The Public Policy Institute of California is out with a new poll and – we trust you’re sitting down, Maude – all the May 19 budget props (1A-1E) are losing. Even 1F (which blocks pay increases for state electeds in deficit years) has lost ground (though it’s still a likely winner).
Prop 1A, Governor Arnold’s Big Dog, deficit-limiting/tax-hiking/rainy-day-fund-building kitchen sink measure, is losing 52-35% among likely voters, and runs even lamer among those following the election most closely: 65% No Way Dude vs 29% Sounds Like a Great Idea.
As PPIC pollster and big kahuna Marc Baldassare put it: “The voters who are really tuned in are really turned off.”
Here’s the PPIC Prop rundown among likely voters and corresponding Field Poll results:
• Prop. 1A (Rainy Day Budget Stabilization Fund)
52% N, 35% Y, 13% DK. Field Poll: 49-40-11.
• Prop. 1B (Education Funding)
47% N, 40% Y, 13% DK. Field: 49-40-11.
• Prop. 1C (Lottery Modernization)
58% N, 32% Y, 10% DK. Field: 59-32-9.
• Prop. 1D (Children’s Services Funding)
45% N, 43% Y, 12% DK. Field: 49-40-11.
• Prop. 1E (Mental Health Funding)
48% N, 41% Y, 11% DK. Field: 51-40-9.
• Prop. 1F (Elected Officials Salaries)
73% Y, 24% N, 3% DK. Field: 71-24-5.
What you gotta’ love about PPIC is that the late Bill Hewlett’s gonzo endowment, plus lotsa cash money from the James Irvine Foundation, lets these guys poll huge samples – in this case 2,005 respondents (+/- 2%), among whom they identify 1,080 likely voters (+/- 3%). Of course, size doesn’t always matter, since there’s not much real props news here beyond the lean, mean Field Poll published April 29.
Other numbers from PPIC, however, offer some important insight into the political landscape in California: voters are in an incredibly cranky and pessimistic state of mind. Check it:
— 91% say the state is in a recession
— 76% say the state’s headed in the wrong direction.
— 75% expect bad times financially for California in the next year.
— 51% have already lost a job or are concerned that they or a family member will lose a job.
More political gloom and doom:
— 80% disapprove of the Legislature.
— 76% say the state is run by a few big interests.
— 71% say people in government waste tax money.
— 56% disapprove of the governor.
— 16% say they trust state government to do what’s right all or most of the time.
Key nuance: While state pols are basically dead to likely voters (think Al Pacino kissing Fredo in Godfather II) and only 39% approve of the “job” Congress is doing – a staggering 66% of likelies, and 72% of all adults, approve of Barack Obama’s performance as president. Hmmm . . .
The underlying message: Those leading California today are, not to put too fine a point on it, UTTERLY TONE DEAF!
Cogito, ergo sum: When 47% of adults – and 57% of Californians making less than $40K – say they’re somewhat or very concerned they may lose their job in the next year, you have to be out of your bloody mind to propose anything that even smells like a tax increase for working people.
Will some candidate for governor tap into the voters’ fear and loathing? Will 2010 be the year of soak-the-rich populism? Will class warfare be the call of the wily? Stay tuned to Calbuzz. Plenty of free parking.