Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Not So Bold Prediction - Proposition 30 Will Fail

I have been watching California propositions for a very long time.  (I am a political junkie that first got interested in the politics of Barry Goldwater around age 7, I am not kidding.)  I don't have to do much research to know that Jerry Brown's tax hike initiative is going to tank.  First, there is a competing worser initiative on the ballot, Molly Munger's proposition 38.  Voters get nervous when they see two broad based tax increases.  Second, true to form, support is tanking at the last minute, even if the proposition is still leading.  Here is a picture of the support over time from Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy:

They latest numbers have support now at 49.2%.  In my experience, tax increases never garner last minute increases, and always tend to underperform at the polls.  Maybe its because some people are afraid to the pollsters that they are against good schools, or some other lofty promise, but get in the polling booth and think about how the tax increase will make everything more expensive.  Maybe they just get around to reading the fine print, like the across the board sales tax increase.  Who knows? I just know that this is the point at which supporters and opponents start conceding the tax hike is going to lose.  Here is Teacher's Union spokesperson Dan Wells, as quoted in Annenberg Digital News (of USC) on why they spent so much against Proposition 32, and therefor hinting that's why Prop 30 will fail:
“Proposition 30 and Proposition 32 are both important, but for the long range implications on the political landscape in California, 32 is going to have huge repercussions, whereas 30 is more dedicated specifically to education at this point, said Wells.  
Wells emphasized that while both fronts are important, opposing Proposition 32 has more implications for the quality of education in the long-run. He explained that Proposition 32 would bar unions from fighting for measures like Proposition 30 in the first place.  
“As far as we’re concerned, Proposition 32 is the whole ball game,” he added.

Maybe he's right, but he sounds like he's preparing the post-election spin.

Other polling paints an even bleaker picture for the measure.  From the LATimes:
Support has plunged for Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to raise billions of dollars in taxes, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows, with less than half of voters planning to cast ballots in favor of the measure.

Only 46% of registered voters now support Brown's initiative, a 9-point drop over the last month, and 42% oppose it. The findings follow a lackluster month of campaigning by the governor, who had spent little time on the stump and found himself fighting off attacks from backers of a separate ballot measure that would raise taxes for schools.
This was a poll of registered voters, and likely voters are going to be more conservative.  I wonder how Jerry Brown will threaten voters next?

1 comment:

  1. If they were truly serious about funding schools through Prop. 30, they would have made it a bond measure, instead.

    I'm speaking off the top of my head but do school/education-related bond measures at the state/county/city level ever fail?

    Yet, they tie it to a tax and... go figure... looks like its in a bit of trouble.