In this episode we discuss our survey of Republican primary voters in Colorado, where they stand on President Trump and his policies, and how they fit into the battle over how best to fix Colorado’s roads.

Segment 1: Colorado’s Republican Primary Voters

  • We conducted an internal automated survey of Colorado’s Republican primary voters last week, to find out where they stand on President Trump, his policies, and other state-level issues. The first major finding is that these voters are completely on board with President Trump – 87% have a favorable opinion of him, and his job approval is 86%. Those numbers hold strong among all of the major demographic groups, with even 60% of self-identified moderate Republicans approving of the job he is doing.
  • This stands in stark contrast to the job approval rating for Republicans in Congress, which at just 48% is very low considering that the respondents are all Republican Primary voters. Three out of four respondents who disapprove of Congressional Republicans approve of President Trump. Of course, political parties are almost always going to be less popular than individual politicians, but the gap in these numbers is striking.
  • When asked whether in next year’s primary they are more or less likely to vote for a candidate who supports President Trump and his policies, 84% say they are more likely. And asked generally about Republican candidates in the future, 67% prefer someone similar to President Trump instead of a more traditional Republican candidate.
  • Regarding specific issues, 49% support, 26% oppose and 25% are unsure about the House Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, though those who have heard a lot about the bill are far more likely to oppose it (42%).
  • These voters are also fairly evenly split on President Trump’s proposed 1-trillion dollar infrastructure bill. When informed that such a bill would result in having to increase the debt ceiling, only 46% support the bill, 38% oppose it and 16% are undecided.
  • On other policies, however, Republican primary voters appear to be in near lock-step agreement with President Trump. 86% support the Trump administration’s revised travel ban that forbids individuals to enter the United States from Syria, Yemen, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. 80% support building a wall on the southern border to stop illegal immigration, and 86% of those who do support building a wall support it even if U.S. taxpayers have to pay to build it.

Segment 2: Fixing Colorado’s Roads

  • We also wanted to check in on the infrastructure needs facing Colorado, to find out whether these Republican primary voters are supportive, generally speaking, of an increase in the state income tax to pay for road and transportation projects across the state. In general, they are not, with 63% opposed to increasing the state income tax and only 26% supportive.
  • However, when presented with the specifics of the compromise proposal that was promoted last week by State House Speaker Crisanta Duran and State Senate President Kevin Grantham, the numbers look significantly better, with 39% approving and 44% rejecting the proposal. This is in line with past polling we’ve conducted on transportation funding in the state. Republicans are willing to get on board, but the details matter.
  • A number of factors complicate this issue. For one, leading conservatives in the legislature have criticized it. The issue will be further complicated by competing proposals. Jerry Sonnenberg, the number 2 Republican in the Senate, is drafting an alternative bill that would not increase taxes and would use $100 million in existing state dollars to cover a much smaller $1.3 billion bond, which is only enough to improve small local roads.
  • And the Independence Institute on Friday took the first step to getting a different measure on the ballot, an initiative to “Fix Our Damn Roads”. It calls for a $2.5 billion bond issue for transportation, and would pay for it by diverting spending from other programs like subsidies for filmmakers and electric vehicles, the Bustang commuter bus service, and others.