Polling Reveals How Oklahomans Are Leaning On State Questions

Tuesday, October 30th 2018, 12:36 pm
By: News 9

With a week left before the general election in Oklahoma, News 9 has new, exclusive polling. Let's start with three state questions.

State Question 800 would set up a rainy-day fund for oil-and-gas money. In terms of polling results, this is one of the closest state questions on the ballot despite there originally being widespread support for the idea to create this kind of fund earlier this year.

Watch Video: Polling Results For State Question 800

The fund would be called the "Vision Fund," and it would be used to help insulate Oklahoma from the boom and bust of oil and gas by taking a percentage of oil-and-gas revenue and putting it into this rainy day fund.

Most fossil fuel states have something like this already.

The polling shows it to be a statistical tie between those who support SQ800 and those who oppose it. Support for the fund is at 39.8 percent, and opposition comes in at 36.5 percent -- a three-percent difference inside the margin of error.

One reason this state question is so close is partly out of confusion, according to News 9's pollster Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com. The confusion lies in the name of the fund, the "Vision Fund," which would be confused with the state question about eye doctors, State Question 793.

Shapard said the question is also wordy, which could lead to confusion.

"I don't think that people are really paying very much attention to what this is going to do and how it's going to improve things. I think people know there's been budget deficits, and you need to fix that. This is their response in how to fix it, but I don't think people make that connection," he said.

State Question 801 would change how school districts can use tax dollars.

The polling indicates wide support for this state question, which would allow school districts to use property taxes to pay teachers. Right now, districts are only allowed to use property taxes to add buildings or repair existing ones.

Watch Video: Polling Results For State Question 801

According to the polls from SoonerPoll.com, this state question has 55 percent support while 37 percent of those polled oppose it. Undecideds come in at eight percent, which means that barring a wild swing, this state question will likely pass.

Shapard said the support for this state question comes directly from the decline in Oklahoma schools.

"I think that what people are saying when it comes to education (is that) there's too much in one pocket and not enough in another. People see 801 as an opportunity to equalize that," he said.

State Question 793 would allow eye doctors to work out of big-box stores, like Walmart, which has been a frequent target of the opposition campaign.

According to polling done by SoonerPoll.com, support sits at 47 percent while opposition holds at about 41 percent. However, what's interesting about these polling results is just how close the sides have gotten since previous polling.

"Those that oppose 793 have really gained some ground here in the last month. I think that's due in large part to the fact that when people find out that optometrists oppose this, even though the language is written to think people support it, it's really not. I think that's what's changing the numbers right now in the last month," Shapard said.

Check out the full results on Oklahoma's state questions, from SoonerPoll.com, below: