Poll shows strong support for education bonds

Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- A ballot measure to approve a $236.8 million education bond package had strong support among Alaskans who participated in a statewide poll released last week.

The poll also showed nearly 2-1 opposition for an initiative to move the Legislature to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough or Anchorage.

In a Dittman Research Corp. survey of 510 households, 76 percent said they were in favor of the education bond initiative while 20 percent of respondents said they were opposed. Only 3 percent were undecided, the poll showed.

Asked about moving the Legislature from Juneau, 62 percent of the respondents said they were opposed and 5 percent said they were undecided.

Pollster Dave Dittman said he was surprised by the relatively small number of respondents who were undecided about the two issues. ''People's minds are pretty much made up on those issues well in advance,'' Dittman said.

Both measures are on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

The telephone survey of Alaskans was conducted between Sept. 23 and Oct. 1 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. Results were released Thursday.

The poll questions were added by Dittman to a Multi-quest survey funded by several unrelated groups. Dittman would not disclose the names of the groups but said none were associated with the two ballot measures.

The general obligation bond package would fund construction or maintenance at 50 rural schools and include projects for Anchorage, the University of Alaska and a renovation of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

Alaska hasn't had a general obligation bond on the ballot in more than 20 years and no organized opposition has surfaced to the initiative, supporters said.

The other initiative would move the Legislature to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough or to Anchorage if adequate facilities could not be found. The Legislature currently meets in Juneau, which is accessible only by air or water.

Alaskans for Efficient Government, which sponsored the ballot initiative, also seeks to repeal the requirement that voters approve the cost of the move in a subsequent election.

The Alaska Committee, based in Juneau, has waged an active media campaign against the move.



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