What’s on Utah’s Mind: Voter Issues and Concerns in 2020 – the first release in the 2020 Utah Priorities Project series – outlines voters’ top concerns. The project uses surveys to inform candidates for elected office, elected officials, civic leaders and others on voters’ priorities. It draws from a survey taken before the coronavirus pandemic hit Utah and from a second one taken this summer.
Health care (costs and accessibility) remains the top issue from the 2016 Utah Priorities Project. Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus is tightly linked to each of the top five issues.
Among the findings of the new report:
- The coronavirus pandemic had a major impact on voters’ prioritization of the top issues in 2020.
- The close-knit group of “most important” priorities reflects the entangled challenges thrust upon the state by the emergence of the novel coronavirus.
- Health care (costs and accessibility) maintains its top spot since 2016, likely due in part to Utahns’ concern around the coronavirus. State taxes and government spending, K-12 education, jobs and the economy, and public health / COVID-19 pandemic round out the top five issues.
- The top two issues – health care (costs and accessibility) and state taxes and government spending – ranked high not because they were often the most important issues for Utahns in the survey, but because they were consistently important among respondents.
- Public health / COVID-19 pandemic was most often ranked as the top issue, but many respondents also found it relatively unimportant.
- The top five issues can be found in every demographic group’s top-10 list.
- Of the demographic groups’ top-10 lists, marital status showed the greatest differences, followed by whether respondents had any religious affiliation.
- Over the past 16 years, Utah voters have been trending toward the belief that Utah is on “the wrong track.”
- More people feel that their quality of life is worse than it was five years ago compared to people who feel it is better.