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Right Issue - Wrong Solution
Voters Defeat Growth Initiative But Want Action

On November 7, 2000, Colorado voters overwhelmingly defeated Amendment 24, the growth control initiative. In a survey sponsored by the Gates Family Foundation conducted just prior to the election, voters were asked why they were voting for or against the amendment and what they wanted done about growth. Voters said Amendment 24 appeared too complex, extreme and would hurt the economy, which echoed arguments made by opponents in an extensive advertising campaign. The poll showed the initiative would be defeated, and could win only 29 percent support. On election day the initiative lost 30 percent to 70 percent.

Question: Amendment 24 requires cities and counties of more than 10,000 people to develop growth plans and boundaries that would have to be approved by local voters. Growth outside the boundaries would require voter approval. Do you support or oppose the amendment?

However, poll respondents both for and against the Amendment do consider growth a serious problem; 65 percent want the governor and state legislature to pass new legislation to deal with the problem.

Reasons Why Supported and Opposed

Supporters (29%) believe growth should be controlled and that the state is growing too fast. Opponents (69%) believe the amendment itself was poorly drafted and too extreme, and they feared its potential negative effects on the economy or their area of the state.

Supporters - 29% Opponents - 69%
Should control growth 25% Too long/complex 21%
Growing too fast/too many people 22% Too extreme 14%
Stop sprawl/make boundaries 9% Hurt the economy 11%
Opponents are developer 8% Not right for our area 8%
Too much traffic/congestion 5% Too expensive 6%
Protect the environment 3% Hurts affordable housing 5%
Opponents not telling the truth 2% Too rigid 4%
Growth is bad/hurts area 1% Want some growth 4%
Other 16% A constitutional amendment 2%
Don’t know/refused 10% Causes litigation 1%
Other 16%
Don’t know/refused 8%

Question: Thinking about Amendment 24, the growth control initiative, please tell me why you voted for/against the amendment.

Serious Problem

When asked if they believe growth is a problem regardless of how they voted, 68 percent said it was a serious or very serious problem.

Question: Regardless of how you plan to vote (or already voted) on Amendment 24, do you consider growth in Colorado a very serious problem, a serious problem, not a serious problem, or not a problem at all?

Deal With It

Voters want the governor and legislature to deal with the issue. Two-thirds say government should pass growth legislation.

Question: Should the governor and state legislature pass new legislation to deal with growth or Should they not deal with growth-related issues in the next year’s legislative session?

Both supporters (78%) and opponents (61%) of the initiative want the governor and legislature to deal with the issue.

A majority of voters in all six congressional districts want action.

A majority of Democrats, Republicans and Unaffiliated voters believe the governor and legislature should deal with growth and related issues.

  • A telephone survey of 400 Colorado registered voters sponsored by Gates Family Foundation.

  • Interviews were conducted November 1 to November 3, 2000, with 400 registered voters selected by random methodology screened for their likelihood to vote.

  • Statistical range of accuracy in 19 out of 20 cases is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points for a sample size of 400. Due to rounding not all totals equal 100 percent.


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