The Consumer Coalition of Oklahoma and Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associated (CHS) released the results of a recent poll of Oklahoma voters revealing a new optimism in the state and strong support for reforms championed by Governor Kevin Stitt.
“This poll shows a remarkable turnaround in optimism in the state,” said CHS President Pat McFerron, who oversaw the poll’s design and implementation. “In just six months, we have gone from some of the most negative numbers recorded in the state to the best we have seen in six years,” McFerron stated.
“This poll confirms voters are embracing the agenda of Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma’s turnaround is happening in a real way all across our state,” said Joshua Harlow Executive Director of The Consumer Coalition of Oklahoma, a grassroots effort promoting limited government and consumer choice.
The survey asked voters about two of Governor Stitt’s agenda items: putting agency boards under greater control of the governor and using some of the additional funds available to the legislature to better fund the state’s rainy-day fund.
More than twice as many voters approve the recent agreement to give the governor’s office more control over key agency board as oppose this reform (58% approve / 28% disapprove). “Republicans are particularly supportive of this approach with 71% saying they approve, and less than a majority of Democrats oppose the Republican this reform,” stated McFerron. “It is difficult in today’s hyper-partisan environment to get buy-in from even 40% of the opposition party, but this reform does just that.”
An even more popular reform is Governor Stitt’s proposal of saving money for the state’s rainy-day fund. When voters are told of the 574 million dollar increase in certification of funds, 73% agree with Stitt’s proposal to saving at least 200 million into the state’s savings account. “Everyone should pay attention to the question wording here,” McFerron said. “In this question we made the argument that the state should spend the money to make-up for past underfunding. Even with this note, a strong supermajority of voters still favor saving over spending.”
“Fully 84% of Republicans and 87% of those Republicans who regularly vote in primary elections favor the savings plan,” McFerron continued. “And this is a message that unites both urban and rural Oklahomans with more than 70% of each group supporting saving at least $200 million.”
“We are excited about the results of this poll,” said Harlow. “As advocates for Oklahoma consumers, we want a state government which is responsive to them. This polling shows that support for these two priorities of the Stitt administration is one way to give Oklahomans what they desire.”
The survey of Oklahoma registered voters was conducted by live agents on both land and mobile lines. It was controlled for gender, age of respondent, partisan affiliation, and region of the state so that it accurately reflects the Oklahoma electorate. Conducted March 12-15, 2019, the survey of 400 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Full question wording is below.
1. As you may know, Governor Stitt and legislative leaders recently announced they had reached a compromise agreement which will give the Oklahoma governor’s office more control over the key agency boards. These nine-member boards will now be comprised of five gubernatorial appointments and four from legislative leaders who will serve at the will of whoever appoints them. This will allow any governor in Oklahoma to have more control and responsibility for actions of these agencies instead of the way it is now where the appointments can last for years and overlap from one governor to the next, meaning a new governor may not gain control of an agency for six years or more. From what you know, do you approve or disapprove of this new approach?
2. As you may know, the state equalization board has certified that the state legislature will have $574 million more to spend this year than last year. Governor Stitt has proposed saving at least $200 million of these dollars into the state’s rainy-day fund savings account, while others say the state should spend all of this money to make-up for past underfunding. Do you favor or oppose Governor’ Stitt’s proposal to save at least $200 million?