Priced Out and Fed Up: Cost of Living and Government Dysfunction are Voters’ Top Issues

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Each November, Utahns have a chance to shape government to fit their needs. Ideally, the voters’ voices serve as a compass to correct the course of government and shape society. However, information gaps can preclude an ideal outcome. First, politicians and policymakers need to understand Utahns’ priorities. Second, voters need relevant background on the issues that matter most. The Utah Foundation’s Utah Priority Project seeks to fill those information gaps and provide that background.

Priced Out and Fed Up: Cost of Living and Government Dysfunction are Voters’ Top Issues focuses on the voters’ ranking of 17 of the most important issues when considering their candidate for governor. It briefly offers context on each issue and details how demographic groups and communities order their priorities.

With the pandemic in the rearview mirror, Utah voters have refocused their attention back to issues that had been emerging pre-pandemic. In 2024, Utahns’ top concerns were the cost of living and political dysfunction. Secondary issues included environmental concerns and the education system.

More than 60% of Utahns believe that Utah is on the wrong track and that their quality of life is worse now than five years ago. These trends should concern Utahns. Knowing voters’ concerns – such as cost of living, political dysfunction, the environment, and education – will help guide the state’s leaders in getting the state on the right track and improving the quality of life for all Utahns.


  • The cost of living and political dysfunction topped the most important issues in 2024.
  • For the first time in the Utah Priorities Project, housing affordability is the No. 1 concern.
  • Secondary priorities included education and environmental concerns.
  • More than 3 in 5 Utah voters think Utah is on the wrong track – the largest share observed since 2004.
  • More than 3 in 5 Utah voters consider themselves worse off than five years ago – higher than during the Great Recession or early in the pandemic.
  • The top four issues were often the same among subgroups, although the order varied.



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