The VPR Poll: The Issues, The Races And The Full Results

Jul 27, 2016

Who do Vermonters favor in the presidential race? How do Vermonters view the candidates for the key statewide offices? And what are the most important issues facing our state today?

Once again, VPR has partnered with The Castleton Polling Institute to conduct our latest in a series of polls of Vermonters. This latest poll was conducted from July 11 to 23, 2016. The poll interviewed people from around the state, calling both cell phones and land lines.

You can download the full results of this poll, including the datasets (in XLS format) and American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative Details (Appendix A), detailing the methodology, sampling error and survey instrument (i.e. the questions).

The VPR Polls are made possible by the VPR Journalism Fund.

Explore our coverage:

VPR POLL: OVERALL RESULTS

Note About Margins Of Error: From the poll methodology, "the total number of completed interviews is 637 (308 landline and 328 cell phone)" and "the margin of error is (+/-) 3.9 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level for data representing the entire sample." Please note that where results are broken down further, e.g. by age, gender, party, etc., the sample sizes are smaller and therefore the margins of error are greater. For example, the margin for the full results is 3.9 percent, however when you look at results by gender the margins of error increase to 5.2-5.8 percent. See Appendix A for full details.

What do you think is the most important problem facing the state of Vermont today?
The economy generally / jobs / cost of living   28%
Property tax   6%
Overall costs of education / school consolidation   3%
Health care   6%
Wages / leave / workplace issues   2%
Drugs   17%
Troubled politics / leadership   2%
Environmental issues / climate change / renewable energy   3%
Drinking water issues / contamination   0%
Other   24%
Don't know   7%
Total Respondents   637

How closely do you follow news about the upcoming elections?
Very closely   37%
Somewhat closely   38%
Not very much   19%
Not at all   5%
Don't know/refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

How likely are you to vote in the general election on Nov. 8, 2016? Would you say:
You are very likely   79%
Somewhat likely   8%
Not very likely   5%
Not at all likely   8%
Don't know   1%
Total Respondents   637

Have you already voted, through early voting or absentee voting, in the state-wide primary which is being held on Aug. 9, 2016?
Yes   7%
No   93%
Don't know/refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

How likely are you to vote in the state-wide primary being held on Aug. 9, 2016?
You are likely   50%
Somewhat likely   18%
Not very likely   12%
Not at all likely   18%
Don't know   2%
Total Respondents   592

If the Presidential election were held today, and the candidates were Clinton (D), Trump (R), or Johnson (L), who would you vote for?
Hillary Clinton   39%
Donald Trump   17%
Gary Johnson   5%
Jill Stein   0%
Someone else   26%
Not sure   8%
Refused   5%
Total Respondents   637

Whom did you support in the 2016 Presidential primaries?
Clinton   8%
Sanders   53%
Trump   9%
Kasich   2%
Rubio   2%
Cruz   1%
Carson   1%
Someone else   2%
Don't remember   4%
Did not vote/did not support anyone   17%
Refused   2%
Total Respondents   637

If the U.S. Senate election were held today, and the candidates were Patrick Leahy, the Democrat, and Scott Milne, the Republican, for whom would you vote?
Patrick Leahy   62%
Scott Milne   23%
Other   1%
Don't know   11%
Refused   2%
Total Respondents 637

A graph showing the candidates' awareness and net favorability ratings from the latest VPR Poll, conducted in July 2016.
Credit Castleton Polling Institute

Aware: Have you heard of this individual or not? Yes / No / Don't know / Refused / Total Respondents
Phil Scott   86% / 13% / 0% / 1%/ 637
Bruce Lisman   61% / 37% / 1% / 1%/ 637
Sue Minter   63% / 36% / 0% / 1%/ 637
Matt Dunne   73% / 26% / 0% / 1%/ 637
Peter Galbraith   48% / 50% / 1% / 1%/ 637
H. Brooke Paige   8% / 91% / 1% / 1%/ 637
Bill Lee   22% / 77% / - / 1%/ 637
Randy Brock   55% / 43% / 0% / 1%/ 637
Kesha Ram   16% / 83% / 0% / 1%/ 637
Shap Smith   59% / 39% / 1% / 1%/ 637
David Zuckerman   58% / 41% / 1% / 1%/ 637
Louis Meyers   10% / 89% / 1% / 1%/ 637
Cris Ericson   13% / 86% / 1% / 1% / 637
(For graphs and easier-to-read formats, view and download the full results as HTM or XLS below.)

