Poll Shows Above Average Interest in Elections

Poll Shows Above Average Interest in Elections

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Richard Piatt ReportingA recent Dan Jones poll for KSL TV and the Deseret Morning News shows a lot of people have already made up their minds on the heated school voucher issue. The poll shows that if the election were today, vouchers would fail. But poll results aren't stopping the ads, the debate or the strong feelings on both sides.

The ads are running non-stop, and a lot of people are finding they have strong feelings about how they're going to vote on school vouchers next Tuesday. According to a Dan Jones poll of more than 603 people, only 8 percent say they're undecided right now; 57 percent say they would vote against the measure if the election were today; 35 percent say they would vote 'yes'.

Utahns for Public Schools, the anti-voucher campaign, is encouraged but not resting easy. Lisa Johnson says, "For us, it's a nice to think about for a minute, but we're not going to rest; we're going to keep going right up to the minute, until the polls close Tuesday."

Pro-voucher Parents for Choice in Education aren't thrilled with any of the poll results coming out this week, but says an upset is possible if it can get its supporters to turn out and change some minds with its message.

Leah Barker said, "We've created a public school system to educate our children, and there are some children whose needs are not being met. And we're confused about whether our obligation is to the children or to the system."

The poll also shows there is a lot of interest in this year's election. Interest is especially high in Salt Lake City, where a new mayor will be elected next Tuesday.

Of the 603 people Dan Jones surveyed this week, 55 percent expressed moderate interest; 45 percent say there is high interest for the election. In Salt Lake City a whopping 57 percent of 405 voters say their interest in voting next Tuesday is high; 43 percent expressed moderate interest in voting.

Jones says those numbers are high for a city-wide election. He attributes it to the mayor's race, along with school vouchers and the public safety bond request.

Compared with past elections in Salt Lake City, most people say their interest is about the same this year, but 41 percent say they're definitely or probably more interested this year.

The numbers are significant because these polls historically predict what turnout will be, and turnout is very important to the candidates and for people on either side of an issue.

Tomorrow night at 10, we will report the results of polls on the Salt Lake City mayor's race, as well as how people are feeling about the Salt Lake City bond request.

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