“Research Reveals Nebraskans’ Support on Policy Priorities, Investments vs. Tax Cuts; Dissatisfaction in Government Performance.”
The Holland Children’s Institute, a Nebraska nonpartisan nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization released recent survey results of the “Nebraska Voters’ Outlook”, a statewide public opinion research initiative measuring Nebraskans’ opinions and views on the issues impacting children and families.
“Nebraskans are in strong agreement on policies the state should prioritize, but show dissatisfaction with government’s performance and focus on those policies, especially when it comes to education ” said Hadley Richters, CEO of Holland Children’s Institute.
“In addition, a clear majority of Nebraskans would rather state government focus on expanding middle-class opportunities, over cutting taxes for families and businesses,” said Richters.
The results reveal overwhelming agreement—sometimes near-unanimity—about the policies that will support and grow the state’s middle class, while significantly divided on how much the state government is currently pursuing those priorities. With most Nebraskans (55 percent) supporting an increased focus on expanding middle-class opportunities, over cutting taxes for families and businesses (42 percent).
The gap between voters’ aspirations and the reality of state government policy emerges most profoundly around education issues. Nebraskans overwhelmingly support increasing state funding for public education and nearly half rate state government’s job performance on K-12 public education as fair or poor (48 percent). Additionally, when asked whether they agree state government is currently underfunding public education, leading to high property taxes and poor educational outcomes, or that state government properly prioritizes and funds public education, more than six-in-ten say state government is not doing enough for public education (61 to 36 percent).
While more than four-in-five (82 percent) voters agree that affordable access to higher education will grow and support the middle class and Nebraska’s economy, only one-in-four (25 percent) agree that state government is making college affordable. Nebraskans are particularly pessimistic about state government’s performance on college affordability, with only 27 percent rating its performance as excellent/good; and 70 percent rating it fair/poor. Likewise, Nebraskans show a strong preference for a more active government role in workforce development. When asked whether they agree with a statement that state government should increase investments in higher education and accessible job training and career, technical, and vocational education or that Nebraska should continue to give tax breaks and incentives to businesses and individuals, more than six-in-ten voters (61 percent) choose increased investment in higher education and job training paradigm.
Overall, Nebraskans demonstrated broad agreement that proposed cuts to state services will have a big impact on the middle class.
Survey Methodology: TargetSmart designed and administered this telephone survey conducted by professional interviewers. The survey reached 600 adults, age 18 or older, who indicated they were registered to vote in Nebraska. The survey was conducted from December, 2018. The sample was randomly selected from TargetSmart’s enhanced voter file. The data were weighted by gender, age, party registration, and region by congressional district to ensure an accurate reflection of the population. The overall margin of error is +/- 4.0%. The margin of error for subgroups is larger and varies. Percentage totals may not add up precisely due to rounding.