Wednesday, September 24, 2014

California Water Bond Ahead Two-to-One

After years of delay and many polls indicating defeat, Governor Brown and the California legislature have crafted a $7.5 billion water bond for this November’s election that is ahead in the latest Field Research Poll by nearly two-to-one (52% to 27%).

People who have some knowledge of the bond are even more supportive (57% to 25%) than voters less informed (48% to 28%). Somewhat surprisingly, Democrats are more supportive (66% to 13%) than Republicans, who oppose the bond at this time (35% to 49%).

Also of interest, the proposal is winning urban areas that usually disagree on water issues. The bond is passing by 62 percent in the Bay Area and 56 percent in Los Angeles County. It is ahead by less of a margin in the Central Valley (43% favor, 31% against).

Factors that appear to be helping the proposal are:
  1. A very serious drought;
  2. A reduction of the original request from $11.1 billion to $7.5 billion, and placing the initiative at the top of the ballot next to a popular budget reserve fund measure, Proposition 2;
  3. A considerable amount of the funds going toward restoration and sustainability; and
  4. A very popular governor advocating for it (Governor Jerry Brown has a 16-point lead over his Republican opponent).
Question asked:

(As you know) Proposition 1 is the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. It authorizes 7.5 billion dollars in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection, and restoration and Bay-Delta Estuary sustainability. Fiscal impact: Increased state bond costs averaging 380 million dollars annually over 40 years. If the election were being held today, would you vote YES or NO on Proposition 1?

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