After Governor Haslam’s 2017 “State of the State” speech on January 30, 2017, Tennesseans for Conservative Action (TCA), a statewide voter education group, conducted a statewide survey of 600 reliably Republican voters. TCA conducted the survey to gauge support for policies conservatives are talking about during this year’s legislative session. In addition, the survey also delves into Tennessee’s federal and state elected officials’ job approval. The survey was conducted on the evenings of January 31 and February 1, 2017.

Key Takeaways

  • Spend the Surplus First, then let’s talk 54% of Republicans believe we should spend the $1 billion surplus on road improvements before raising the gas tax.
  • Gas tax supporters near unanimous behind Haslam – Of those who support the gas tax, 99% approve of Governor Haslam’s job performance.
  • Vocal Minority?15% of Tennessee Republicans flatly reject a 7-cent gas tax “no matter what” and a majority of those who are anti-gas tax increase Republicans also disapprove of Governor Haslam’s job performance.
  • Taxes over TollsTennessee Republicans favor an increase to the gas tax over tolls (37% to 21%).
  • Can a Haslam PR effort sway undecideds? 80% of those who are unsure about the 7-cent gas tax approve of Governor Haslam’s job performance.
  • Safety First3 out of 4 Republicans who favored the 7-cent gas tax increase did so because the revenue would make Tennessee’s roads safer.
  • Medical Cannabis Popular – 52% of Republicans surveyed supported giving Tennesseans the freedom to manage their pain using medical cannabis.
  • Trump Approval Very High88% of Tennessee Republicans approve of President Trump’s job performance so far.
  • Corker and Alexander Remain PopularTennessee’s two United States Senators enjoy high approvals among Republican voters across the state.

Topline Summary

  • Gas Tax: Governor Haslam has proposed a tax increase of 7 cents on each gallon of gasoline. Which of the following most closely matches your current feelings on the proposed bill?
    • 21%: Support the gas tax increase to fund road improvements to ensure TN’s roads will be safer
    • 7%: Support the gas tax increase to fund road improvements to ease traffic in my community
    • 53% We should spend the $1 billion surplus before raising taxes
    • 15% I oppose the gas tax no matter what
  • Surplus: Tennessee has a surplus of almost one billion dollars this year. Of the following, how do you want the legislature to use that money?
    • 28%: Invest in infrastructure
    • 19%: Cut the sales tax on food
    • 12%: Invest in education and provide teacher raises
    • 9%: Put away for “Rainy Day Fund” for future
    • 30%: A combination of the proposed options
  • Rural Broadband: Bill to give more rural Tennesseans access to reliable broadband services through state tax breaks or grants
    • 57% support
    • 16% oppose
    • 22% need more info
    • 5% unsure
  • Medical Cannabis: Bill to legalize medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, to give Tennesseans the freedom to choose the way they manage their pain
    • 52% support
    • 31% oppose
    • 13% need more info
    • 4% unsure
  • AirBNB: Bill to encourage entrepreneurship by lifting local restrictions on home sharing companies like AirBNB
    • 39% support
    • 9% oppose
    • 44% need more info
    • 8% unsure
  • Job Approval for President Donald Trump
    • 88% approve
    • 9% disapprove
    • 1% indifferent
    • 2% unsure
  • Job Approval for President Governor Bill Haslam
    • 69% approve
    • 27% disapprove
    • 2% indifferent
    • 2% unsure
  • Job Approval for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
    • 62% approve
    • 28% disapprove
    • 6% indifferent
    • 4% unsure
  • Job Approval for U.S. Senator Bob Corker
    • 65% approve
    • 23% disapprove
    • 7% indifffent
    • 5% unsure

READ MORE FROM TCA

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