Poll shows Alaskans support oil tax break and school choice

A poll conducted for and released by the Alaska state House majority on Friday might provide a window into why Democrats in Alaska continue to lose legislative races and why the party is losing members in droves.

If the numbers are right, the Dems are simply out of step with mainstream Alaska public opinion, at least on oil taxes, school choice, and gun control. (To be fair, other issues like abortion, Pebble mine, and Medicaid expansion, questions that Dems might have some traction, were conspicuously absent.)

The poll, conducted by Dittman Research shows that by a 54-32 percent margin,  Alaskans support lowering taxes on the oil industry. Fifty six percent support placing a constitutional amendment that would allow for school choice, an issue Dems seem to be opposed to. And a majority approve of Gov. Sean Parnell, as well as the Republican dominated legislature.

There’s strong public support for school choice (56-36%), with Alaskans supporting placing a constitutional amendment before voters that would open up the question. Also, by a 2-1 margin, Alaskans believe that school choice will create competition that will improve schools.

All might not be well for Parnell, however. Although he has a 51 percent approval rating, 11 percent didn’t have an opinion, which seems a high number for an incumbent this far into his term.

Surely bucking the national trend of approval ratings for political institutions, Alaskans seems to like their legislature. Fifty four percent approve of the House and the Senate. If it’s true that familiarity breeds contempt, it’s a number that might give legislators who have been pushing for a capitol move pause.

Alaskans also overwhelmingly support an instate gasline over a large diameter export line, numbers that will likely be continually touted by House Speaker Mike Chenault, and Rep. Mike Hawker, whose commitment to build an instate gasline has been unwavering and unrelenting.

Finally, a sad commentary on the Alaska PR firms that have oil company accounts: only 1 in 10 Alaskans know that oil taxes contribute 90 percent of state revenues.

Read the poll here.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


11 thoughts on “Poll shows Alaskans support oil tax break and school choice

  1. Shawn O'Donnell

    I don’t buy it; in fact I had to read it twice, I have yet to meet any one that thinks this is good. Amanda, you fail to mention as a poster states above the effect of redistricting the one thrown out by the courts. My senator was stolen from me by gerry mandering. They put Bettye Davis against Anna Fairclough in basically a retooled “Anna district”.
    Please don’t become another propagandist for big oil there are penty of those to go around. We are to believe that a few years removed from, the CBC, and a bipartisan passed ACES with the help of a popular at the time Gov Palin that Alaskans have gone 180? We are to belive that depsite all the facts despite the failure of the govenor to effectively answer key questions about his plan, and that we have no commitment from big oil to produce that ALASKANS overwhlmingly support this. Oh yeah and the massive loss of state revenue?

  2. Amanda Coyne

    Hey Kelly. Dave no longer owns Dittman. Matt Larkin bought it and now does the polling. But even if that weren’t he case, Dittman’s polls were as reliable as anything we have up here. My feeling is that many Alaskans want some sort of change, if nothing else to “move on.” Even many Dems have been on the record supporting lowering taxes.

  3. Kelly Walters

    Really? A Dittman Poll? Dave Dittman should be in jail for the polling work he did for Bill Allen and VECO. Not a legitimate poll. All you need to do is sample the comments and letters to the editor of Alaska’s major newsites. Overwhelming, Alaskans are against the billion dollar giveaway.

  4. Maia

    Actually, since Democrats comprise only 25 percent of the Legislature, one might argue that the Legislature itself is what’s “out of step with mainstream Alaska public opinion.” And since we’re talking about people who were elected to office by a majority of voters in their districts, one might suggest that it is the makeup of the districts, not the individual lawmakers, that doesn’t quite accurately reflect the breakdown of political opinions across the Alaska electorate.

  5. Carol

    Yep, I had the same problem. This is a poll that is certainly NOT accurate nor relevant to anything.

  6. Steven J Heimel

    I was called by that poll. If they will allow you to examine the branches you will see that it was very much a push poll. I tried every way I could to throw it, which was easy. All I had to do was tell the truth. I had to think hard for about half the questions in order to overcome the push and it took more than half an hour. Sometimes I had to tell them their question did not include what I would answer and the staffer had trouble with that. I wondered who was paying for this but did not ask. At the end they asked my name and I have never had that experience before. I told them. So they probably threw it out.

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