Friday, October 19, 2012

Right-Leaning Poll Shows Tight Races for Props 30 and 32

By Darwin BondGraham
Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 1:06 PM

The results of a Reason-Rupe poll released today show that support for Proposition 30 may be slipping, while Prop 32 is too close to call. The right-leaning poll also claims to measure a conservative shift in the attitudes of California voters.

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Prop 30, Jerry Brown's tax measure, would raise billions to stave off trigger cuts to higher education and schools, and pay down the state's debt. The money would primarily come from an income tax hike on the wealthiest Californians, along with a quarter-cent sales tax increase. Brown's proposal enjoyed wider support earlier this year, but has slipped recently, according to the Reason-Rupe results, as well as a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll conducted last month.

Molly Munger's Prop 38, which would increase income taxes to fund education, one of the "billionaire ballot measures" this year, is projected to be defeated by a wide margin by the Reason-Rupe poll.

Prop 32, the anti-labor measure that would virtually ban union money in politics, appears to have gained some votes, according to Reason-Rupe's results. The poll indicates a likely defeat for Prop 32, but the margin is too close to call. Nearly all other polls conducted thus far have shown Prop 32 being defeated by a wider margin, however.

Nevertheless, the director of polling for the Reason Foundation, Emily Ekins, claims her data shows that "even California’s Democratic-leaning electorate has grown weary of the state’s tax increases and may be ready for some Wisconsin-like reforms."

Reason-Rupe's results also claim to show support among voters for austere policies such as further increasing the workload of faculty members at California colleges, and forcing new public employees to adopt 401(k) style retirement plans.

It's worth noting that the Reason-Rupe poll is conducted by the Reason Foundation with support from a philanthropy controlled by Arthur Rupe, a conservative oil millionaire from Santa Barbara. Rupe has funded anti-labor and anti-tax candidates in California and other states in previous years. The Reason Foundation also receives millions from David Koch's foundation, and Koch sits on Reason's board of directors. A Super PAC funded by Koch, the American Future Fund, is the largest single supporter of the Yes on 32 campaign.

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