New Poll Reflects Voter Opinion on Governor Brewer, Legislators on Expanding Medicaid in Arizona

Sonoran Alliance has obtained a recent poll that was conducted in Arizona on the latest public policy issue being debated among Arizonans – Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid in Arizona. This poll demonstrates the current attitude toward Governor Brewer, Legislators and the implementation of Obamacare. Magellan Strategies conducted the poll at the end of March. Here are the results of the poll:

ARIZONA MEDICAID EXPANSION SURVEY AMONG REGISTERED VOTERS

This memorandum is an executive summary of an automated voice recorded survey of 812 Arizona registered voters. The survey was conducted on March 27th and 28th and has a margin of error of 3.44% at the 95% confidence interval. The focus of this survey was to measure voter opinion regarding the expansion of Medicaid, the implementation of Obamacare, as well as voter reaction to their state legislator’s support or opposition to Medicaid expansion. The survey toplines are also included with this document.

GOVERNOR BREWER IMAGE RATING

Among all voters, Governor Brewer has a respectable net‐positive image rating with 49% of respondents having a favorable opinion of her, 40% having an unfavorable opinion of her, and 11% being undecided or not having an opinion. She is more popular among male voters than female voters, with 53% of men having a favorable opinion of her compared to 46% of women having a favorable opinion of her. Among senior voters aged 65 or older, 52% have a favorable opinion of her and 39% have an unfavorable opinion of her.

VOTER SUPPORT AND OPPOSITION FOR THE EXPANSION OF MEDICAID

When voters are asked if they support Governor Brewer’s proposal to expand Medicaid in order to fully implement the federal government’s health care system in 2014, we find opinion almost evenly split. Among all respondents, 41% support the expansion of Medicaid, 37% oppose expansion, and 22% are either unsure or have no opinion about the issue. There are significant differences in support for expansion by party, with only 25% of Republicans supporting expansion compared to 62% of Democrats supporting expansion. “Independent” voters are split on the issue with 37% supporting expansion, 35% opposing expansion, and 28% are either unsure or have no opinion about the issue. The following table shows Medicaid expansion support and opposition by voter subgroup.

“As you may know, Governor Brewer has proposed the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona in order to fully implement the federal government’s health care system in 2014. Knowing this, do you support or oppose the expansion of Medicaid in order to implement the federal government’s health care system?”

Arizona Medicaid Poll 1

ARIZONA VOTER SUPPORT FOR FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF OBAMACARE

When comparing voter support for Medicaid expansion to the full implementation of Obamacare, it is clear the full implementation of Obamacare has far less support than Medicaid expansion. While the issue of Medicaid expansion is nearly split among Arizona voters (41% support/37% oppose), 58% of all voters oppose the full implementation of Obamacare and a majority of those voters, 51%, strongly oppose the full implementation of Obamacare. Looking at the responses to this question by party, a whopping 87% of Republican voters oppose the full implementation of Obamacare and only 10% support it. Among Democrat voters, a plurality of 44% support full implementation of Obamacare and 35% oppose it. Among independent voters, two thirds, or 62%, oppose full implementation of Obamacare and 34% support full implementation.

VOTER SUPPORT FOR LEGISLATORS WHO VOTE TO EXPAND MEDICAID

To measure voter reactions if their state legislator voted to expand Medicaid, the following question was asked:

“Would you be more or less likely to vote to reelect your state legislator if they voted for the expansion of Medicaid?”

Arizona Medicaid Poll 2

Not surprisingly, 63% of Republican voters would be less likely to vote for their state legislator if they voted to expand Medicaid and only 17% would be more likely to vote for their state legislator. Among Democrat voters, a plurality, or 47%, would be more likely to vote for their legislator if their legislator voted to expand Medicaid, and 30% would be less likely. Among independent voters, 28% would be more likely to vote for their legislator, 34% would be less likely and 38% were either unsure or did not have an opinion.

VOTER SUPPORT FOR TAX INCREASE TO FUND MEDICAID EXPANSION

In addition to measuring voter’s reactions toward their state legislators if they voted to expand Medicaid, the survey tested voter reaction for a tax increase on hospitals to fund the expansion of Medicaid. As the data in the table below indicates, voters do not want their legislators supporting a new tax on hospitals to fund Medicaid. Among all respondents, 57% would be less likely to vote for their state legislator, and among Republican voters, 72% would be less likely to vote for their legislator.

“Would you be more or less likely to vote to reelect your state legislator if they voted for a new tax on hospitals to fund the expansion of  Medicaid?”

Arizona Medicaid Poll 3

CONCLUSION

Among all Arizona voters, 41% support Governor Brewer’s effort to expand Medicaid in order to implement the federal government’s health care system by 2014, and 37% of voters oppose it. Among Republican voters, 57% oppose expansion and only 25% support it. In addition, 63% of Republican respondents indicated that they would be less likely to vote for their state legislator if they voted to expand Medicaid. These two data points should be a cause for concern among Republican legislators when considering how to vote on this issue. Republican legislators that support Medicaid expansion could make themselves vulnerable to a primary challenge.

View/Download the entire report including the topline results.

 


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