According to the most recent Quarterly Poll from SoonerPoll, a plurality of Oklahoma likely voters believe reducing or eliminating corporate tax credits and subsidies for wind energy companies is the best place to start in funding teacher pay raises.

Legislators say they got the message from last year’s election about raising teacher pay,” said Bill Shapard, founder of SoonerPoll.  “These poll results tell them where voters believe the funding should come from.”

Nearly one in three voters believed funding for increased teacher salaries should come from reducing the non-teaching workforce costs in Oklahoma’s higher education system.

Only 14 percent of likely voters believed teacher pay raises should come from increased taxes.

“These poll results show Oklahomans want legislators to look other places before trying to raise revenues from increased taxes,” said Shapard.

[QUESTION] Many Oklahoma lawmakers have expressed a desire to enact a teacher pay raise during the 2017 legislative session. However, the legislature will likely be facing a significant state budget gap. To help fund teacher pay raises, which of the following options would you prefer?

1. Reduce or eliminate corporate tax credits and subsidies for wind energy companies 42.1
2. Reduce non-teaching workforce costs in Oklahoma’s higher education system 29.7
3. Increase taxes 14.0
4. Do not raise teacher salaries at this time 14.3

A plurality of Republicans, Democrats and Independents all favored cutting tax credits and subsidies to wind energy as their first choice for funding teacher pay increases, including conservatives, moderates and liberals as well.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats in wanting to make raising taxes to fund teacher pay increases a last resort.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll, which was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA).

The scientific study was conducted from December 19-21, 2016 with 440 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election. The weighting was conducted using a ‘layered technique.’

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.60 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll’s Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here.  A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

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Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.

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