This poll of 400 likely voters was conducted Feb 26-28, 2015 and carries a +- 4.9 percentage points margin of error. Live callers conducted the interviews over both landline phones and cell phones. It was jointly sponsored by Libertas Institute and Drug Policy Project of Utah, and conducted by Y2 Analytics.
1. Should doctors who specialize in treating serious illnesses like cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s be allowed to recommend cannabis, sometimes referred to as marijuana, as a treatment for their patients with serious medical conditions, or not?
Subgroup breakout: results below shown by self-described partisan identification.
Subgroup breakout: results below shown by age group.
Subgroup breakout: results below shown by affiliation with the LDS Church.
2. Tell me whether you agree or disagree with the statement: People with serious illnesses should be punished under Utah state law for using cannabis to treat their condition.
3. Tell me whether you agree or disagree with the statement: Cannabis is more dangerous than drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
Editor’s note: the federal government’s current classification of drugs ranks cannabis as being more dangerous than cocaine and methamphetamine, and equal in danger to heroin.
4. Tell me whether you agree or disagree with the statement: It should be legal for people with terminal illnesses to use drugs recommended by their doctor but that have not been approved by the FDA.
Editor’s note: this question relates to “Right to Try” legislation receiving near-unanimous support from the Utah legislature.
In an effort to bolster support for its proposed legislation, Equality Utah—a “gay rights” organization—points to a poll it conducted as evidence that the majority of Utahns agree with its proposal. The key claim in the poll is that “73% somewhat or strongly favor a statewide nondiscrimination law in employment.” The organization’s executive director commented, regarding this poll, that the claimed 73% support by Utahns “enhances our opportunity to achieve statewide passage for these important protections.”
The question asked was this: “Would you favor or oppose a statewide law (statewide nondiscrimination law) that makes it illegal for someone to be fired from a job solely because they are gay or transgender?” We theorize that many respondents did not understand the implications of this question, and therefore were more likely to express support. To test this theory, we decided to conduct a brief public opinion poll asking related questions with more context for the respondents regarding what the illegality of such discrimination might entail. In other words, when Utahns understand that business owners or landlords could be fined or jailed based on their discriminatory decisions as property owners, will they still support Equality Utah’s proposed legislation?
During legislative meetings at the Utah Capitol it is not uncommon to regularly see the same people in attendance—staff, government employees, and lobbyists. Citizens are in the minority. In a desire to better understand the degree to which citizens have engaged in the legislative process, Libertas Institute conducted a brief survey earlier this week.
We randomly surveyed 500 Utah voters on November 18, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. Half of respondents were contacted on their mobile phone, half on a landline. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
1. Have you spoken with your state Senator or state Representative in the past year?
As part of the federal government’s partial “shutdown,” national parks and monuments have been closed. These actions have produced various acts of civil disobedience nationwide. Nine counties in Utah dependent on tourism dollars are seeking a declaration of emergency because of the problem. To assess the opinion of Utahns on these circumstances, Libertas Institute conducted the following poll.
We surveyed 500 random Utah voters on October 7, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
1. Do you believe that the federal government’s closure of national parks was a necessary action in light of the recent so-called “shutdown”?
Stories of police abuse and corruption pepper the national media on a constant basis. Utah is not exempt from this trend. In order to determine how Utahns felt about police, their use of force, and the standards to which they are held, Libertas Institute conducted the following public opinion poll.
We surveyed 500 random Utah voters on October 2, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. Half of respondents were contacted on a mobile phone, the other half on a landline. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
1. When a police officer is driving near you on the road, or passing through your neighborhood, what is your initial reaction?
Last week, FreedomWorks released the results of a new survey highlighting the libertarian trends with the Republican Party nationwide. In an effort to determine what these results look like within Utah, we performed an opinion poll using many of the same questions.
We surveyed 500 random registered Republicans in Utah on September 16, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. Half of respondents were contacted on a mobile phone, the other half on a landline. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
1. In politics today, do you consider yourself to be a conservative Republican, moderate Republican, Tea Party Republican, or libertarian Republican?
