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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

CA-Ballot: SUSA Poll is Bad News for Arnie Opponents

Posted by DavidNYC

Survey USA just released polls of the "first five" CA voter initiatives that are on the ballot this fall. These have all been pushed big-time by the Governator, and the results are not encouraging for his opponents (likely voters, early Oct. in parens):

Proposition 73 requires that physicians notify the parent of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion.
Yes: 60 (59)
No: 38 (39)
(MoE: ±4.0%)

Proposition 74 extends the probationary period for new teachers from 2 years to 5 years, and makes it easier to dismiss teachers with unsatisfactory performance evaluations.
Yes: 53 (55)
No: 45 (44)
(MoE: ±4.0%)

Proposition 75 prohibits public employee unions from using union dues for political purposes without the written consent of union members.
Yes: 56 (60)
No: 42 (37)
(MoE: ±4.0%)

Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues.
Yes: 58 (58)
No: 41 (36)
(MoE: ±4.1%)

Proposition 77 changes the way California draws boundaries for Congressional and legislative districts. District boundaries would be drawn by a panel of retired judges and approved by voters in a statewide election.
Yes: 54 (59)
No: 41 (36)
(MoE: ±4.1%)

The balance on each question is the undecideds, which are very small across the board.

So, it looks like bad news, but SUSA offers some cautionary notes:

1) Support for all 5 measures is strongly tied to approval of Governor Schwarzenegger.

2) Interest in ballot measures intensifies as the election approaches and ad dollars are spent to influence voters. These numbers can and should be expected to fluctuate, perhaps significantly.

3) SUSA asked summary questions; other organizations have read the entire text of the ballot measures. As SUSA says, "On 11/9/05, we will know which question wording produced a more accurate pre-election poll."

So basically, #1 says that if Arnie opponents and Dems show up in force, these measures will probably get defeated. The problem is that Arnie supporters and Republicans favor these measures by much greater margins than opponents disfavor them, so we'll need big turnout to counter that effect.

Point number 2 could go either way, but since at least some of these initiatives are backed by big corporate money, that could actually be dangerous for our side.

And number 3 is a bit surprising. SUSA actually provides links to polls by other outfits (Field here and here and the Public Policy Institute of California - all links PDFs), which I'm not sure I've ever really seen any pollster do. I respect that, though, because it means that SUSA is really interested in accuracy, not just promoting its own product.

Field shows mixed results, while PPIC shows voters opposed to most of the measures. It's hard to guess which methodology might be more accurate. Do voters tend to memorize rough descriptions of each ballot measure before going into the voting booth? (That would favor SUSA's approach.) Or do they actually stand there and read the descriptions before deciding? (Field/PPIC.) Hard to say, though I imagine there must be some comparison polling out there dealing with older ballot issues.

UPDATE: Julia in comments points out that there was indeed an ealier poll on these measures, so I've added in the trendlines. It doesn't look like there's been much movement in the past two weeks, except perhaps for a little bit in our favor on 75 and 77.

Posted at 01:36 PM in 2005 Elections, California, Redistricting, Special Elections | Technorati

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» A Message to My Fellow Californians from Spin Dry
But, in short, if you don't like Arnold, be sure to go to the polls on November 8th and vote "No." No on everything if you wish, but in particular on the five propositions above. [Read More]

Tracked on October 21, 2005 10:40 PM


Just because SUSA didn't offer trendlines does not mean we can't compare the first poll to this one, since the language and methodology was kept the same. While the straight numbers are not great they are better than the last poll. Drew worked up a color coded spread sheet which you can check out here.

You are correct in your analysis of #1. We are currently walking a thin line in beating up on Schwarzenegger and still encouraging high turnout. There will be a massive GOTV push by both sides. Right now numbers are trending our way in polling lately, but turnout is key as always.

You are right about the corporate money, but the direct donations are only a serious issue for Prop. 78 and 79, the dualing drug benifits initiatives. The drug companies are now approaching $100M in spending, as compared to our side which spent $1.5M mostly qualifying 79 for the ballot. Schwarzenegger is mostly getting his funding from his rich friends, or himself. He has given over $3M in recent weeks. If you haven't seen it already, check out our microsite: Millionaires for Prop. 75 as we continue to detail who exactly is pushing for Arnold's propositions.

The next poll up should be PPIC then the most trusted in California of all the pollsters, the Field Poll.

(David, you might want to fix your post, you have Prop. 75 listed twice and are missing 76)

Julia (juls) Rosen

Posted by: BetterCA [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2005 05:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thanks, Julia. I fixed the post. I also missed the earlier SUSA poll - I'll add in those trendlines shortly.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2005 06:29 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Factor this into the poll numbers: I participated in this poll and I lied. I intend to vote yes on all the initiatives, but told the pollster I wouldn't. (The dem pollsters call me frequently. I used to call my self a dem and give money to dems. They can be bullies when I don't support their positions. Their callers are condescending when I express disagreement. They treat me like I'm stupid. I just didn't have the energy to argue with the pollster and didn't feel like having some union worker guilt trip laid on me. I thought about just hanging up, but instead I lied. It seemed easier. And besides, I figured if they think they're winning, they'll declare an early victory, slow down their campaigning, and give the measures a better chance of passing.) My confession is now complete.

Posted by: Penny Silver [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 20, 2005 12:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hilarious. Penny Silver is an out-and-out liar. Why do I know this to a moral certainty?

Because SUSA doesn't use human callers! SUSA's polls are conducted exclusively by robo-callers.

Of course, it's pretty absurd to claim that SUSA is not an independent group and that they are trying to push a particular agenda. But even if that were true, SUSA's robots would have a pretty hard time doing so.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 20, 2005 01:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment