Skip to main content

Arizona Voters’ Agenda: Voters Want to Protect Environment, Addressing Forest Fires and Air Quality Among Priorities

Big Question for Candidates: “What sustainable practices should continue and be implemented to protect Arizona’s air, land, and water and foster a high quality of life for all?”
Posted on June 22, 2022 • Category: News Release

On the heels of releasing survey findings on water issues important to voters earlier this week, Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) today released additional environmental findings as part of their ongoing reveal of the Arizona Voters’ Agenda, which identifies what likely voters in the general election want to hear about from candidates as they campaign for their votes.

The newly released data from the Arizona Voters’ Agenda emphasizes Arizonans’ strong desire to ensure sustainable practices that preserve and protect Arizona's natural environment. Voters identified specific priorities, including spending and policy measures to prevent forest fires and improve air quality. These are in addition to securing long-term water supplies, revealed as a top priority earlier this week.

“Arizonans know our natural resources and environment are interconnected to the quality of life in our state. The environment was also a top issue with broad consensus in CFA’s Gallup Arizona Survey in 2020,” said Dr. Sybil Francis, President & CEO of CFA. “As voters are making their decision about whom to support, they want to hear about what candidates are going to do to make sustainable gains on environmental concerns affecting our everyday lives and the future economic vitality of our beloved state.”

Amid Arizona’s all too real and devastating fire season, the Arizona Voters’ Agenda shows that voters across the state consider preventing forest fires a high priority. In fact, 93% of likely voters support “increasing spending and measures to prevent forest fires on state land,” including 90% Republican support, 93% independents/unaffiliated support, and 95% Democratic support. The survey was conducted in April, before the recent wildfires reported in the news.

While forest fires are a contributing factor to the air quality in Arizona, voters are also clear that improving the quality of air overall is important. In all, 88% of likely voters support the policy position of “improving air quality,” including 80% Republican support, 98% independents/unaffiliated support, and 99% Democratic support.

Voters continue to affirm that they want environmental concerns addressed, and they see sustainable practices as essential to the quality of life in Arizona. Revealed with water findings earlier this week, the Arizona Voters’ Agenda also shows:

  • 96% of likely voters support “Preserving and protecting Arizona's rivers, natural areas, and wildlife.”
    • This includes 93% of Republicans, 95% of independents/unaffiliated voters, and 99% of Democrats.
  • 90% of all likely voters agree with the notion, “We must support sustainable practices that protect our air, land, and water, and foster a high quality of life for all.”
    • This includes 80% of Republicans, 93% of independent/unaffiliated voters, and 100% of Democrats.

As with the water and education issues on the Arizona Voters’ Agenda, the environment earned some of the highest support from independent and unaffiliated voters and offers insight into how to connect with these voters that all candidates need to engage to succeed.

“The bottom line is voters agree more than they disagree about the environmental issues facing Arizona and where solutions can be found,” said Dr. Francis. “These findings provide an opportunity for candidates to address a topic that a majority of voters, including nearly all independent and unaffiliated voters, believe in – and that is protecting our collective air, land, and water future,” said Dr. Francis.

The Arizona Voters’ Agenda survey covered a wide array of issues and topics, and it’s important to note that only issues with majority support of likely Arizona voters made it onto the Agenda. A majority of all likely voters must “strongly support” the issue, and majorities of every political and age segment must “strongly or somewhat” support the issue. This methodology ensures the Agenda reflects the views of the electorate that cuts across age and party lines, making the topics essential to the Primary and General Elections.

Regarding the environment, the Arizona Voters’ Agenda points to essential questions for moderators, citizens, voters, and others to ask candidates as they are competing for votes. Begin with at least one big question based on the data showing where Arizonans have a strong agreement: “What sustainable practices should continue and be implemented to protect Arizona’s air, land, and water and foster a high quality of life for all?”

About the Arizona Voters’ Agenda

CFA is focused on bringing Arizonans together around a positive agenda based on where they agree on priorities to move the state forward and realize The Arizona We Want. The Arizona Voters’ Agenda was launched as an extension of CFA’s survey research efforts to identify and create The Arizona We Want.

CFA has analyzed the statewide survey data to determine which issues make the cut for the Arizona Voters’ Agenda based on:

  • a primary threshold, the number of likely voters that “strongly agree/support” is 50% and above,
  • and a second threshold of the sum of “somewhat agree/support” and “strongly agree/support” (i.e., Total Support/Agree) is 50% and above among every political party (Republican, Independent/Undecided/Other, and Democrat) and age group (20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-64, 65+).

The Arizona Voters’ Agenda – Environment

Policy Items

Strongly Support

Total Support

Preserving and protecting Arizona's rivers, natural areas, and wildlife.



Increasing investments and measures to prevent forest fires on state land.



Improving air quality.




Value Statements

Strongly Agree

Total Agree

We must support sustainable practices that protect our air, land, and water, and foster a high quality of life for all.




Survey findings on Water as well as political and age group breakdowns are available at


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

Survey Demographics

The Arizona Voters’ Agenda initiative is supported in part by Arizona Community Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, Pharos Foundation, Rodel Foundation of Arizona, 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 are available at

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