Earlier this week, we published an interview with a Utah mother—a self-described conservative Mormon—whose son suffers from Dravet syndrome and would, as a result, benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment. To assess how Utah voters feel about medical marijuana (and other issues dealing with the drug) Libertas Institute conducted the following opinion poll.
We surveyed 500 random Utah voters on August 27, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
1. In general, do you support or oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use?
Leading up to yesterday’s municipal primary election, it was readily assumed that voter turnout would be low. Libertas Institute contacted county clerks around the state to determine which municipalities were holding primary elections. The total count is 81. 1,112,052 registered Utah voters live within these 81 municipalities.
We surveyed 500 random voters from this narrowed list on August 14, 2013 via an automated phone system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. Half of respondents were contacted on their mobile phone, half on a landline. The margin of sampling error is ±4.38%.
1. Have you attended a city or town council meeting in the past four years?
Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:
Here is the breakdown by age group:
Libertas Institute surveyed 475 random Utah voters on August 7, 2013 via an automated phone call system. Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire. Half of respondents were contacted on their mobile phone, half on a landline. The margin of sampling error is ±4.5%.
1. The NSA is constructing a large facility in Utah which reportedly will store mass quantities of data from their surveillance operations. Elected officials, including the Governor, welcomed this facility and were happy that it would create a few thousand temporary construction jobs. In light of the recent NSA leaks, how do you feel about this facility operating in our state?
Here is the breakdown by political affiliation:
Media reports for months have contained claims by those wishing to change Utah’s caucus/convention system that have largely gone uncontested. These claims suggest that reforms to the current system, in whatever form they may ultimately take, will increase voter participation. Here are a few recent claims, with emphasis added:
- Former Senator Bob Bennett: “The open primary would not be new to Utahns; we already use it in mayoral elections. Republicans shouldn’t fear it because most of the winners would still be Republicans, just as most of the winners in California are still Democrats. However, enabling more voters to participate in the process, and thus feel more connected to election results, would be a good thing.” (Deseret News, June 3, 2013)
- Political reporter Bob Bernick: “So, you have state Senate Republicans refusing to allow same-day voter registration because they don’t want more Utahns to vote – especially more Utahns who wouldn’t be voting like them. And you have the state GOP trying to purposely confuse voters at the polls over a citizen initiative petition (Count My Vote) aimed at getting more moderate, reasonable GOP candidates before voters. Both actions are more evidence that the top of the Utah Republican food chain cares little about the voting rights and the will of rank-and-file Utahns.” (Utah Policy, June 7, 2013)
- Hinckley Institute of Politics director Kirk Jowers: “Every other state has reformed in some way to make it more responsive to technology that has developed since 1890, and more amenable to people participating,” said Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. (KSL, May 24, 2013)
- Deseret News editorial: “Many Utah voters, however, feel disenfranchised by the process, and some experts cite disillusionment with the caucus system as one of the primary reasons behind Utah’s declining voter turnout in recent years. Many feel the decision has already been made for them by a relative handful of people, and, in some cases, that’s exactly what happens at the state conventions.” (Deseret News, May 23, 2013)
Last week, we sought to either validate or refute these claims based on polling data. Specifically, we randomly surveyed Utahns who, according to the Utah voter database, had not participated in primary or general elections during 2010 and 2012. Out of 1,517,258 total voters in the database (updated as of November 2012), 669,570 met this criteria. In other words, 44.1% of registered voters in Utah did not vote in these elections.
We surveyed 400 random individuals within this group during June 5-8, 2013 via an automated phone call system. Potential survey participants were screened by first verifying that they had in fact not voted in these elections, and that they were currently over 21 years of age (to ensure that they were of voting age during the 2010 elections, and thus eligible to vote despite not having done so). Sampled voters were contacted and administered a questionnaire over the telephone. The margin of sampling error is ±4.9%.
1. Do you believe that Utah is a democracy or a republic?
26.3% of Republicans correctly stated that Utah is a Republic.
32.3% of Democrats correctly stated that Utah is a Republic.
26.1% of Independents/Unaffiliated correctly stated that Utah is a Republic.