A poll conducted by Dittman Research for the Alaska House Majority shows diverging views on how the $80 billion Permanent Fund should be used. The poll, conducted from June 10-13, sampled 401 statewide registered voters. According to the poll, 65% of respondents support putting the dividend in the Alaska Constitution, but if it means deeper cuts or taxes the numbers change. If putting the dividend in the constitution means deeper cuts, it splits evenly 48-48 over support and oppose. If putting the dividend in the constitution means more taxes, only 42% of respondents support it, compared to 53% who oppose it.
The cross tabs also glean interesting data. If it means deeper cuts, 73% of Democrats oppose putting the dividend in the constitution, compared to just 36% of Republicans. If it meant taxes, 49% of Democrats support putting the dividend in the constitution, compared to just 37% of Republicans.
A surprising result is the amount of respondents who were unaware of the 2018 Percent of Market Value (POMV) bill passed by the Legislature. This was a law passed that allows 5% of the value of the Permanent Fund to be used for government services and to pay dividends. According to the poll, only 52% of respondents were aware of the law. The POMV was transformative as it shifted the main source of state revenue from oil revenues to Permanent Fund earnings. The poll also shows that a staggering 65% of respondents were unaware of the primary source of state revenue.
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When it comes to the 50/50 proposal to split Permanent Fund earnings between government services and dividends, only 32% of respondents said they were aware of it. When asked if they support the 50/50 proposal, 54% of respondents said they oppose it, while only 34% said they support it. The numbers get worse when asked if they support Governor Mike Dunleavy’s (R – Alaska) 50/50 plan, which proposes taking an additional $3 billion draw from the Permanent Fund to cover projected budget deficits. Only 33% of respondents said they support it, compared to 63% who said they oppose it.
You can view the entire poll here.
Dittman Research, founded in 1969, is a well-known and respected polling firm in Anchorage owned and run by pollster Matt Larkin. They traditionally work for Republicans, but have done polling for the Legislature over the years.