As the 2022 General Election nears, Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) announced today findings from a new Arizona Voters’ Agenda survey that builds on survey research released earlier this year. The Arizona Voters’ Agenda provides valuable information about likely voters of all ages and political affiliations and a data-driven guide to what the majority agrees on and wants candidates to discuss in the midterm election. The new findings, which will be released throughout the week, reveal additional insights into what voters think about the election, how they select candidates, what the top issues are, and the topics of state spending, water & environment, and affordable housing & homelessness.
The latest survey results show that a majority of voters trust the state’s elections system and agree on many priorities and what they want to hear from candidates–countering the polarization story that receives massive attention.
“We want the Arizona Voters’ Agenda to amplify and center the voices of Arizonans in the dialogue of our consequential midterm election and counter the narrative of division that receives disproportionate attention in our politics,” said Dr. Sybil Francis, President & CEO of CFA. “We hope those driving the conversation use this information to focus on what matters to a majority of likely Arizona voters through reporting, debates, and campaigning. The broad agreement we see across parties and age demographics on the issues important to the future of our state can and should be reflected in our politics.”
The Arizona Voters’ Agenda initiative aims to center the narrative of Arizona elections on the voices of the majority of Arizona voters, what matters most to them, and where there is common ground to move forward on key issues. The initiative builds on CFA’s longstanding research efforts to identify what matters most to Arizonans and put their voices at the forefront of decision-making across the state.
CFA worked with HighGround Public Affairs to develop the Arizona Voters’ Agenda surveys, which were conducted in April and late August. The surveys polled likely Republican, Democratic, and independent/unaffiliated voters in the 2022 Arizona General Election with a history of electoral participation and were balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.
The most recent Arizona Voters’ Agenda survey asked likely voters to answer questions about their views on Arizona’s elections, what candidates are talking about, selecting candidates, and the top issues– in addition to questions on policy and values related to state spending, water & environment, and affordable housing & homelessness.
The latest survey findings demonstrate that large majorities of voters across the political spectrum think that Arizona elections are fair and secure, and they are confident in the accuracy of election results:
- 74% of all likely voters rate Arizona Elections as fair, including 65% Republicans, 68% independent/unaffiliated voters, and 89% Democrats.
- 70% of all likely voters rate Arizona elections as secure, including 54% Republicans, 63% independent/unaffiliated voters, and 93% Democrats.
- 80% of all likely voters are confident in the accuracy of the results of the recent August Primary Election, including 70% Republicans, 75% independent/unaffiliated voters, and 93% Democrats.
- 77% of all likely voters are confident that the results of the November General Election will be accurate, including 66% Republicans, 70% independent/unaffiliated voters, and 90% Democrats.
In response to open-ended and multiple-choice questions about priority issues in both Arizona Voters’ Agenda surveys, the topics of immigration, economy, education, and water appear among the top of Arizona voters’ priorities that will guide likely voters’ decisions. In the most recent survey, abortion and election issues join the other top priorities.
Regarding whether candidates are talking about the most important issues, less than half of likely voters say candidates are talking about what’s important to them, and a surprising number of voters aren’t sure. When asked, “Are current Arizona candidates for statewide and legislative offices talking about the most important issues to you?” 44% of all likely voters say no, 43% say yes, and 13% say they don’t know.
Notably, while the independent and unaffiliated registered voter population is on the rise in Arizona, this group is the least satisfied with what candidates are talking about, with nearly two-thirds saying candidates are not addressing the issues important to them (63%). The topics on the Arizona Voters’ Agenda with the highest support from independent and unaffiliated voters are about education, water & environment, housing affordability, and immigration.
When selecting candidates to vote for, nearly two-thirds (64%) of all likely voters expressed a preference for candidates willing to compromise and work across the aisle to get things done. In comparison, 29% prefer candidates who fight for what is right and refuse to compromise. All political and age groups showed plurality or majority support for candidates who compromise.
Additionally, nearly two-thirds of Arizona voters across party lines say their primary criteria for selecting a candidate is their “position on the issues” or “clear plans or solutions” over “ideology” and “party registration.”
“Arizona voters clearly want candidates who are willing to work hard, not just to secure their votes, but to demonstrate that, if elected, they have the desire, consensus-building skills, and plans to get things done,” said Dr. Francis. “A failure to be responsive to the voices of Arizonans and their preferences in our election campaigns is a missed opportunity to better align the priorities of voters with their electoral choices.”
The Arizona Voters’ Agenda comprises specific policy items and values statements that a majority of voters across political affiliations and age groups agree are important issues facing the state. It covers topics in education, economy, inflation & state spending, water & environment, election reform, immigration, and affordable housing & homelessness.
The latest survey followed up on voters’ views on surplus spending and expanded understanding of voters’ priorities in water & environment and affordable housing & homelessness. The results will be released in consecutive announcements from Sept. 27 to 29, along with “big questions” for candidates –a continued effort to encourage moderators, members of the press, and local voters to foster productive dialogue and seek out real answers.
Get all survey findings, the Arizona Voters’ Agenda, questions to ask candidates as they compete for votes, and more here.
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