On November 6th Californians will decide whether to pass Proposition 30 which increases personal income taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year for seven years and increases sales taxes by a quarter percent on all Californians for four years. It is anticipated these tax increases will raise $3-$6 billion in annual tax revenue to be allocated primarily toward K-12 education and community colleges. Gov. Jerry Brown has tied the passage of these tax increases to the state budget; promising automatic “trigger cuts” of at least $500 million to the University of California and California State University. The California Reason-Rupe poll finds this initiative too close too call, with 50 percent planning to vote yes and 46 percent planning to vote no.
Digging into the Reason-Rupe cross tabs shows that the Californians most likely to vote yes on Prop 30 include Democrats, Californians who think the state is on the right track, women, Californians over 55, households making less than $75,000 a year, African-Americans, Latinos, union members, and public sector workers. Those most likely to vote no on Prop 30 include Republicans and Independents, Californians who think the state is on the wrong track, men, those between 45-54, those with some college experience, Caucasians, upper middle-class households, those employed full time in the private sector, and non-union households.
Statistical tests can demonstrate different probabilities of voting yes or no on Prop 30 based on demographic differentials. For instance, a Republican Caucasian male, working full time in the private-sector, with at least some college, making more than $75,000 a year, has about an 87 percent chance of voting no on Prop 30. In contrast, a Democrat, non-Caucasian female, working full time in the public sector, with at least some college, making less than $75,000 a year has about an 89 percent chance of voting yes on Prop 30.
Consider this, an Independent Caucasian male, with at least some college experience, making a middle income, working full time in the private sector has about a 51 percent chance of voting yes on Prop 30. However, an otherwise identical Caucasian male working full time in the public sector has about a 72 percent chance of voting yes on Prop 30. An otherwise identical Caucasian female working full time in the public sector has about an 81 percent chance of voting yes on Prop 30, but the same Caucasian female working full time in the private sector has about a 64 percent chance of voting yes.
Proposition 30 is not the only tax increase on California’s ballot, among the several, Proposition 38 would raise personal income taxes on most Californians for 12 years to raise about $10 billion a year for K-12 schools, early childhood programs, and to repay some state debt. The California Reason-Rupe poll found this measure trailing 42 to 52 percent. This is one of the few instances where both the California Republican and Democratic parties are unified in opposition to a tax increase. Cross tabs reveal that few groups reach majority support for Prop 38, including a slim majority of Democrats, Californians under 35, African-Americans, and public sector workers.
Note: Logit and prvalue statistical tests were run including party identification, gender, age, employment, education, income, public/private sector, union membership, and race.
California telephone poll conducted October 11th-15th on both landline and cell phones, 696 adults, margin of error +/- 3.8%. The sample also includes 508 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 5.1%. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here. Full poll results found here.