Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation ballot measure questions

Colorado Proposition HH Opinion Survey

Magellan Strategies is pleased to present the results of a survey of 662 Colorado registered voters who are likely to vote in the November 2023 election regarding Proposition HH. The interviews were conducted from June 21st to July 7th, 2023. This survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.81% at the 95 percent confidence interval. The survey data were weighted to be representative of Colorado’s voter turnout demographics in an odd-year election cycle.

View and Download Survey

Proposition HH Survey Table of Contents

Survey Project Overview

This voter opinion survey was funded and paid for by Magellan Strategies. Our motivation for conducting this survey was to provide our public sector clients, public policy partners, elected officials, and the media with reliable voter opinion data regarding Proposition HH. Proposition HH is one of the most complicated ballot measures to be put before Colorado voters.

Although the Proposition HH ballot language is relatively easy to understand, its approval would have far-reaching policy and funding implications for every local government, school district, property owner, and taxpayer in Colorado. Therefore, in consultation with public policy experts, our team put forth our best effort to educate and inform respondents of state and local public policy changes if Proposition HH is approved.

When reviewing this research, it is important to understand the reasoning and purpose of the questionnaire design and approach. A proper voter opinion ballot measure survey should include “uninformed” and “informed” ballot questions.

The “uninformed” ballot question, which is T9 in the survey, asks respondents to read the ballot language before being educated with any information about the ballot measure’s cost, purpose, or impact if approved. The “informed” ballot measure question, which is T22 in the survey, asks respondents to read the ballot language after being informed of the ballot measure’s impact if approved.

This questionnaire approach allows us to identify information about the ballot measure that motivates voter support or opposition. In addition, the ballot measure information shared with respondents may forecast messaging used by organizations in support or opposition to the ballot measure. In summary, be aware there are two ballot measure questions measuring voter opinion of Proposition HH in an uninformed and informed manner.

Key Findings

  • Colorado voters likely to vote in the 2023 election are unfamiliar with Proposition HH. Among all respondents, 41% are not familiar at all with the ballot measure. Only 10% of voters are very familiar with Prop HH, and 25% are somewhat familiar.
  • The “uninformed” Prop HH ballot test measured voter support at 54%, voter opposition at 34%, with 12% undecided. Support for Prop HH is strongest among Democrats (67% approve), women (60%), seniors aged 65 and older (59%), and homeowners (55%). Opposition is strongest among Republicans (44% reject) and men (42%).
  • Among all respondents, support for Prop HH declined by 11%, from 54% to 43%, after being informed of the state and local policy changes that would go into effect if Prop were approved. This decrease was similar among every voter subgroup. In addition, voter opposition to Prop HH increased by 12%, from 34% to 46% after being informed. Simply put, as voters learn about Prop HH, they are more likely to oppose it, including seniors and homeowners.
  • The “informed” Prop HH ballot test finds voter support at 43%, opposition at 46%, and 12% undecided. Assuming voters are relatively informed of the state and local policy changes triggered by Prop HH, the outcome of this ballot measure in November, in our opinion, is a toss-up that could go either way.

Colorado Voters Have a Negative Opinion of the Economic Environment

The current economic situation at the state, local, and national levels does not receive positive ratings among Colorado voters. Half of respondents rated the national economy as poor, while 31% rated it as only fair. Although views of the state and local economies were slightly more favorable, they did not demonstrate a strong endorsement. There appears to be a prevailing sense of pessimism among voters toward the macroeconomic environment. It remains to be seen whether this outlook will have an impact on voters’ positions regarding Proposition HH.

How would you rate the status of of the (state, local, national) economy?

Excellent Good Only Fair Poor No Opinion
National
1%
19%
31%
48%
1%
State
6%
29%
36%
28%
1%
Local
5%
28%
40%
26%
1%

In the next 12 months, do you think the state of the (state, local, national) economy will be:

Better About the Same Worse No Opinion
National
15%
34%
49%
2%
State
14%
44%
40%
2%
Local
13%
48%
36%
3%

Overwhelming Concern About Rising Rents and Residential Property Taxes

It’s no surprise that Coloradans are extremely concerned about rising rents and resident property taxes. The question we have is if concerns about rising property taxes outweigh concerns of the policies that will be trigged by Prop HH approval. This includes changes to TABOR refunds, revenue streams for local governments and school districts. This survey attempts to answer that question.   

How much of a concern is the rising cost of rent/residential property taxes to you and your family?

Big Concern Somewhat Not Too Much None at All No Opinion
Rent Home
88%
11%
1%
0%
0%
Own Home
69%
22%
7%
2%
0%

Proposition HH Uninformed Ballot Test Question

According to our survey, 54% of people likely to vote support Prop HH, while 34% oppose it, and 12% are undecided. Reviewing the data by party affiliation, 67% of Democrats support Prop HH, 50% of unaffiliated voters, and 44% of Republicans. Voters aged 18 to 44 have the highest percentage of undecided voters.

Following is the ballot language for Proposition HH. After reading it, please indicate if you would vote yes and approve it or vote no and reject it.

SHALL THE STATE REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES FOR HOMES AND BUSINESSES, INCLUDING EXPANDING PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR SENIORS, AND BACKFILL COUNTIES, WATER DISTRICTS, FIRE DISTRICTS, AMBULANCE AND HOSPITAL DISTRICTS, AND OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND FUND SCHOOL DISTRICTS BY USING A PORTION OF THE STATE SURPLUS UP TO THE PROPOSITION HH CAP AS DEFINED IN THIS MEASURE?

If an election were being held today, would you vote yes and approve, or vote no and reject Proposition HH?

