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Colorado Issues
Growth is the issue on which Colorado voters most want their political leaders to take action. Nearly half (45%) of Coloradans say growth (sprawl, development, crowding) and transportation (traffic, roads, transit) are the state’s most severe problems.

. 2000 1998
Growth (sprawl/development/too many people/crowding) 34% 31%
Education/money (more money, more teachers/smaller class size) 19% 18%
Transportation (congestion/traffic/roads/transit) 11% 12%
Guns 4% -
Education/money (more money, more teachers/smaller class size) 4% 5%
High taxes 4% 2%
Crime/gangs/violence 2% 7%
Economy (keep economy going) 2% 3%
Moral decline in general 2% 2%
Environment (air/water pollution) 2% 2%
Water shortage 1% 1%
Ciruli Associates, N500, September 2000
Ciruli Associates, N600, October 1998

Providing more transportation capacity and transit options alone won’t alleviate growth concerns. Until there is an economic slowdown, Coloradans will remain angry about sprawl and crowding. Not even approval of the multi-billion dollar transportation bond initiatives for roads and transit in 1999 seemed to alter public opinion. Growth and transportation concerns rated a combined 43 percent in an October 1998 poll, (just before the governor’s election) and 45 percent in a September 2000 poll.

Question 1998 - In November of this year, Colorado will elect a new governor. What would you say is the most important problem for the next governor to deal with in Colorado?

Question 2000 - What in your opinion is the most important problem for the governor and legislators to deal with next year in Colorado?

When Coloradans were asked what they think the presidential candidates should address, education rated as the top issue. It fared second on the state priority list, where the focus is on adding more resources (19%; similar to 1998). Education reform (more choice, higher standards) rated 4 percent in 2000 and 5 percent in 1998.

Other Observations
  • Guns are a new item of concern in 2000 (4%), which reflects the Columbine shooting of April 1999.

  • The economy, taxes and moral decline, all issues receiving considerable national attention, were infrequently mentioned as state issues.

The low level of concern about taxes is one reason Amendment 21, the tax cut initiative, is fairing so poorly in the polls.

There were few significant differences among voter categories on issues, although women were twice as concerned about education funding as men (25% women to 12% men).

  • A telephone survey of 500 Colorado registered voters sponsored by 9-KUSA, KOA 850 News Radio and the Denver Post.

  • Interviews were conducted by Ciruli Associates September 25 to September 29, 2000 with registered voters selected by random methodology screened for their likelihood to vote.

  • Statistical range of accuracy in 19 out of 20 cases plus or minus 4.4 percentage points for sample size of 500. Due to rounding not all totals equal 100 percent.

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