Oregon voters are frustrated. That is the overarching takeaway from a statewide voter survey conducted by DHM Research for the OBI Education & Research Foundation in October. Voters are worried about the economy and their own personal finances, are highly concerned about homelessness, see Portland as dysfunctional and harming the state overall, and believe that now is not the time to raise taxes, nor is it the time to add more regulatory constraints on Oregon’s businesses.
Here are some of the key findings from the survey of 500 registered Oregon voters:
- 64% of the respondents said that their community is off on the wrong track.
- Taken together, 29% said the most important problem facing their community is homelessness and affordable housing, while 25% of voters said it was mistrust/division and politicians/government. These are all up sharply from a January 2021 survey.
- 60% rate current economic conditions in Oregon as poor and 62% believe economic conditions are getting worse.
- 70% of voters say Portland has a negative impact on the rest of the state, including 63% of voters in the Tri-County area
- When asked whether Portland should get tougher on crime and enforce existing laws or invest more in housing and social services, 58% chose getting tougher on crime and enforcing existing laws.
- 79% of voters have a positive view of their employer and 76% have a positive view of businesses in their community.
- By contrast, only 34% of voters have a favorable opinion of Governor Brown and only 24% have a positive view of the state legislature.
- Most Oregon voters agree that businesses play an important role by caring about the community in which they operate (76% agree), creating jobs (71%), and supporting public services through employee wages (74%) and the taxes the businesses pay (60%).
- 71% of voters prefer pausing new business regulations.
- 77% of voters think its time to lower taxes or hold them at current levels—not raise them.
- When asked whether to fund services by improving the business climate and creating new jobs or by increasing taxes on high-income earners and profitable companies, 60% of voters agreed we should grow the economy, not raise taxes (35%).
“Oregonians are frustrated with the direction Oregon is headed, and they recognize that a strong, healthy business community can help restore economic vitality and improve the quality of life for Oregonians,” said OBI President and CEO Angela Wilhelms. “We’ve said it before, and will say it again: This is not the time for new taxes or more regulations. Instead, we need to remain focused on solving the very serious issues before us—homelessness, public safety, workforce shortages, and supply chain and distribution problems, to name a few.”
You can find results of the survey here. Overall sampling error is plus/minus 4.4%.