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Poll: Hunger a Uniting Issue Among Colorado Voters

A strong majority of Colorado voters do not want to see cuts to programs such as food stamps and subsidized school meals. (Pixabay)
A strong majority of Colorado voters do not want to see cuts to programs such as food stamps and subsidized school meals. (Pixabay)
March 23, 2017

DENVER -- A broad majority of Colorado voters want stronger, smarter programs to eradicate hunger, according to a new poll commissioned by Hunger Free Colorado.

More than half of people surveyed said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who prioritizes food-security programs. Benjamin Kupersmit, president of Kupersmit Research, the firm that conducted the research, said despite widespread political polarization generally, voters are remarkably united on addressing hunger.

"Across the board, Colorado voters want to see programs that address hunger and are very comfortable seeing their tax dollars used for those programs - if those programs are run well and are proven to work,” Kupersmit said.

He said the findings suggest people across the political spectrum recognize that many working people still struggle to make ends meet. Nearly two-thirds of voters said food stamps should be increased or left where they are today, and three out of four people surveyed said the current benefits are too low.

While social programs continue to be popular with registered Democrats, Kupersmit said, a majority of Republicans also are in favor of increasing support for programs that address hunger.

"Our survey shows support from Republicans for maintaining or increasing food stamps,” he said, "and it shows that 64 percent of Republicans would be willing to see an increase in that $1.38 per person, per meal benefit."

Kupersmit noted that while charities and churches are essential to efforts to end hunger, the idea that a majority want the government to pull back services was not borne out in the survey's results. He added that addressing hunger is not just a Front Range issue.

"Voters are more conservative in rural Colorado - along many dimensions - but when it comes to hunger specifically, they understand and support a strong role for government,” he said.

The research also found two-thirds of voters oppose federal cuts to programs such as food stamps and subsidized school meals. And just over 55 percent said government should be working alongside community-based organizations to make sure no one goes hungry in Colorado.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO