Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vouchers and the Governors Race

The full Civitas poll is out today and one thing interesting to note in it is that 51% of respondents said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supported vouchers, while just 23% said that would make them less likely to support someone.

So this is another issue where Bev Perdue is just out in left field and Pat McCrory can slam her on it, right?

I don't think so. I've been down this road before. Vouchers are an issue where the more people know and understand about them, the less popular they are. When I was in high school in Michigan there was a statewide ballot initiative to enact a vouchers program. In January of 2000 a poll showed 53% of voters supporting it with just 23% opposed, numbers almost identical to those in this Civitas poll.

In November the measure failed 69-31.

How could there be such a huge swing of opinion over the course of the year? On the surface vouchers might sound like an alright concept, but when they get a thorough public airing with the voters hearing the arguments on both sides they tend to end up being pretty unpopular.

These numbers may look good for McCrory but I'd sure try to avoid this issue like the plague if I were him.

Speaking of the ill fated vouchers campaign, it was spearheaded by Dick and Betsy DeVos, long time Republican leaders in the state. Our Michigan poll next week will look at how Dick matches up to possible Democratic candidates Dennis Archer and John Cherry in the 2010 race for Michigan Governor.


Chris said...


How much did the NEA and its local affiliates spend to demonize and defeat the voucher referendum in Michigan?

Tom Jensen said...

Neither side in that particular battle lacked funds.

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