Dittman poll: Parnell’s support strong but eroding, marijuana legalization iffy and a go for minimum wage hike

Anchorage-based Dittman Research presented the results of its annual Legislative-sponsored poll to Alaska state House members this week. The poll was conducted between March 4-9. Questions ranged from the governor’s job approval, to upcoming ballot initiatives, to state spending. The Legislature’s job performance was also polled. The sample was 800 Alaskan residents from all over the state, across party lines.

In a nutshell, the initiative to increase minimum wage is popular, marijuana might see a struggle, Gov. Sean Parnell’s support is eroding and the people like the state Legislature.

I don’t have the whole poll in front of me, but here are a few tidbits.

    • Minimum wage – 69 percent support increasing the minimum wage, 29 percent oppose and 2 percent are unsure. It has support across party lines. Democrats 87 percent, 52 Republicans percent, non-partisan 78 percent, and undeclared 71 percent support it. Women support it more than men: 74 and 65 percent respectively.
    • Marijuana initiative – 52 percent support legalization, 44 percent oppose it and 4 percent are unsure. Males are more likely to support legalization over women, 55 percent to 49 percent respectively. Surprisingly, the only geographic location where legalization fails is Anchorage, where only 47 percent support it. The biggest areas of support are Rural Alaska and the Interior.
    • Gov. Sean Parnell’s job performance – 54 percent say that the governor is doing a good job. Of those, 6 percent say he’s doing an excellent job. 41 percent say the governor isn’t doing a good job. Compared to last year’s poll, this one reflects a 23 percent slippage in job approval ratings.
    • Legislature job performance — 52 percent say that it’s either doing an excellent/good job and 42 percent say that it’s not very good/poor. Only 6 percent are unsure. Rural areas gave the Legislature the best performance review with the Interior and Southeast giving the poorest.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com


18 thoughts on “Dittman poll: Parnell’s support strong but eroding, marijuana legalization iffy and a go for minimum wage hike

  1. Lynn Willis

    Not a “huge”:supporter; however, if the Cook Inlet effort doesn’t provide the necessary gas what do we do? Import or bet the farm on the Nenanna Basin or other location in-state closer to us? Remember Fauske said as soon as AGDC/ASAP exceeds the cost of imported gas it becomes a “fools errand” .
    Moot point now anyway because just the possibility of the vastly more expensive and risky AKLNG pipe line (which you seem to support) has effectively killed the AGDC/ASAP project for now.

  2. Jon K

    And yet you are a huge supporter of an uneconomic, government driven ASAP project that is costing the state hundreds of millions.

  3. Kim

    These numbers sound fishy to me. After everything Parnell has done, HB 77, suing Bella Hammond, giving billions away every year to his former employers Exxon and Conoco Phillips, (with the help of another Conoco employee Michicche who hopes to be governor next time) , this government stinks to high heaven like the corrupt bastards club.

    Most Alaskans I know are unhappy with the oil giveaway, wasting millions on projects including pushing a 500 million road project out of Juneau to a private gold mine, cutting thousands from health care that might have saved lives…Parnell is in no way 52% approved of unless people are not paying attention or huffing gas or something.

    There is such a thing called manufactured consent. When the polls, and media all work together to portray a certain outcome, then hopefully control the election as well.

    In Alaska, our elections are highly suspect. If the media does not cover this, it appears that they would be helping to subvert our elections. We have paper ballots, however they are counted on diebold accuvote machines, then they are put through an electronic tabulator which can be easily manipulated electronically.

    In 2004, Alaska had 200% voter turnout in 16 out of 40 districts. Amazing.

    read more

  4. Lynn Willis

    I agree that the SB21 repeal issue should have been addressed. Why do you suggest we should repeal SB21 if what that repeal might do is give the SB21 supporters a golden opportunity to argue that they had the solution and we took that solution away?

