About Kansas Speaks 2016
Kansas Speaks is a statewide public opinion telephone survey measuring Kansans’ opinions on public issues and their evaluations of elected officials. It is conducted by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University.
To assess attitudes and opinions of Kansans, the Docking Institute has surveyed a random sample of Kansas residents age 18 and older every year since 2009. For this year’s survey, the Docking Institute purchased from Scientific Telephone Samples a random sample consisting of Kansas landline telephone numbers and cell phone numbers. Interviewers are highly trained student researchers pursuing degrees at FHSU. From Sept. 1 to Oct. 13, a total of 2,914 Kansas residents were contacted by telephone, with 1,043 of them completed the survey, resulting in a 36% response rate. The margin of error was 3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. A margin of error of 3 percent means that there is a 95 percent probability that findings among the sample vary no more than +/- 3 percent from the value that would be found if all adult Kansas residents were surveyed, assuming no response bias. Out of these 1,043 respondents, 892 respondents were identified as likely voters, which resulted in a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.
Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles about the 2016 Kansas Speaks statewide survey.
Kansans weighed in on school funding, gun laws and abortion in the 2016 Kansas Speaks statewide public opinion survey, conducted by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University.
Here are more of the results:
• Few (11 percent) respondents were at least “Somewhat Satisfied,” and slightly over three-fourths (76 percent) were at least “Somewhat Dissatisfied,” with the Kansas Legislature’s handling of the school funding issue. Republicans were more likely to be satisfied with the Kansas Legislature’s handling of the school funding issue.
• Over one-third (35 percent) of respondents were at least “Somewhat Satisfied,” while over two-fifths (43 percent) were at least “Somewhat Dissatisfied,” with the Kansas Supreme Court’s handling of the school funding issue.
• Over half (56 percent) of respondents felt that student loan debt is a “Major Problem” for Kansans, while slightly over one-third (35 percent) felt student loan debt is a minor problem, and few (9 percent) felt it is “Not a Problem at All” for Kansans.
• When asked about the most appropriate source for school funding, 69 percent of respondents felt that school districts in Kansas should “Rely More on Funding from the State,” while 31 percent said that school districts should “Rely More on Local Property Taxes.”
• Over one-third of respondents “strongly support” expanding Medicaid in Kansas under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), while only one-fourth “strongly oppose.” Well over half (62 percent) of respondents support, to some degree, expanding Medicaid in Kansas. Women and Democrats were more likely to support expanding Medicaid, while males and Republicans tended to oppose it.
• Seventy-one percent of respondents are at least “Somewhat Confident” that voting procedures in Kansas elections are transparent and verifiable, while 29 percent of respondents “Have a Little Confidence” or “Have No Confidence.”
•Just over two-fifths (42 percent) of respondents felt that the major impact of stricter requirements implemented for registering to vote and voting was making it more difficult for some eligible voters to vote, while half believe the major impact has been reducing voter fraud.
• When asked about support for exempting limited liability corporations from state income tax, a majority of respondents said the exemption should be removed, while 39 percent favored Kansas keeping this exemption.
• Over half of respondents opposed taxing agricultural property at the same rate as residential or commercial property. Only 26 percent support taxing at the same rate.
• When asked about recently enacted gun policy, over half (55 percent) of respondents at least “Somewhat Oppose” the current Kansas constitutional carry law, while almost two-fifths (38 percent) of respondents at least “Somewhat Support” it. Republicans were more likely to support the current constitutional carry law, while females were more likely to oppose it.
• When asked about abortion, 71 percent of respondents favored at least some restrictions on abortion, while only one-fourth (26 percent) of respondents opposed abortion under all situations. Almost two-thirds (64 percent), however, oppose abortion under most conditions.
• Among respondents who favored abortion under certain or most conditions, a large majority would allow abortion if the mother’s life was in danger or the pregnancy involved rape or incest. Two-thirds would allow it if doctors confirmed an unhealthy fetus, while very few (14 percent) would permit abortion due to financial hardship.
• When asked if they have heard of any of the following Kansas politicians, about four-fifths (81 percent) of respondents had heard of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, about two-thirds (65 percent) had heard of Congresswomen Lynn Jenkins, less than two-thirds (63 percent) had heard of Congressman Mike Pompeo, about three-fifths (59 percent) had heard of Representative Paul Davis, and less than half (48 percent) had heard of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
• Among those who had heard each politician, Derek Schmidt and Paul Davis were rated highest, followed by Mike Pompeo and Lynn Jenkins. Kris Kobach, while the most heard of politician of the five, was rated the lowest.
Voting and faith
• About two-fifths (39 percent) of respondents said they were be more likely to vote for a candidate if they were Christian. On the other hand, two-fifths (39 percent) said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate that was Muslim, and over two-fifths (44 percent) said they would be less likely to vote for an atheist candidate.