All Men Wom 18-44 45-64 65+ Unaf Dem Rep Rent Own
Yes, Approve
54%
47%
60%
46%
54%
59%
50%
67%
44%
46%
55%
No, Reject
34%
42%
28%
35%
34%
35%
36%
23%
44%
38%
34%
Undecided
12%
11%
12%
19%
12%
7%
14%
10%
12%
16%
10%

Educating & Informing Respondents About Proposition HH Policy Impacts

It is fair to say the ballot language of Proposition HH ballot fails to inform voters of the far-reaching impacts it will have on state and local policies if approved. That is why our survey attempted to educate and inform voters about Prop HH impacts with 12 different “information questions”. These questions were developed with assistance from experienced public policy professionals. Our aim was to provide respondents with factual and objective information. Following are the results of some questions by voter subgroup.        

We will now share information about Proposition HH, also called Prop HH, and how its approval would impact property taxes, TABOR refunds, school district funding, and property tax revenue to local governments. Some of the questions may be long, so please take your time reading them. After reading each question, please indicate if the information makes you more likely to approve Proposition HH or more likely to reject it. Let’s get started.

Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation slide 17
Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation slide 18
Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation slide 17
Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation slide 20

Proposition HH Informed Ballot Test Question

According to the informed ballot test results, there is a decline in support for Proposition HH by 11 points, from 54% on the uninformed ballot test to 43% on the informed ballot test. At the same time, opposition to the ballot measure grows by 12%, increasing from 34% to 46%. Tthe percentage of undecided voters has only slightly declined by 1%, from 12% to 11%.

Based on these findings, it appears that as voters become more informed about the policy changes that would result from the approval of Proposition HH, they are less likely to support it.

Thank yo for reading the information about Proposition HH. We ask you to read the ballot language one more time.

SHALL THE STATE REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES FOR HOMES AND BUSINESSES, INCLUDING EXPANDING PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR SENIORS, AND BACKFILL COUNTIES, WATER DISTRICTS, FIRE DISTRICTS, AMBULANCE AND HOSPITAL DISTRICTS, AND OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND FUND SCHOOL DISTRICTS BY USING A PORTION OF THE STATE SURPLUS UP TO THE PROPOSITION HH CAP AS DEFINED IN THIS MEASURE?

If an election were being held today, would you vote yes and approve, or vote no and reject Proposition HH?

All Men Wom 18-44 45-64 65+ Unaf Dem Rep Rent Own
Yes, Approve
43%
38%
48%
37%
42%
48%
39%
61%
31%
38%
44%
No, Reject
46%
52%
40%
48%
48%
43%
48%
29%
62%
48%
46%
Undecided
11%
10%
12%
15%
10%
9%
13%
7%
10%
14%
10%
Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation ballot measure questions

Why 43% of Voters Intend to Support Proposition HH

Supporters of Proposition HH were asked to describe why they would approve Proposition HH. Not surprisingly, property tax relief was the overwhelming response. Other responses indicated a strong belief that Proposition HH would generate significant funding for school districts, affordable housing, and social services. In addition, many respondents indicated frustration with TABOR and the view that it has eroded funding for school districts and public services. These findings are not surprising, given that 45% of Proposition HH supporters identify as a Democrat voter.

Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation slide 24

Why 46% of Voters Intend to Oppose Proposition HH

“Why do 46% of respondents intend to vote no on Proposition HH? One primary motive is a strong belief that TABOR will be weakened. This is unsurprising when 41% of ‘no voters’ identify as Republican. Therefore, we also find many comments about conservative beliefs that government spending is out of control and the state should live within its means. However, 38% of ‘no voters’ identify as unaffiliated, so opposition is not just a conservative cohort.

Many of these voters are concerned that Proposition HH will not provide enough “backfill” funding to make local governments whole. This observation among unaffiliated voters is the biggest obstacle to Proposition HH approval. The bottom line is Proposition HH will fail if a strong plurality or simple majority of unaffiliated voters do not support it.”

Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation slide 26
Colorado Proposition HH opinion survey presentation slide 27

The Impact of Proposition HH on Local Ballot Measures in November

This survey was undertaken to provide our public-sector clients with relevant insights regarding Proposition HH and its potential impact on their respective local ballot measures this November. As such, one of the questions posed to the voters sought to measure their voting preferences about funding needs and services. From the results, we learned that the majority of respondents showed support for street maintenance, fire district, public safety, and teacher salary funding ballot measures.

Conversely, local funding ballot initiatives that lacked majority support included affordable housing, school building funding, library districts, and parks and recreation. Nevertheless, it is important to note that this opinion data represents statewide opinions, which may vary significantly by locality and demographic factors.

Survey Conclusions

This survey highlights the challenge in determining the outcome of Proposition HH. The ballot language is short and simple, providing limited information on the state and local policy changes that will occur if the ballot measure is approved. Therefore, many voters will become informed about Proposition HH through public campaigns supporting and opposing the ballot measure. Voters will also learn about Prop HH from media coverage, input from friends, and their local governments. What does that mean for the outcome of Prop HH? We can’t say. 


However, this survey finds voter support declines when voters learn more about the complex policies that will go into effect upon Proposition HH’s approval. As a result, we look forward to conducting another survey in October to gain a better understanding of voters’ perspectives.

Survey Methodology and Contact Information

This survey utilized MMS text data collection method to interview registered voters, inviting them to participate in the survey. A current Colorado voter file was used as the basis of our sample. The survey data were weighted to represent Colorado’s voter turnout demographics in an odd-year election cycle. The interviews were conducted from June 21st through July 7th, 2023. This survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.81% at the 95 percent confidence interval. Any questions about this survey can be directed to David Flaherty DFlaherty@MagellanStrategies.com and Courtney Sievers CSievers@MagellanStrategies.com.  

Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of future Magellan Strategies public opinion surveys.