May 19, 2017
Bill Shapard

Oklahomans soundly still believe government is wasting taxpayer monies

The message from state agencies and legislators over the last few months has been, for the most part, that the state has cut too much from government budgets and there is no more wasteful spending now. But, that isn't what Oklahomans think.

According to the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll, an overwhelming 87 percent of likely voting Oklahomans believe more efficiency can still be found in state government spending.  About six in ten likely voters strongly agreed.

[QUESTION] More efficiency can still be found in state government spending.

1. Strongly agree 60.7
2. Somewhat agree 26.4
3. Don't know/Refused [DNR] 5.4
4. Somewhat disagree 5.2
5. Strongly disagree 2.3

While there was very strong agreement among Republicans in the poll, 58 percent of Democrats "strongly agreed" that more efficiency can still be found, with 87 percent is combined agreement.  Even among Independents, 68 percent agreed with 55 percent with strong agreement.

"Government has the perception of wasting taxpayers monies among all Oklahomans, regardless of party affiliation," said Bill Shapard, founder of SoonerPoll. "Whether it's true or not, the perception is there and in the near future, legislators and agency heads are going to have a tough time convincing them otherwise."

Recent legislation headed to the governor's desk for signature would conduct an independent comprehensive performance audits on the twenty agencies that receive the most in state appropriations.

"While many believe the audits will expose that agencies have suffered too much under budget cuts, voters will have a tough time believing them," said Shapard, the senior analyst on the poll.

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

The scientific study was conducted from February 15-21, 2017 with 408 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 ±4.59 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.