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News Release
Portland Business Alliance releases findings of voter poll: Voter pessimism has leveled off but homelessness and crime remain among the biggest issues facing our region - 02/03/23

Today, the Portland Business Alliance released the results of a recent poll conducted by DHM Research that reveals voter pessimism has declined compared to last year. The poll also shows that livability issues dominate voters’ priorities with homelessness, crime, and trust in government, in general, identified as the biggest issues facing the region. The rising costs of living and housing affordability are also on the list of issues that voters are “very concerned” about. 

Each year, the Alliance solicits voter feedback to track changes in sentiment over time and better understand the attitudes of regional voters around key areas of concern, jobs and the economy.

Among the poll’s key findings:

  • 78% of voters say that quality of life is getting worse – down from 88% in 2021.
  • 52% of voters say the Portland region is headed on the wrong track – down from 62% in 2021.
  • Four in ten voters rate their economic opportunities as poor or very poor.
  • Voters are more concerned about affordable housing (49% very concerned), and cost of living (45%) than they are about jobs.
  • 61% of voters state taxes are too high.
  • Multnomah County voters support multiple policies to address public safety and affordable housing/houselessness.
  • A majority of Portland voters (47%) oppose funding a tenant resource program with a capital gains tax, with 40% of voters showing support.
  • Portland residents are split as to whether to continue funding affordable housing bond measures whereas the rest of region leans to opposing future measures.
  • Voters outside of Portland generally feel unsafe going downtown during the day or night, most of the region’s residents feel unsafe in downtown Portland at night (69%).

"For over a decade we have asked voters about their priorities. It is crystal clear what voters in the Portland region want to see elected leaders making progress on: Urgent and decisive improvements to our unsheltered homeless crisis through transitional sheltering and housing production; and second, immediate improvements to public safety based on an efficient and accountable criminal justice system,” says Andrew Hoan, President and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance. “Lastly, regional leaders will have to start focusing on addressing our tax structure in the region or risk the inability to fund critical services that depend on the renewal of dedicated revenue streams. Portland is at a crossroads, and we need our leaders to respond with the urgency that voters are demanding.”

The Alliance contracted with DHM Research to conduct the survey of likely voters in the Portland metro region for the purposes of tracking voter opinions about the Portland region’s economy over time; assessing voters’ top priorities; and, measuring support for local governance and policy proposals. Surveys were conducted via phone and text-to-online of 500 Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington county voters, including an oversample of Portland voters (n=250), from December 8–14, 2022. Respondents were contacted by a live interviewer from a list of registered voters, and quotas set, and data weighted by age, gender, and political party to ensure a representative voter sample.

To view the complete results of the survey, click here.




About DHM Research

“At DHM our purpose is to drive better decisions for our complex world. We offer organizations and leaders the confidence to act by providing trustworthy data. This includes working with individuals and organizations in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to support smart planning, policy making, and communications. DHM is proud to be recognized as a B Corp certified company that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”


About the Portland Business Alliance:
The Portland Business Alliance – Greater Portland's Chamber of Commerce – was founded in 1870 and represents the largest, most diverse business network in the region. The Alliance brings together more than 2,100 members represented by dynamic and varied employers from around the Portland region, and offers a strong source of support, information, advocacy, engagement and professional development opportunities. Grounded in its mission to create opportunity and advance well-being for all who live and work in the Greater Portland and SW Washington region, the Alliance envisions a healthy and resilient business ecosystem where we work together to increase collaboration in governance; engage community; increase civic leadership; and, advocate for a vibrant, livable region for all.

View more news releases from Portland Business Alliance.