Supporters of the tax measure proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown have gone public with their internal polling in their ongoing effort to persuade the backers of competing proposals to ditch their plans.
A memo on the poll, which was conducted over the weekend by Sacramento pollster Jim Moore, backs the Democratic governor's argument that a November ballot stacked with multiple tax measures will increase the likelihood that voters reject all the tax hikes.
"It reinforces the fact that if all three measures on the ballot, it will be a circular firing squad where everyone will lose," said Brown adviser Steve Glazer, who posted the polling memo on Twitter this morning.
Civil rights attorney Molly Munger's proposal to increase income taxes on all but the poorest Californians for 12 years to fund schools and early childhood education programs performed the worst in the statewide survey of 500 voters. Just 31 percent of voters said they would support that proposal, based on the title and summary drafted for one version of her measure. A second version, which sends some of the money to repay bond debt, was approved for signature-gathering yesterday.
The governor's plan, which would temporarily increase income taxes on Californians earning more than $250,000 and raise the sales tax by a half of a percentage point, won support of 53 percent of respondents, while a tax hike on millionaires proposed by the California Federation of Teachers and the Courage Campaign was backed by 55 percent of those surveyed.
Support for each proposal dropped below 50 percent when respondents were asked about the prospect of all three being on the ballot.
Proponents of all three plans have been cleared to start gathering the more than 500,000 valid voter signatures needed to secure a spot on the November ballot. That task can cost upwards of $2 million.
Jeff Freitas with the California Teachers Federation argued that the numbers mirror other polling showing their measure has the "best shot at getting revenues and the voters see that."
"We are doing our own polling and until we get those numbers, we feel confident that we can win at the ballot, whether it's three or two or one on the ballot," he said.
A spokeswoman for Munger's campaign said backers are confident they can "proceed and be successful," despite the governor's poll.
The poll memo is posted at this link.