The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance (MassFiscal) submitted a copy of a recent statewide poll commissioned by the Fiscal Alliance Foundation conducted by Jim Eltringham of Advantage Inc, a polling company in the DC area, to the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. The poll asked six questions pertaining to the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) and was submitted this morning to the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change ahead of their February 5, hearing on poll results. The poll was the first comprehensive poll that included questions about the anticipated rise in fuel costs associated with implementation of TCI. The statewide poll was of 712 likely Massachusetts voters from January 14 to 19, 2020. Every member of the legislature received a copy of the poll and to view a copy of the poll along with cross-tab data, please visit: www.FiscalAllianceFoundation.org.
“Legislative hearings are supposed to be just that—an opportunity to hear from all sides, not just those who agree with you. Lawmakers should hear from all sides of the TCI debate, and at the very least they should vote on the merits of the agreement,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson of MassFiscal.
“Voters care deeply about their taxes, fuel costs, and a clean environment. While many are sympathetic to the cause of climate change, many care more deeply about the high financial costs associated with the regressive nature of increasing gasoline and diesel costs that would be required to fund TCI,” continued Craney.
“The poll showed voters had strong feelings against TCI if bordering states were not to participate in the program. There was very little appetite for TCI’s higher fuel costs, especially when asked if they support TCI along with a separate gas tax legislative leaders are promising,” concluded Craney.
Some key takeaways of the poll are below:
- Without knowing the 17-cent financial cost, when asked if voters broadly support TCI, voters were 46.4% “strongly/somewhat” in favor while 41.1% were “strongly/somewhat” against. The largest delta in the poll came when the voters weighed the 17-cent cost, in which there was a 34.5% swing from 46.4% to 31.1% (-15.3) strongly/somewhat favor and 41.1% to 60.3% (+19.2) strongly/somewhat against.
- When the 17-cent cost is asked with TCI, even the greater Boston area voters have a stronger feeling against TCI. 44.% “strongly/somewhat” oppose while 42.5% “strongly/somewhat” favor.
- The strongest response in the poll were given when voters were asked if they would support TCI in addition to a separate gas tax legislative leaders are promising, in which 63.6% of the voters “strongly/somewhat” are against. Of the various regions in the state, the Southeastern/Cape voters were most against with 68.5% strongly/somewhat against.
- The poll was made up of 32.2% Democratic, 11.1% Republican, and 56.7% Independent voters. Of them, 50.8% were female and 49.2% were male. The poll was a live poll that surveyed landlines and cell phones of which 64.2% were between the ages of 40-74 years old.