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KTNV/RASMUSSEN POLL: Voters favor ESAs, energy deregulation and net metering ballot questions

Posted at 11:01 AM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 23:56:53-04

A majority of Nevada voters say they support ballot initiatives to deregulate the state’s energy market and restore favorable electricity rates for rooftop solar customers, according to a new KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll.

Voters also favor the state’s contentious Educational Savings Accounts program, a quasi-school voucher program that allows parents to claim up to $5,100 in state funds for use towards nonpublic school tuition or for other educational expenses.

The poll of 750 likely voters was conducted between July 29 and 31, and has a four percent margin of error. Rasmussen polls historically lean Republican, according to a FiveThirtyEight ranking of polling groups.

Voters were specifically asked if they supported or opposed “Nevada’s school choice program that allows parents to place their children in a non-public school with a $5,000 stipend from the state.”

Forty-eight percent of voters favor the ESA program, with 37 percent opposed and 14 percent unsure. Opponents are challenging the constitutionality of the program in two separate lawsuits, arguing the case last week before the Nevada Supreme Court.

Most demographic groups said they favored the program, with voters under 39, Republicans and voters with an income above $200,000 more likely to support the ESA program. Voters who identified as Democrats and those over the age of 65 were more likely to say they opposed it.

The KTNV-TV 13 Action News/Rasmussen Reports poll also shows broad support for two energy-related ballot measures.

A majority of voters said they’d support a ballot referendum that would “decide whether the state should bring back net metering to allow better rates for rooftop solar customers.”

Question 5 saw support from 59 percent of voters polled, with 16 percent opposed and 26 percent unsure. Majorities of all demographic groups identified in the poll supported the referendum.

But voters may not get a chance to weigh in on the referendum, as Nevada’s Supreme Court is currently weighing a legal challenge to the proposed ballot measure. Opponents of the measure, which would repeal certain sections of a bill approved by the state legislature in 2015, doesn’t fit the definition of a referendum and should be reclassified as an initiative, which takes longer to approve.

Voters overwhelmingly said they’d support a ballot initiative to “deregulate electric energy in Nevada and create an open market for consumers with a choice of utility service providers.”

Sixty-nine percent of voters said they’d support such a measure, with eleven percent opposed and 20 percent unsure. All major demographic groups said they support Question 3, which would need to be approved again by voters in 2018 to take effect.

The full crosstabs and demographic breakdown of the poll are available here.

KTNV and Rasmussen will continue to provide poll results on important Nevada issues between now and the November election.