On Friday, Boise State University released a survey that examined the attitudes of Idahoans on key policy issues. The second-annual survey included views from 1,000 Idahoans.
Boise State political science professor Justin Vaughn directed the research team for the survey. Vaughn says they were careful to poll people from different parts of the state, evenly polling both cell and landline phone users.
Although much of the results were comparable to last year’s findings, healthcare has increased in significance for Idahoans. Vaughn says when asked about the population of state residents who don’t qualify for Medicaid and are uninsured, respondents were clear.
“Seventy percent of Idahoans either strongly or somewhat favored closing the health care coverage gap," says Vaughn. "Compared to only 22 percent who opposed it.”
The survey also looked at attitudes toward refugees, and revealed stark differences depending on the age of the respondent and where they live. More than 60 percent of people aged 30-44 support refugee resettlement, while less than 40 percent of senior citizens agree.
Vaughn points out that attitudes toward refugees are more favorable in Twin Falls and Boise, but much less favorable in northern Idaho.
“So the two places where refugees are, those parts of the state are actually the most supportive of refugee resettlement. And the places that are not are least likely to support it.”
Vaughn says he hopes the survey will inform policy makers at the statehouse.
“Our hope is that it would give another tool to our decision-makers when they decide, ‘Alright, what are we going to focus our energy on?’ And then when we decide there are particular questions that we need to find the answer to, this is one more piece of information that we can use when we’re considering different options.”
Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio