New poll reveals dissatisfied Ariz. voters

Arizona’s electorate – regardless of political party registration – is dissatisfied with state government and its leadership, according to results of a recent Morrison Institute-Knowledge Networks Poll.

Two-thirds, or 68 percent, of voters disapprove of the way the Legislature is handling the state budget and taxes. Just 32 percent approve. While Democrats (76 percent) and independents (67 percent) are more disenchanted with the Legislature, the majority of Republicans (61 percent) also are critical of the GOP-dominated Legislature, which has made major cuts in programs to balance the state budget.

“Even among Republicans, whose party dominates Arizona government, there is widespread dissatisfaction with the way that state government is operated,” said David Daugherty, director of research at Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University. “Dissatisfaction with Arizona government appears to be consistent with voter dissatisfaction around the country.”

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, released Sept. 9, portrayed a general unhappiness with elected officials in Washington, D.C. According to the nationwide sampling, 56 percent of all voters – Democrats, Republicans and independents – said it was time to make a change in their congressional district and give someone else a chance to represent them.

It should be noted that dissatisfaction among Arizona’s electorate is not new. A July 2009 poll for Arizona Indicators, a collaborative online data project managed by Morrison Institute, found that 66 percent of Arizona voters surveyed disapproved of how the Legislature was dealing with the state budget and tax issues at that time. The percentage of dissatisfied voters, however, has increased, the new Morrison Institute-Knowledge Networks Poll shows.

Details of the poll and other survey results can be found at www.arizonaindicators.org and morrisoninstitute.asu.edu