Poll indicates voter support for three initiatives on Washington’s fall ballot



(The Center Square) – A recent Scott Rasmussen National Survey indicates outright majority support for two of the three initiatives on the ballot in Washington state this fall and a plurality of support for the remaining initiative, which jumps to an overwhelming majority when high fuel prices are considered.

The survey of 800 registered voters was conducted from May 20 through May 23. According to the survey’s methodology, certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by gender, age and race. Likely voters were determined by a screening process within the survey. Those polled identified as 31% Republican and 37% Democratic.

The survey’s margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

During this year’s session, the Legislature approved three citizen initiatives on police pursuits, a parental bill rights and income taxes.

Initiatives to allow workers to opt out of the state’s new long-term care insurance program, repeal the state’s capital gains tax, and scrap the Climate Commitment Act and its carbon market will be decided by Washington voters in November.

Voters were asked if they favored or opposed Initiative 2124, which would give workers a choice about whether to participate in the WA Cares long-term care program. The question included the statement, “Employees who opt out would no longer have payments deducted from their paychecks, but would be ineligible for the state’s long-term care program.”

Of those who responded, 58% indicated they favored I-2124. The results were as follows: 25% strongly favored I-2124, and 33% somewhat favored it. On the other side, 17% somewhat opposed the initiative, 12% strongly opposed it, and 14% were not sure.

Regarding Initiative 2109 to repeal the state’s capital gains tax – a 7% levy on the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets such as stocks, bonds and business interests – 57% of respondents said they supported I-2109.

The results were as follows: 31% strongly favored I-2109 and 26% somewhat favored it, while 17% were somewhat opposed and 15% were strongly opposed. Those not sure amounted to 12% of respondents.

Results changed slightly with a reworded follow-up question: “Capital gains taxes tax income from investments. Because of this, some argue that Washington’s capital gains tax is an unconstitutional income tax. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose repealing the capital gains tax?”

According to respondents, overall favorability went down to 55%. The results were as follows: 33% strongly favored I-2109, and 22% somewhat favored it, while 18% somewhat opposed it, 17% strongly opposed it, and 9% were not sure.

When asked if they favored or opposed Initiative 2117 to repeal the Climate Commitment Act, 45% of respondents said they favored repeal. The results are as follows: 21% strongly favored I-2117 and 24% somewhat favored it. Opposition saw 18% somewhat opposed, 21% strongly opposed and 16% were not sure.

A follow-up question saw a dramatic change in results: “Since the cap and trade program was implemented, Washington’s gas prices have become some of the highest in the country. Currently, gas prices in Washington are about a dollar a gallon higher than the national average of $3.65. If it would significantly reduce gas prices for families, would you favor or oppose repealing Washington’s cap and trade program?”

Based on that query, more than two-thirds of respondents said they were in favor of I-2117. The results are as follows: 45% strongly favored I-2117 and 22% somewhat favored it, while 13% were somewhat opposed and 13% were strongly opposed. Those not sure were 7%.

Washington’s general election is Nov. 5.

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