Poll: Economy, Education Are Top Issues For Arizona Voters

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 10:31am
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 3:19pm

Arizonans want their next president to fix the economy and improve K-12 education — and the call by Donald Trump to build a wall apparently leaves them cold.

Pollster Earl de Berge asked 700 adult heads of households to rank the relative importance of 23 issues on a scale of zero to 10. He found improving the economy rated 9.0, followed by improving K-12 education and protecting the United States from terrorism at 8.8.

Other top tier issues — those rating 8.0 or higher — include reducing the national debt, providing more funding for "wounded warriors,'' assuring safety in food sold to U.S. consumers, and providing health care to the poor.

One thing de Berge did find is that independents have a broader set of issues they consider important — meaning rated 8.0 or higher — than Democrats or Republicans, things like lowering middle class taxes, protecting and funding the national park system, and prosecuting computer hackers.

"Independents are people who've moved away from both political parties perhaps because they have a broader scope of interests on a variety of topics. That may be as simple as that. It may also be that they tend to be younger and more interested in those kinds of issues," de Berge said.

At the other extreme, the idea of building and staffing a wall along the nation's southern border rated just 4.7 among all those questioned on that zero-to-10 scale. Even Republicans rated it no higher than 7.3 despite the fact it has been a priority of GOP presidential contender Donald Trump.