What Fort Collins Residents are Thinking
A mid-December telephone survey of 400 Fort Collins voters gives some insights into what people are thinking about. The survey reached 240 people via cellphone and 160 via land-lines.
First of all, people seem generally content with the community. When asked “Would you say that Fort Collins is heading in the right direction or in the wrong direction?” 70 percent said ‘right direction’, 20 percent said ‘wrong direction,’ and the rest didn’t know.
Then voters were asked “What would you say is the most serious problem facing the Fort Collins community today?” This is an interesting question because it is open-ended with people answering based what’s on the top of their minds. Four issues rose to the top:
|Affordable housing / cost of housing / housing /cost of living||23%|
|Traffic / roads / transit||22%|
|Growth / construction / population increase||18%|
Everything else fell well below these four, down in the low single digits.
Voters were then read a list of 15 issues and asked to rate them in importance. The top five issues in this order were:
- Improving the quality of public education in Fort Collins
- Keeping electricity rates affordable in Fort Collins
- Widening I-25
- Improving the major streets in Fort Collins for better traffic movement
- Creating more quality jobs in Fort Collins
Though they get a lot of attention from activists and the news media, other issues that placed further down the list were climate action, 100 percent renewable electricity, improving public transportation, and providing more bike lanes.
On the topic of the economy voters gave Fort Collins a temperate thumbs up. When asked “Would you say the Fort Collins economy is performing very well, it is doing okay but could be doing a lot better, it is not very good or it is awful?” respondents said:
|Performing very well||46%|
|Doing okay but could be doing a lot better||47%|
|Not very good||2%|
Though the City is adopting policies that keep increasing electricity costs, voters flashed the caution sign with their responses to two questions. “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Affordable electricity is very important to the economy of Northern Colorado.”
“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Affordable electricity is very important to my daily life and personal finances.”
Polling has its limitations but is fascinating all the same. It’s particularly interesting when the results run contrary to the fiercely held views of some public officials and the policies they promote.