Newsom headed for re-election, three measures likely to fail, PPIC poll says

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A poll from the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California predicts Gov. Gavin Newsom will be re-elected and three state-wide measures — two that would increase sports betting and another that would tax the wealthy to pay for water and fire prevention — are likely to fail.

Dean Bonner, a PPIC associate survey director and research fellow, and Deja Thomas, a PPIC survey analyst, discussed the results with reporters following a presentation Thursday.

If the election were held today, according to PPIC, incumbent Newsom would be re-elected, as 51% of respondents said they would vote for him, while only 31% said they would vote for his challenger: state Sen. Brian Dahle, R-Redding, who was elected to the senate in 2019, after serving in the Assembly for seven years.

Dean Bonner, a PPIC associate survey director and research fellow, and Deja Thomas, a PPIC survey analyst, discussed polling results.

Public Policy Institute of California

In addition to the partisan split in the largely blue state, Newsom also has an edge with independents, where he curried support from 42% of respondents.

“Majorities favor Newsom across different demographic groups, except for male Latinos who are more divided on the vote,” Thomas said.

Though there are more than three statewide measures, the poll focused on Propositions 26, 27, and 30, mainly because of time constraints, but PPIC doesn’t expect any of the three measures to pass based on polling.

Proposition 30 provides funding for programs to reduce air pollution, and fight wildfires by levying a tax on Californians who make more than $2 million. Part of the funding would help subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles. In the poll, 41% of respondents said they would vote yes on Proposition 30, and 52%, said they would vote no.

The measure has split Democrats, with the State Democratic Party in favor, while Newsom came out against it.

Opponents argue that Lyft, a ride-hailing service, which donated $15 million in support, wants Californians to subsidize its drivers having to purchase electric vehicles to meet a state mandate. The California Air Resources Board approved a measure requiring all new cars and light trucks sold in the state by 2035 be zero-emission vehicles.

Some business interests, including the California Chamber of Commerce, have also come out against it, saying the tax would burden entrepreneurs and investors, driving investment out of the state.

“Proposition 30 proposes a tax hike on higher-income taxpayers by 1.75 percentage points, which would raise the top income tax rate to a whopping 15.05% — far higher than any other state income tax in the nation,” Jennifer Barrera, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a position piece on the chamber’s website. “To be clear, a ‘No’ vote on Proposition 30 is a vote against new taxes, not a vote against the environment.”

Proposition 30 would raise taxes by $60 billion to $80 billion over the course of 20 years for projects and programs that are already top spending priorities for lawmakers, she wrote.

Supporters of Proposition 30, which include health organizations, labor, business, environmental and firefighting groups, say additional funding is needed to improve air quality.

“ZEVs remain unaffordable for the average Californian. Proposition 30 will accelerate our transition to clean vehicles by bringing ZEVs within reach for all Californians via rebates, grants, and financial assistance,” according to a press release from supporters. “Half of the funding will benefit low-income families and those in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution.”

“Wilmington and West Long Beach breathe some of the worst air quality in the nation due to their ports, trade, and trucks,” said Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson. “The health impacts are disproportionately felt by low-income residents and communities of color. Wilmington’s cancer risk from air pollution ranks in the top 2% for the entire Los Angeles basin.”

Proposition 26, which would allow in-person roulette, dice, game, and sports wagers on tribal lands, garnered 34% in yes votes, and 57% in no votes from respondents. Proposition 27, which would allow online and mobile sports wagering off tribal lands, received 26% yes votes and 67% no votes from respondents.

Thomas said those surveyed were asked if they engage in sports betting, and the vast majority said they don’t, which gives further credence to the idea the two gambling measures won’t pass. According to the survey, Thomas said, most people are not interested in sports betting and don’t think it would do the state any good if it’s made legal.

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