Brown's Tax Is Ahead, But Why Not By More?

March 7, 2012 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Budget, Taxes, The Governor · 20 Comments 

52% in the new poll support Gov. Brown's tax plan. (Photo: Getty/Justin Sullivan)

A brand new statewide poll shows Governor Jerry Brown's temporary tax increase initiative slightly ahead with voters. And that's no doubt a good thing if you're the governor.

But a more interesting question, it seems, is why isn't it ahead by more?
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California's Political Purple Reign

February 29, 2012 · Filed Under CA Politics, Elections, Political Parties and Independents · 9 Comments 

California's real political colors, says a new report (Graphic: PPIC)

For years, we've talked about how the national color coded shorthand for California politics is overly simplistic. Yes, the state may be "blue" in total votes cast in some races -- presidential, most notably -- but the real color palette of California is far more complicated.

Which is where a new academic study comes in, one that shows just how politically complicated we Californians really are.
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If Not For Schools, Would Brown's Tax Hike Be A Dud?

January 24, 2012 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, Education, Taxes, The Governor · 5 Comments 

A new survey finds voters disapprove of more education cuts. Is that driving support for Brown's tax hike?

Governor Jerry Brown will no doubt love the headline out of the brand new statewide public poll: 68% of likely voters say they support his November initiative to raise taxes and earmark the money for public schools.

But dig deeper into the poll and it's pretty clear that were it not for the linkage to schools, the Brown proposal would either be less popular... or fail to break the 50-percent barrier altogether.
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Brown May Have Found Tax Sweet Spot, Says Poll

December 12, 2011 · Filed Under Ballot Measures, CA Budget, Taxes, The Governor · 6 Comments 

Getty/Justin Sullivan

A new statewide poll suggests Governor Jerry Brown may very well start out his initiative campaign to raise taxes with a bit of a tailwind, though it offers clues on how that breeze could still switch directions.

First, the headline in the Public Policy Institute of California's statewide poll: 60% of likely voters like Brown's roughly $7 billion tax plan when read a brief description (65% of all adults) and only 36% oppose it.
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Don't Cut Higher Ed. And Don't Ask Me to Pay More!

November 16, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, Education, Taxes · 14 Comments 

Say what you will about Californians, but when it comes to their desires and demands about government services, they are consistently inconsistent.

A newly released statewide poll shows that while large majorities of residents are angry... even downright depressed... about the funding of public colleges and universities, most are unwilling to pay any additional taxes to solve the problem.
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Let Us Vote, Watch Us Say 'No'

June 1, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, Elections, Taxes · 2 Comments 

Getty/Eric Tahyer

Public opinion polling isn't always predictive of an electoral outcome. And no one is probably hoping that's true more at this point than Governor Jerry Brown.

A brand new statewide poll offers virtually no change from previous surveys this year... and for Brown, that may not be a good thing. Voters agree with his idea for an election to help close the state budget gap but they still seem poised to reject the plan that he's been pushing since taking office almost five months ago.
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Will School Funding Help Brown Sell Budget?

April 27, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, Education, The Governor · 3 Comments 

Getty/David Paul Morris

For months, Governor Jerry Brown's political strategy to get his cut-and-tax budget plan approved has been to make public schools the poster child for what would happen without additional tax dollars.

A new poll suggests that while the strategy has some merit, it also has some pitfalls.
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Podcast: Hard Surfaces

January 28, 2011 · Filed Under Podcasts · Comments Off 

Governor Jerry Brown's quip about his office setup for meetings with legislators and others -- a picnic-like table and bench seating that he says keeps everyone from getting too comfortable -- may be the perfect metaphor for the times.

After all, things are uncomfortable all across California.

On this week's Capital Notes Podcast, we gauge how the governor is doing on his quest for a budget deal in just a matter of weeks -- a quest that met head first with some unhappy local officials this week.

Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I also examine this week's public poll that suggests the voters may be willing to go along with Brown's tough plan -- more willing, perhaps, than legislators or interest groups?

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Voters Want Brown's Special Election, Says Poll

January 26, 2011 · Filed Under CA Budget, Elections, The Governor · 2 Comments 

KQED/John Myers

For a new governor facing a mammoth state budget shortfall, a stubborn recession, and a polarized political world, Jerry Brown could probably use the good news that a brand new statewide poll offers.

The poll, just released, shows strong support for Brown's special statewide election on budget fixes, as well as reasonably strong support for his suggestion to erase California's deficit with a mix of cuts and taxes.
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Voters More Diverse... and Confused... Than Ever

Getty/Kevork Djansezian

In politics, there's often a danger in relying too much on conventional wisdom. And a just released statewide poll on the November election confirms that danger, as it seems California's electorate is starting to look and act differently than expected.

In a nutshell: white voters and partisans lost, the generation gap is growing, and a wide swath of voters seem ready for change... though admitting they're also confused.
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