Saturday, February 04, 2006

On the Cusp

This week’s CalPeek has a bit on Meathead’s “Preschool for All” initiative, and the PPIC poll that found it starting off 63% YES, 35% NO, and 2% undecided.

Calpeek also quotes opponents of the measure saying, “Given the language tested by PPIC, we’re surprised the numbers weren’t even higher. The language they used was like testing whether people would like free ice cream on their free piece of apple pie.”

For the record, the question asked was, “How about increasing taxes by 1.7 percent on individual incomes above $400,000 dollars annually, and $800,000 for couples, to pay for voluntary public preschool for all 4-year old children?”

Among Demos it polls 77-20, among Reeps its 49-49, and 66-32 among Independents.

You can find the entire survey here.

Calpeek paraphrases opponents’ claims that when read the actual initiative language, Meethead has “a tough time getting to a simple majority.”

63% provides a fascinating figure in that it is right on the cusp between pass/no-pass for tax-increase initiatives according to pollster Bob Moore’s “Rule of Thumb,” which says that normal initiatives must start at at least 55% to stand a chance of passage, while initiatives that increase taxes have the bar set a little higher at 65%.

We'll be watching to see as more public surveys are released.

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