Favor:  Is your opinion of this individual favorable or unfavorable? Very favorable / Somewhat favorable / Somewhat unfavorable / Very unfavorable / No opinion / Refused / Total Respondents
Phil Scott   26% / 32% / 8% / 5% / 27% / 1% / 556
Bruce Lisman   14% / 22% / 18% / 15% / 31% / 1% / 417
Sue Minter   22% / 36% / 7% / 6% / 27% / 2% / 439
Matt Dunne   16% / 34% / 10% / 6% / 34% / 1% / 487
Peter Galbraith   8% / 31% / 14% / 10% / 36% / 1% / 360
H. Brooke Paige   3% / 13% / 20% / 57% / 7% / 52
Bill Lee   6% / 19% / 9% / 11% / 54% / 1% / 140
Randy Brock   8% / 23% / 19% / 11% / 39% / 1% / 384
Kesha Ram   23% / 35% / 6% / 2% / 32% / 1% / 108
Shap Smith   23% / 28% / 9% / 10% / 29% / 1% / 405
David Zuckerman   17% / 25% / 8% / 9% / 38% / 2% / 366
Louis Meyers   15% / 8% / 1% / 75% / 2% / 50
Cris Ericson   19% / 9% / 8% / 62% / 2% / 80
(For graphs and easier-to-read formats, view and download the full results as XLS or HTM below.)

Do you expect your household's financial situation to improve, get worse, or remain the same over the next year?
Improve   24%
Remain the same   58%
Get worse   14%
Not sure   4%
Total Respondents   637

If you were to meet with an unfortunate health, auto or home crisis that led to an unexpected cost to you of $3,000, how confident are you that you could recover from the loss without a major change in your financial circumstances?
Very confident   36%
Somewhat confident   27%
Not too confident   13%
Not confident at all   23%
Not sure   1%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

How would you rate the state of Vermont for the following: Job opportunities
Excellent   2%
Good   25%
Just fair   43%
Poor   27%
Not sure/No opinion   3%
Total Respondents   637

How would you rate the state of Vermont for the following: Wages
Excellent   1%
Good   20%
Just fair   44%
Poor   31%
Not sure/No opinion   4%
Total Respondents   637

How would you rate the state of Vermont for the following: The quality of housing
Excellent   2%
Good   38%
Just fair   38%
Poor   17%
Not sure/No opinion   5%
Total Respondents   637

Would you say that housing in Vermont is generally very affordable, somewhat affordable, or not affordable?
Very affordable   2%
Somewhat affordable   50%
Not affordable   45%
Not sure/no opinion   2%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

In general, do you think that your community is welcoming or not to people who come from other places within the U.S.?
Welcoming to others   77%
Not welcoming to others   11%
It depends   7%
Not sure   4%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents 637

Thinking about racial and ethnic diversity, would you consider your community to be a place that is welcoming to diversity?
Welcoming to others   69%
Not welcoming to others   18%
It depends   8%
Not sure   5%
Total Respondents 637

Would you characterize the issue of opiate addiction in Vermont as a major problem, a minor problem, or no problem at all?
Major problem   89%
Minor problem   8%
No problem   0%
Not sure   2%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

Have you or someone you know been personally affected by opiate addiction?
Yes   53%
No   47%
Not sure   0%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

If response is 'Yes': Do you personally know someone who has struggled with opiate addiction?
Yes   94%
No   6%
Total Respondents   314

(Update: We have clarified the relationship between the previous two questions to reflect the fact that the latter question was asked only to those who responded 'Yes' to the former.)

