Our Take: Colorado Community Report Card

A recent report released by Colorado Mesa University and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce provides insight into Coloradan’s attitudes on the state’s economy, public lands, education system, health care outcomes and political institution. The inaugural Colorado Community Report Card was released in July following a survey of around 500 individuals.

The following post outlines some of our key takeaways as we look to find common ground between the two political parties in the state. The report compliments many of our findings about the attitudes of Coloradans’ from our report on independent voters and candidates last year.

Satisfaction with Government

  • Nearly half of Colorado adults (48%) believe the state is going in the right direction, compared to 33% who believe it is on the wrong track.  
    • Republicans are more pessimistic (38% right direction; 45% wrong track) than Democrats (55% right direction; 28% wrong track).
  • A full 60% of Colorado adults give the state economy a 7+ rating on a 10-point scale.  
    • A strong majority (84%) of Colorado adults believe the economy will either improve or remain the same over the next 12 months.
    • Optimism about the economy is highest among young men, singles, middle-incomes, veterans, Hispanics, in the North Denver suburbs and on the West Slope.
  • 85% of Colorado adults are satisfied with life in their community.
    • A majority (57%) say they are “very satisfied.”
  • 63% of Colorado adults say they are satisfied with the Colorado state government, while 30% are dissatisfied and 8% are unsure.
    • Satisfaction is above 57% in every region of the state except Colorado Springs (46%).
    • Democrats are most satisfied (75%), followed by independents (62%). Republicans are least satisfied (47%).
  • 61% of Colorado adults say they get a good value for their state taxes.  
    • Perceptions of good value peak in Denver, South Denver Suburbs, and Colorado Springs (67%); perceptions of good value are lowest on the West Slope (47%).
  • Only 39% of Colorado adults say they are satisfied with the federal government, while 54% say they are unsatisfied and 7% are unsure.  
    • Satisfaction with the federal government is highest on the West Slope (48% satisfied; 48% dissatisfied).

Access to Services and Quality of Life

  • Colorado adults give high marks on access to recreation and open space (80% A or B grade).  

  • Colorado adults give mixed but generally positive marks on access to internet, quality K-12 education, safe highways, and decent-paying jobs (53%-56% A or B grade)
    • The highest grades on K-12 education come from Larimer / Boulder (75% A or B) and the West Slope (70% A or B).  The lowest grades come from Denver (41% A or B).
    • The highest marks on access to jobs come from Larimer / Boulder and Metro Denver, including suburbs (56% to 67% A or B).  The lowest grades come from the West Slope (38% A or B).
  • Low marks were given on access to affordable healthcare (35% A or B; 39% D or F) and access to affordable college (34% A or B; 27% D or F).  
    • Grades on access to affordable healthcare are highest in Larimer / Boulder and Metro Denver (58% to 67% A or B).  The lowest grades come from North Denver (16% A or B) and the West Slope (21% A or B).
    • The highest marks on access to affordable college come from the West Slope (52% A or B), while the lowest marks come from Denver Metro, Colorado Springs, and Larimer / Boulder (21% to 29% A or B).
  • Access to affordable housing was graded the worst (21% A or B; 51% D or F).
    • Over half (53%) of Colorado adults say that housing costs are a major problem, and another quarter (27%) say housing costs are a moderate problem.
    • Every region has two-thirds or more of its adults saying affordable housing deserves a C grade or lower.  
    • “There is an abundance of evidence in this poll that housing costs are the top issue in Colorado today.”

TABOR

  • On TABOR, a 41% plurality statewide says the constitutional spending limits have been mostly a good thing, while 29% disagree and 30% are unsure.
    • Support for TABOR peaks in Colorado Springs (52% good thing) and is lowest in Denver and on the West Slope (32% good thing).
    • Support for TABOR is far higher among men (50% good thing) than women (30% good thing).
    • Majorities support de-Brucing TABOR at the local level on the West Slope (51%), in Larimer / Boulder (55%) and in North Denver Suburbs (60%).

###

The survey for the Colorado Community Report Card was conducted by Vitale & Associates, and is based on 500 live telephone interviews completed in April 2018.  Statewide results were provided and broken down into seven regions: Denver; North Denver Suburbs; South Denver Suburbs; Colorado Springs; Larimer / Boulder; West Slope / Club 20 Counties; and Front Range / East Slope.  The margin of error is 4.4%.