October 27, 2017
Bill Shapard

News9/Newson6 Poll: Majority of Oklahoma voters oppose increase in state gas tax

As legislators return to the state capitol to consider an increase in the state's gasoline tax, a majority of the state's likely voters oppose the proposed increase, according to an exclusive News9/Newson6 poll conducted just last night.

LINK: Click here to download a PDF of the poll results

While 52.7 percent opposed the measure, it should be noted that 44.7 percent of voters "strongly opposed" the tax increase.  As expected, Republicans were the most opposed to the proposed gas tax increase at 55.2 percent, however 50.1 percent of Democrats also opposed the increase and 44.3 percent of Democrats were "strongly opposed."

[QUESTION] The proposed gas tax would increase the sales tax on unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel from the current 16 cents per gallon to 22 cents per gallon.  Knowing this, would you SUPPORT or OPPOSE this gasoline tax increase?

1. Strongly support 19.2%
2. Somewhat support 26.6
3. Don't know/Refused [DNR] 1.5
4. Somewhat oppose 8.0
5. Strongly oppose 44.7

Groups that oppose any tax increases viewed the poll results as an opportunity to re-focus the legislature on reducing the size of government.

“Oklahomans are frustrated by politicians who campaign as fiscal conservatives, only to watch the legislature continue to let the clock tick while combing through our wallets to solve a problem they created rather than exploring ways to trim spending” said John Tidwell, State Director of Americans For Prosperity.

Also in the poll, likely voters were asked if they believed the state government has enough funding to operate properly and just under half believed that they did, with 52.4 percent of Republicans and, surprisingly, a plurality of Democrats at 44 percent.

[QUESTION] Do you believe that the state government has enough funding to run our state government or do you believe they should raise taxes to fund existing state government agencies and programs?

1. Has enough funding 49.3%
2. Should raise taxes 33.4
3. Unsure 17.3

“This polling continues to show that everyday Oklahomans believe the state government, much like the federal government, must live within its means -- something it is not doing today," said Tidwell.

[QUESTION] Do you have a FAVORABLE or UNFAVORABLE opinion of the Oklahoma state legislature?

1. Very favorable 4.6%
2. Somewhat favorable 21.7
3. Don't know/Refused [DNR] 7.4
4. Somewhat unfavorable 17.1
5. Very unfavorable 49.2

Lastly, the impression of the state legislature among likely voters did not fair very well with 66.3 percent having an unfavorable opinion. This is a substantial increase just since August when only 53.8 percent of likely voters had an unfavorable opinion of the state legislature.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted October 27, 2017 with 580 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a frame of landline telephone and conducted using IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology. The sample was weighted by age, party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ±4.07 percent.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.