sixth in 2004 and 2008, it dropped to twelfth for 2010 and 2012. However, the reemergence back on the top-ten list is not necessarily related to an increase in crime. In fact, violent crime and property crime rates remain at 50-year lows nationally and have been on a downward trend in Utah over the past 20 years.1 Survey Responses Every two … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #8: Partisan Politics

Written by: Christopher Collard

Partisan politics appeared as a Utah Priorities Project topic for the first time in 2012. That year, over 50% of Democratic and Independent voters identified partisan politics as a concern. This year, partisan politics maintained the eighth position on the priority list. Like 2012, 2016 is a big year for elections, both locally and nationally. The timing of the Utah Priorities Project survey could have impacted responses. The survey was administered prior to the party … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #9: Homelessness and Poverty

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The ninth most important issue in Utah Foundation’s Utah Priorities Project is homelessness and poverty. Over half of the state (53% of respondents) gives this issue a high level of concern, rating it as a four or five on a five-point scale.1 SURVEY RESPONSES Political ideology tended to correspond with level of concern on this issue. Approximately 48% of conservatives rate homelessness and poverty of high concern compared to 75% of liberals. Income was another … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #10: Environment

Written by: Christopher Collard

The topic environmental issues, including air quality has made the Utah Priorities Project top ten list every gubernatorial election over the past decade, although it has never risen above seventh place. In 2016, air quality and the environment were separated into two topics based on preliminary survey results.   STRICTER ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS A majority (53%) of Utahns are quite concerned about the environment, rating their level of concern as a four or a fie on a fie-point scale.1 This … Continued