Part of the Bay Area News Group

Poll shows record high discontent in California

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 at 10:39 am in California Legislature, Election reform, Elections.

A new poll released a few minutes ago at the California Constitutional Convention Summit in Sacramento shows that 82 percent of voters believe the state is on the wrong track.

It is the highest level of unhappiness since the Bay Area Council began doing the survey in 2002. (The council is the chief sponsor of the summit.) Pollsters conducted the telephone poll of 800 voters between Feb. 3-5 and it has an error rate of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Just 11 percent though the state was on the right track. (Who are these people, anyway? Did they take this survey while they were on the beach in Hawaii?)

Reasons for the gloom cited included the budget deficit, gridlock in Sacramento, bureaucracy, poor schools and high taxes.

Disapproval ratings for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature are in the tank, too, at 60 and 71 percent respectively. (For comparison purposes, Obama’s disapproval rating was 17 percent.)

The chief purpose of the poll, though, was to gather public opinion on whether state should convene a Constitutional Convention, a group that would examine some or part of the state Constitution and place reforms before voters.

Most voters have never heard of it. It was 1879 when California last convened such a group.

But after a series of explanations about what a convention could accomplish, about half the respondents said they would support it.

In an interesting side note, the poll found that 67 percent of those asked supported an open primary in theory. The poll was taken before the Legislature placed an open primary measure on the June 2010 ballot.

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  • Lou

    Yes. There should be a Constitutional Convention. If I was King, here’s what I would do:

    1) Revise Prop 13. Only a Californian’s primary house will be protected from property tax increases. That way the seniors in a fixed-income and California residents will have Prop 13 protection. Investor owned homes, vacation homes, businesses, malls etc. will be subject to property taxes that will be rise at a rate of the cost of living index for the area. Hence, property taxes near urban areas will have a different tax rate that the rural areas. California is a different state than what it was back in the 70′s. It’s time this propositon was revised to better serve the people.

    2) Eliminate the 2/3 requirement to pass a budget. Make it 55%. You cannot get 2/3 of the legislature to agree unless they are about to fall off a cliff. Until then, the legislature will come up with short term solutions (like borrowing) because of the immediate need to pass a budget rather than tackle the hard decisions.

    3) Change the initiative process. Make it so that 55% is needed in order for it to pass. It’s too easy to pass propositions just by giving it a nice title and have it backed by someone rich.

    4) Carry out the Open Primaries, Unbiased Redestricting, Saving for a Rainy Day Fund and a State Spending Cap.

    5) Get ideas from the moderates. The extreme liberals and conservatives are the noisiest ones, but are really the ones that are ruining this great state.

  • papanut

    quote:”property taxes that will be rise at a rate of the cost of living index for the area.”

    This is ridiculous. Taxes should be tied to value and/or income.

  • http://www.capoliticalnews.com steve frank

    This might be a good poll. But you did not report who did it.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Steve,
    The pollster was Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates. The Bay Area Council hasn’t yet posted the survey results online but I have put in a request for it. I’ll post the link here as soon as I get it.

  • http://worldviewpr.com BGR

    If the the battle to get a real reform like IRV passed in San Francisco is any indication, the professional pols and powerbrokers will fight any change tooth and nail because they like a system they can game.

    Meanwhile Democrats and Republicans don’t want to share their toys, thinking they ought to have 100% of the power with only 50%+1 (dems) or 33% (gop) of the vote.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen