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Harsdorf's annual poll finds area residents support death penalty & voter ID

A majority of folks in far western Wisconsin overwhelmingly believe that the state should actively develop and promote alternative fuels.

In fact 86 percent think state support for alternative fuels is a good idea compared to just 14 percent opposed.

Bringing back the death penalty in the state is also supported by a majority of residents in the area with 59 percent in support of the death penalty and 41 percent opposed.

These are some of the results from the annual poll done by Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls who represents the 10th State Senate District.

Harsdorf says that the unscientific poll was sent to residents of her district in a newsletter and that she got back well over 2,000 responses.

According to Harsdorf's office 45 percent of the responses were from people who hold conservative political beliefs, 43 percent who say they are moderates and 12 percent claiming to be liberal.

Requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls was overwhelmingly support by poll respondents, with 81 percent in support of the requirement, 13 percent opposing it and 6 percent undecided.

The poll also showed that 44 percent of area residents think that individual businesses should decide whether they should allow smoking in their establishments while 38 percent believe the state should set the policy. Just 18 percent felt it should be left to local governments.

On the question of allowing conceal carry permits for guns respondents were close to evenly split by respondents with 47 percent supporting the idea and 43 percent opposing it.

To help stop out-of-state trash haulers from dumping their trash in the state 72 percent of respondents supported an increase in tipping fees. Tipping fees is the charge trash haulers pay to dump trash in a landfill.

Just 13 percent of respondents were opposed to the increase and 15 percent were undecided.

Harsdorf noted in her press release that many respondents commented that the state should just charge out-of-state haulers more to dump in the state, but that courts ruled that in-state and out-of-state haulers must be charged the same.

How to pay for highways and roads? The poll found the gas tax was supported by 53 percent of area respondents over auto registration fees which just 16 percent of respondents supported. Toll booths were only supported by 15 percent while 15 percent of respondents had other suggestions.

The poll found that President Bush's approval rating was 43 percent in the region and he had a 54 percent unfavorable rating.

Gov. Jim Doyle didn't fare much better. His approval rating by area respondents was just 44 percent while 41 percent of respondents have a negative view of the governor.

Of Wisconsin's two U.S. Senators, Herb Kohl, D-Menomonee Falls, had the highest approval rating with 50 percent of respondents having a favorable view of him and 31 percent unfavorable.

The more liberal Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Middleton, had a favorable rating of 46 percent and an unfavorable of 41 percent.