New Poll Reveals Maricopa County's Strong Support for Funding Transportation Projects – Including Light Rail
PHOENIX (July 27, 2023) - Prop 400 – a half-cent sales tax that funds transportation projects in Maricopa County for 20 years – is due to expire in 2025, and Arizona lawmakers are in negotiation to send Prop 400 to the 2024 ballot. Ahead of the House and Senate’s return to the Capitol on July 31, Noble Predictive Insights’ (NPI) – formerly O.H. Predictive Insights (OHPI) – latest Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) collected voters’ opinions on the state’s transportation infrastructure and the potential renewal of Prop 400. The poll found that a majority (56%) of Maricopa County voters indicated support for the renewal of Prop 400.
This AZPOP, conducted from July 13 – 17, 2023, surveyed 1,000 registered voters in Arizona and had a margin of error of ± 3.1%. The sample included 600 registered voters residing in Maricopa County, for which the MoE was ± 4.0%.
Support for Prop 400
When asking Maricopa County voters whether they would support the renewal of Prop 400, less than 1 in 5 said they would oppose while more than half would support the proposition. One-quarter of respondents remained undecided. Support and opposition maintained similar levels across several demographics, with the exception of party affiliation.
Among Republicans, a plurality (47%) were in support, 30% were opposed (the highest opposition rate of the three groups), and 23% were undecided. Democrats had the highest level of support (68%) and the lowest level of opposition (10%) of the three parties, and 21% were undecided. A majority of Independents (55%) indicated support, 11% opposed, and 33% were undecided (the highest undecided rate of the three groups).
“I was very surprised to see so many more Republicans in support than they are in opposition to Prop 400,” said Mike Noble, NPI Founder & Chief of Research. “A plurality of Republicans in support of an additional tax isn’t something you traditionally see.”
Opinions on Light Rail
Particulars of funding for the light rail system have been a point of dissension in the Legislature when discussing Prop 400, with the plan from Republican lawmakers calling to largely exclude the sales tax dollars from being used to expand light rail. While Republican lawmakers are holding firm on their plan, GOP voters in Maricopa County seem to have different opinions.
A majority (54%) of all Maricopa County voters said light rail should be expanded, 18% thought light rail is fine as-is, and 11% in total said light rail should be reduced or eliminated. The most interesting finding was that a near-majority (48%) of Republicans thought light rail should be expanded and only 11% with opposition to light rail.
“That was the biggest surprise because, based on our research, there appears to be a disconnect between Republican leaders and Maricopa County GOP voters – they actually want light rail expansion even though Republican lawmakers are pushing to cut funding for them,” said Mike Noble.
Opinions on Transportation Infrastructure
68% of Maricopa County voters are generally satisfied with their transportation infrastructure with 68% giving it an excellent, good, or average rating. The bulk of this group selected good or average, so if this data were to be quantified as a letter grade it would be roughly a C+.
Democrats and Republicans were statistically equally satisfied with the quality of Maricopa County transportation infrastructure with 73% and 70%, respectively, giving an excellent, good, or average rating. Independents were less optimistic at 62%.
Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by Noble Predictive Insights from July 13 – 17, 2023 from an Arizona Statewide Registered Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and education. The sample size was 1,000 completed surveys, with an MoE of ± 3.1%. The sample included 600 registered voters residing in Maricopa County, for which the MoE was ± 4.0%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.
About Noble Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, Noble Predictive Insights exists to elevate the world around us by empowering decision-makers with digestible data and actionable insights that translate to data-based solutions. We bridge the gap between research and strategy with customized strategic research, a hyper-focus on impact, and being true partners with our clients. Noble Predictive Insights (formerly O.H. Predictive Insights) is a 2023 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the Southwest region, and is ranked in the top 15 most accurate pollsters as well as in the top 5 for lowest average bias in the 2021-22 election cycle by FiveThirtyEight. For more information, please call (602) 326-5694 or visit our website at www.noblepredictiveinsights.com.