By Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field
While support for Proposition 30, the income and sales tax increase initiative advanced by Governor Jerry Brown, has fallen below the majority needed for passage, Yes voters continue to outnumber No voters 48% to 38%. Another 14% of likely voters are undecided.
By contrast Proposition 38, the competing income tax increase initiative supported by civil rights attorney Molly Munger, now trails among likely voters by a double-digit margin, 34% to 49%. This represents a significant decline in voter support from mid-September when 41% were on the Yes side and 44% on the No side.
Supporters and opponents of Prop. 30 hold very different opinions about a wide range of matters relating to state government and taxes, as well as the governor's job performance. Supporters tend to approve the job Brown is doing, believe the amount they pay in state taxes is about right, and are very concerned about the potential impact of the automatic spending cuts that would be imposed if voters reject Prop. 30. Opponents are more likely to disapprove of the governor's performance, believe they pay too much in state taxes, are less concerned about spending cuts and think the state can provide roughly the same level of services even if it had to reduce its budget by $6 billion, the approximate amount of Prop. 30's proposed tax increase.
These are the findings from the final pre-election Field Poll conducted among 1,566 voters considered likely to vote in next week's general election. The survey was completed by telephone using live interviewers in six languages and dialects.
In each of three previous Field Poll surveys, Proposition 30 had been receiving the support of a slim majority of voters. However support is now 48%, slightly less than the majority it needs for passage. On the other hand, in each measure the proportions of likely voters intending to vote No has not exceeded 38%. The current survey finds just one in three likely voters (34%) now favoring the competing tax initiative, Proposition 38, the lowest level of support it has received all year.
The results of the entire survey are available here.