    Following repeal when production and revenue declined would not that decline in production and/or revenue be blamed not on poor legislation but on the repeal of that legislation? I would hate to give those who created and/or supported SB21 the opportunity to just keep saying “we told you so”. Why not let SB21 stand and force the producers and supporters of SB21 to either put up or shut up?

  5. 420 Unriendly

    The marijuana initiative is very close. I hope that Alaskans think long term. While I am opposed to putting people in jail for pot, there must ne another answer besides wholesale legalization.

  6. Lynn Willis

    Please don’t paint Governor Parnell as a victim of formula spending requirements. He certainly could have controlled optional capital spending and more restricted operational spending. Stimulating an economy by government spending cannot be a permanent solution as we are learning at both the state and federal level. Don’t we wish now we had back the cash spent for the extravagant Crime Lab, Sports Arenas, Astro turf football fields for every school, rural swimming pools, tennis courts and the LIO expansion he either directly approved or failed to criticize.
    While formula spending does consume a significant amount of revenue (and that will only get worse as revenues decline) that fact does not excuse the Governor’s behavior since he has been in office. I recommend you review a March 21, 2014 presentation by Brad Keithley to appreciate the hole we have dug ourselves into: http://www.slideshare.net/bgkeithley/the-alaska-state-budget-mat-su-business-alliance-3212014

  7. Vince Beltrami

    Bald is beautiful! – From what you just said, that would imply they are considering pre-empting the ballot initiative petitions submitted with nearly 100,000 voter signatures. Disrespecting the will of voters sounds like a sketchy approach in a year when almost all of them are up for election; not to mention the outrage that would ensue if they were to actually introduce bills to do so…

  8. admin

    Hey Baldtrami: The explanation that I got is that questions cost money, and that as far as 21 and BB went, the Legislature wasn’t planning to act on either of those issues. So questions, either way, would be irrelevant.

  9. Jon K

    Lynn, I agree that we are spending too much on stupid capital projects, but the spending problems are largely structural – mandatory spending for pensions, health care, and medicaid all eat up a large percentage of the budget. Discretionary spending simply isn’t the driving force. The root problem, of course, is are reliance on oil to fund state government, which in turn means that the TAPS throughput is killing the state budge. Goldsmith and others have been pointing this out for years. Nobody listens. If we want to be entirely reliant on oil to fund state services, then we need to find ways to reverse the TAPS throughput decline.

  10. Vince Beltrami

    Amanda, it looks like it was a fairly comprehensive polling instrument, touching on issues across the spectrum, but oddly no polling on the SB21 repeal or the Pebble initiative. With an issue the majority is so invested in, why would that question not be asked? Or was it just not reported on? It makes no sense whatsoever…

  11. Timbo

    Parnell’s numbers appear to be in a free fall. What’s not clear is when did this happen? Is this from a slow loss of support over the past 12 months or did it start in January or when? He still has a 54% job performance approval rating which is plenty strong enough to insure electoral success; however, his campaign people need to figure out the decline and stop ity for him, his two opponents seem to be disorganized and not very capable of capitalizing on opportunities.

  12. Lynn Willis

    I hold Sean Parnell responsible for the current fiscal crisis we are facing in Alaska. The Governor of Alaska is granted in Article 2 Section 15 of Alaska State Constitution the power to “…veto strike or reduce items in appropriation bills.” In other words the Governor could have controlled spending more; however he chose not to do so. Sean Parnell has been in charge for five years and we are now in serious deficit spending.
    Professor Emeritus Scott Goldsmith of the University of Alaska Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) is a credible source of information regarding the state of Alaska’s fiscal situation. His research and reports from ISER are often cited by the Legislature. Just to make sure I heard him correctly, I listened again to Scott Goldsmith’s testimony as a private citizen before Senate Finance today in which he stated that we are currently drawing down our cash reserves at the rate of 7 million dollars a day. In a handout provided by legislators at our constituent meeting before the current session we were shown how all the reserves will be gone by FY24.
    Let’s see how popular all of our elected officials will be when the reserves are gone and the PFD long ago turned into an income tax.

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