The People's Pulse is a quarterly survey sponsored by the Hawaii Business Roundtable and Pacific Resource Partnership, and conducted by OmniTrak Group Inc. As its name implies, it takes the pulse of statewide resident voters on various issues. The most recent, Fall 2008, was conducted between July 25 and August 14, 2008, using telephone interviews among a random sample of 1,500 registered voters. The sampling error is plus/minus 3%.
For the most part, no surprises. The majority of voters on Oahu, 59%, favor a fixed rail mass transit system. Top concerns were the economy, jobs and the cost of living. Despite the cost of gas, most voters prefer to keep agricultural lands for farming food crops rather than turning them into biofuel crops.
Perhaps the most eyebrow raising survey result is that most voters oppose a Constitutional Convention, and the opposition numbers rise in correlation to the estimated cost of holding the ConCon.
At $5 to $9 million - 54% somewhat oppose, 25% strongly oppose, 23% somewhat favor, and 14% strongly favor a ConCon.
At $10 to $19 million - 68% somewhat oppose, 25% strongly oppose, 15% somewhat favor, and 9% strongly favor a ConCon.
Last week, the LRB report put the cost of the ConCon in the range of $6.4 to $41.7 million, while the Lt. Gov's task force estimates a cost of $2.3 to $11.1 million.
The People's Pulse report continues: "Rather than holding a ConCon, 71% of voters prefer to see Constitutional changes made by the Legislature and then approved by the voters. Across all voter segments, at least two-thirds prefer this alternative. Support for this process rather than a ConCon is due to cost, assuming that ConCon costs $5 to $9 million and the alternative, half a million."
Further, "Opposition to ConCon is not surprising given that 78% of voters do not have constitutional issues to suggest for its agenda. Among the minority of 22% who have changes, fewer than 3% support any one issue, including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (both for and against its continuation); government reform; community issues like homelessness, civil rights, and illegal immigration; the definition of marriage (both for and against same sex marriages); capital punishment and tougher crime sentences."
For information on the People's Pulse, go to http://www.prp-hawaii.com/ or http://www.omnitrakgroup.com/.