Report on Issues before the WA State Legislature - Part One

Ken Mortland

In preparation for the 2017 Legislative Session, it’s important that we learn something about what the citizens of Washington State want done this year.  A new poll released by Elway Polls, Wed., Jan. 4, 2017 gives us some insight into that.  I have found Elway Polls to be among the most accurate in predicting election outcomes from their voter focus groups, so I place great store by the data Elway shares.

Regardless of level of education or income, the #1 issue is education.  As examples, 41% of those with a high school education and 56% of those with graduate degrees stated that education was #1, while 36% of those with incomes under $50,000 and 55% of those with incomes over $100,000 stated that education was #1.

Ranking by Party Identification (Democrats, Republicans, & Independents) produced nearly similar results.  For Democrats (47%) and Independents (51%), education was #1.  For Republicans (33%), education was #2 and Taxes (34%) was #1.  It is worth noting that there’s only 1% difference between those two.  For Democrats, #2 was Economy (19%) and for Independents, #2 was Transportation (19%).  It is worth noting that there’s a significant drop from #1 to #2 in each of those categories.  

In an effort to give some context and continuity, the poll reports percentages of responses on four categories (Education, Economy, Taxes, Transportation) for the years 2007-2017.  Education was #1 in four of those years: 2007 (31%); 2015 (42%); 2016 (33%);  2017 (45%).  Economy was #1 in six of those years: 2009 (43%); 2010 (49%); 2011 (44%); 2012 (59%); 2013 (43%); 2014 (46%).  Transportation was #1 in 2008 (33%).  It is worth noting that Taxes were never #1 in any of the years reported and that the range of responses was from 6%-19% and an average of 12.8%.