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Usually Conservative AZ Voters Split Over Some Social Issues

A new Morrison-Cronkite Survey shows 60 percent of Arizona voters, no matter their political persuasion, believe that climate change is man-made. Credit: Click/morguefile.com
A new Morrison-Cronkite Survey shows 60 percent of Arizona voters, no matter their political persuasion, believe that climate change is man-made. Credit: Click/morguefile.com
December 3, 2015

PHOENIX – Arizona may be known as one of the more politically conservative states in the country, but a new study shows a majority of registered voters supports a number of issues that traditionally are considered liberal turf.

In the survey by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the Cronkite School of Journalism, 69 percent of registered Arizona voters said they're OK with gay marriage, and 60 percent believe climate change is man made.

And David Daugherty, associate director of the Morrison Institute, says he is most surprised by the response on the issue of access to abortion services.

"Women's rights to abortion services in Arizona, I would have guessed – wrongly, obviously – that there would have been a more conservative stance on that,” he says. “And in fact, about three-quarters of all the registered voters say they support women's rights to abortion services."

Daugherty adds on that question 60 percent of Republicans polled backed abortion rights.

But on some issues, such as gun laws and the death penalty, the majority of voters remained on the conservative side, with 42 percent in favor of tighter gun laws and 29 percent backing elimination of the death penalty.

Despite the fact that the numbers of registered Republicans and Democrats in Arizona are split almost evenly, Daugherty notes there is a growing segment of political independents.

"There is sort of an emerging group who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, that's a half-Democrat, half-Republican kind of position,” he explains. “And that sort of seems to be a place a lot of people want to get to."

Daugherty says because this is the only time the survey group has asked these questions, it's impossible to tell if the results indicate any trends among Arizona voters.

He adds the survey group might be able to gauge that after the 2016 election.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