Utah Priorities 2020 | Red, Gray and Blue: The Issues that Unite and Divide Utah Voters

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During every gubernatorial election year, Utah Foundation surveys Utah voters to understand their priorities and releases a series of reports as the Utah Priorities Project. The summer 2020 priority list for Utahns overall can be found in the first report of the 2020 series. This report, Red, Gray and Blue: The Issues that Unite and Divide Utah Voters, looks at how priorities are different across party and ideological lines. The report highlights both similarities and dissimilarities between the groups.

Among the findings of the report:

  • The proportion of registered voters who are Republicans or Democrats have both increased, with Democrats increasing by roughly 50% since 2016. However, Republicans now make up half of registered voters, while only 15% are Democrats. (Unaffiliated voters make up most of the remainder.)
  • There is close agreement among Republicans, unaffiliated voters and Democrats as to the relative importance of both K-12 education and housing affordability issues.
  • Utah Foundation’s survey found that partisanship and division was a top-10 issue only for unaffiliated voters.
  • Republicans have a higher level of concern about taxes, jobs and the economy, and growth management. They are also are more worried about crime.
  • Democrats have a higher level of concern about racial inequality or racism, public health and homelessness. They also have a higher level of concern about climate change.
  • The median voter in Utah has become more liberal. This is due in large part to shifting views among unaffiliated voters and Democrats.
  • Republicans and Democrats in Utah have become more polarized, mainly due to a shift further left among Democrats.

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