Arizona Voters’ Agenda Reveals What Majority Cares About, Asks Big Questions of Candidates
Statewide survey of likely voters to drive discussion of important 2022 midterm election issues that have strong agreement across party lines and age demographics
With early voting in the Primary Elections in the State of Arizona four weeks away, Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) announced today the creation of the Arizona Voters’ Agenda, a data-driven look at what a majority of likely Arizona voters cares most about and want candidates to address in the midterm election. The Arizona Voters’ Agenda is built on where a majority of likely voters across political and age groups agree and reflects what they care most about. CFA will release the Agenda in phases, sharing the data on the key issues and “big questions” for candidates throughout June.
The Arizona Voters’ Agenda was developed from new survey research of Republican, Democratic, and independent/unaffiliated voters of all ages. The results counter the narrative of division and polarization that dominates political dialogue. The Agenda shows what a majority of likely voters say are the critical issues facing the state and that they want to hear candidates’ positions and plans when considering whom they will support with their vote.
“With all statewide offices and the entire legislature on the ballot, Arizona’s 2022 midterm elections will set the course for the future of Arizona. We want the Arizona Voters’ Agenda to amplify and center the voice of Arizonans in the dialogue and counter the narrative of political polarization and division that receives disproportionate attention in our politics,” said Dr. Sybil Francis President & CEO of CFA. “We hope those driving the conversation through reporting and debates and, most importantly, the candidates themselves, use this information to focus on what matters to a majority of Arizonans as they compete for their votes and develop plans to lead over the next term.”
CFA worked with HighGround Public Affairs to develop the Arizona Voters’ Agenda survey of likely voters in the general election across political and age groups to identify their priorities for this election and what they want candidates for office to address as they campaign for their votes. The survey asked likely voters to answer questions on policy and values and to rank the importance of the following issues: education, economy & inflation, water, environment, election reform, and immigration. For an issue to make it on the Arizona Voters’ Agenda, a majority of all likely voters must “strongly support” it, and majorities of every political and age segment must “strongly or somewhat” support it.
The results show Arizonans across the political spectrum are consistent in what they value and what they want from their political leaders:
- Nearly two-thirds of all likely voters prioritize addressing the key issues facing our state, with 38% naming “Position on the issues” as the top criteria for picking a candidate and another 27% naming “Has clear plans or solutions” as their top criteria – ahead of “Ideology” (12%) and “Party registration” (10%).
- Despite polarized political dialogue, there is significant agreement and common ground among voters on many issues, including education, economy, environment, elections, and immigration.
- Candidates and the media will be surprised to learn that voters care strongly about several issues not being addressed or discussed thus far in the primary.
- The data reveals topics that are most important to voters and those currently dominating political dialogue that are not prioritized by majorities of voters.
CFA will release detailed findings on each issue area over the next few weeks along with “big questions” for candidates –all in an effort to encourage moderators, members of the press, citizens, and local voters to foster productive dialogue and seek out real answers.
The findings for each issue will be released on the following dates, with the entire Agenda available by June 27 at ArizonaFuture.org/ArizonaVotersAgenda:
- June 13 – Education
- June 15 – Economy & Inflation
- June 20 – Water
- June 22 – Environment
- June 24 – Election Reform
- June 27 – Immigration
CFA brings Arizonans together to realize The Arizona We Want–a shared vision of success around what matters most to Arizonans that expresses their highest aspirations and hopes for the future.
The Arizona Voters’ Agenda builds on CFA’s longstanding survey research efforts to identify what matters most to Arizonans across a broad range of critical issues, provide data to guide policy and action, and mobilize communities and leaders around shared priorities. CFA’s most recent and widely known Gallup Arizona Survey, which illuminates the long-term goals of Arizonans and their shared priorities for the next decade, found that Arizonans agree on more than they disagree and identified seven Shared Public Values and over 40 actions on which Arizonans agree are needed to create The Arizona We Want.
The Gallup survey also highlighted the gap between what Arizonans say matters most to them and the actions and political rhetoric of elected leaders and candidates for office. In this election year, CFA wanted to put the voices of likely Arizona voters in the forefront and ask: “What do Arizona’s likely voters consider the most important issues facing our state, and what do they want candidates to address as they compete for their votes in this election?” –which became the basis of the Arizona Voters’ Agenda initiative.
The Arizona Voters’ Agenda will show – as did the Gallup Arizona Survey – that there is much common ground among voters across the political spectrum, that voters agree on more than they disagree about the important issues facing Arizona, and where solutions can be found. It provides an opportunity for both candidates and the media to reframe the discussion around topics that a majority of Arizonans believe in. These are common beliefs that can unite the electorate – instead of dividing it.
About the Survey
The N=500 survey was conducted among likely voters from April 12 through 19, 2022. The poll surveyed likely Arizona 2022 General Election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender. The live interview survey of voters was conducted in English and Spanish by HighGround Public Affairs to landline and cell phone users. Based on previous midterm election trends, the partisan advantage was set at +8% GOP. The margin of error is ±4.3%. Survey Demographics:
The Arizona Voters’ Agenda initiative is supported in part by Helios Education Foundation, Pharos Foundation, Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation, and Southern Arizona Leadership Council. CFA also coordinated with Education Forward Arizona, who conducted an additional poll to gain deeper insights into likely Arizona voters’ priorities on education. The findings will be released on June 14.
About Center for the Future of Arizona
Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for our state. All of CFA’s work is to ensure that the public values Arizonans share are realized for all by shaping and advancing The Arizona We Want–a shared vision of success where all Arizonans, now and in the future, thrive and enjoy sustained prosperity, unmatched quality of life, and real opportunity. Learn more at arizonafuture.org.
Media contact: Heather Thornton | [email protected]