Voters Acknowledge Colorado’s Hot Economy, Worry Over Housing And Health Care

<p>Hayley Sanchez/CPR News</p>
<p>A new home being built in the Wolf Ranch neighborhood of Colorado Springs on the northeast side of town.</p>
Photo: COS Hot Housing 4 | New Home Construction - HSanchez
A new home being built in the Wolf Ranch neighborhood of Colorado Springs on the northeast side of town.

A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation found that education, health care and housing rate as the top issues for Colorado voters.

"When we asked about specific issues or when people are with no prompting asked open-ended questions talking about what they think are the most important issues of the state, they really get at core cost of living types of things," said Kyle Legleiter of the Colorado Health Foundation.

Coloradans view the state's economy as improving, but they don’t view housing and health care through those same rose-colored glasses. Legleiter said 80 percent of those polled sai​d housing costs are getting worse. Fifty-five percent said the same about health costs.

"The cost of being able to afford the health care that you need, the housing that you live in, food to put on your table, over and over Coloradans are saying those are things that they worried about even in relatively good economic times in our state," Legleiter said.

Digging a little deeper into the poll, the state’s three major voting blocs see the top issues in a different priority than the others. The state's largest voting group, independents, place education as their top issue. For Republican voters it's immigration. For Democrats it’s health care.

There’s a partisan divide over health care, which Kaiser pointed out as consistent with other national polls. Republicans were least likely — 12 percent — to say health care was the most important issue, leaving it tied for fourth with education behind immigration, the economy and housing. Among independents, health care was ranked second, but only by a small margin ahead of housing.

All three groups were nearly unanimous in their low ranking of taxes and tax reform as an issue.

The poll was conducted between Aug. 15 and Sept. 19, 2018; the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.