January 16, 2017
Bill Shapard

New poll finds how Oklahomans would prioritize state spending

In Oklahoma, a new state legislature has been sworn in and state legislators are right now working toward prioritizing state spending, particularly since they are facing another large budget shortfall.

According to the state's likely voters, K-12 schools was selected as the most important area of state spending with nearly half of all respondents. This result was more than twice the next highest selected priority of roads and other transportation expenses.

"Without a doubt, voters believe common education should be the highest spending priority in the upcoming legislative session," said Bill Shapard, founder of

[QUESTION] The legislature is trying to prioritize areas of state spending.  Which of the following areas of spending would you prioritize as most important?

1. K-12 schools 46.7%
2. Roads and other transportation expenses 19.6
3. Health care 19.2
4. Public safety 9.3
5. Colleges and universities 5.2

Also in the poll, transportation and health care spending were the second and third most selected as the highest priority, followed by public safety.

The area of spending selected the least among the choices given voters was "colleges and universities."  Respondents were more than nine times more likely to select common education as a priority for state spending than colleges and universities.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll and 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.

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.