Would this person be...?
A casual acquaintance or someone at work?   19% selected, 81% not selected
A close friend or member of your family?   29% selected, 71% not selected
A member of your immediate family?   15% selected, 85% not selected
Total Respondents   637

Overall, do you think that refugee settlement in Vermont would likely have a positive or a negative impact on Vermont?
Positive impact   45%
Negative impact   35%
Neither positive nor negative   4%
Both positive and negative   3%
It depends   5%
Don't know / Refused   8%
Total Respondents   637

What sort of negative impact do you expect?
They take away from financial resources from veterans, homeless, and other domestic aid programs   18% selected, 82% not selected
Health reasons - they bring diseases   1% selected, 99% not selected
Safety - they are dangerous (citing Isis, terrorism, national security)   4% selected, 96% not selected
Religious / they are Muslim (without reference to terrorism)   1% selected, 99% not selected
Cultural - they do not assimilate / integrate well   5% selected, 95% not selected
Political - they vote as a bloc / concern about Sharia law   0% selected, 100% not selected
Over-tax local resources (i.e. schools) - we can't afford them   10% selected, 90% not selected
Democratic process - the decision to admit the refugees was not handled democratically   0% selected, 100% not selected
Total Respondents   637

What sort of positive impact do you expect?
They are skilled workers   9% selected, 91% not selected
They will start businesses   8% selected, 92% not selected
Increasing cultural diversity is good for community / makes Vermont communities better places to live   37% selected, 63% not selected
Broaden the tax base   3% selected, 97% not selected
Humanitarian issue / it's the right thing to do   7% selected, 93% not selected
Bringing in refugees will help in U.S. battle against terrorism   0% selected, 100% not selected

Would you support or oppose an effort to resettle refugees in your community?
Support   58%
Oppose   27%
It depends   8%
Not sure   6%
Refused   1%
Total Respondents   637

In general, do you favor or oppose raising the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 per hour?
Favor   71%
Oppose   20%
It depends   5%
Not sure   4%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

Regardless of the effect on personal finances of low income Vermonters, do you think that raising the minimum wage will improve economy?
Positive impact   51%
Negative impact   22%
Neither positive nor negative   11%
Both positive and negative   8%
It depends   2%
Don't know / Refused   6%
Total Respondents   637

With whom do you most agree?
Vermont needs an independent state ethics commission   65%
Vermont does not need an independent state ethics commission   22%
It depends (opinion does not neatly fit into either previous options)   2%
Not sure / No opinion   10%
Refused   1%
Total Respondents   637

Do you get the water at your home from a private well or from town water?
Well water   48%
Town water   51%
Not sure / Refused   1%
Total Respondents   637

Are you concerned with the quality of water coming into your home?
Very concerned   10%
Somewhat concerned   18%
Not concerned   72%
Not sure   0%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

Do you think education beyond high school is necessary, a good idea but not necessary, or neither necessary nor a good idea?
Necessary   54%
Good idea, but not necessary   44%
Neither necessary nor a good idea   1%
Not sure   0%
Refused   0%
Total Respondents   637

Do you think education beyond high school is affordable to most Vermonters?
Yes   11%
No   84%
Not sure   5%
Total Respondents   637

Whether or not you support the legalization of marijuana, what do you think is the best process for making the decision?
Legislative process   29%
Referendum   56%
Not sure   13%
Refused   1%
Total Respondents   637

Do you favor or oppose holding a non-binding ballot referendum in Vermont to gauge Vermonter's support for or opposition to legalizing marijuana for recreational use?
Favor non-binding referendum   73%
Oppose non-binding referendum   18%
Not sure   9%
Refused   1%
Total Respondents   637

FULL RESULTS FOR DOWNLOAD: FILES, APPENDICES & METHODOLOGY

  1. Appendices: The Poll's Transparency Initiative Details, Sampling Errors and the Survey Instrument (PDF)
  2. Poll Results, Overall (XLS)
  3. Poll Results, Overall (HTM)
  4. Poll Results, Elections (XLS)
  5. Poll Results, Awareness & Favorability (XLS)
  6. Likely Voter Model (PDF)