Majority of CA Residents Willing to Pay More for Water

Majority of CA Residents Willing to Pay More for Water

The Public Policy Institute of California’s (PPIC) latest poll reveals that 60% of adults and 50% of likely voters would approve even the most expensive proposal to solve the problems caused by the water drought. An $11.1 billion bond for state water projects, which some California lawmakers view as pork-laden, is getting even more support now that the drought has eventuated.

One year ago, only 44% of adults and 42% of likely voters approved of such an expensive proposal.

PPIC President and CEO Mark Baldassare commented:

Clearly the context of the drought has caught the attention of Californians and convinced them there are some things they need to do. From virtually nowhere, water has now emerged as the No. 2 issue after the economy for what Californians say are the most pressing issues facing the state.

On the $11.1 billion bond, Baldassare said, “It’s impressive that it would have that level of support, given that almost everything we hear about it coming out of Sacramento is that it’s too big or there’s something wrong with it.”

The same PPIC poll measured Gov. Jerry Brown’s popularity and found 49% of adults and 52% of likely voters approve of him, roughly the same numbers as one year ago. Baldassare said, “Our poll in January was taken when there was all sorts of good news about the budget and the budget surplus. I don’t think it reflects growing disapproval of him so much as a return to the new normal of what his approval rating has been since Prop. 30 passed.”

The most telling statistic was the voters’ indifference to whoever was running for governor; only 37% of likely primary voters said they follow news about any of the candidates closely. In 2012, when Brown ran against Meg Whitman, that number was 63%. Baldassare noted this and said this “makes the task of running for governor for everyone but the incumbent very, very difficult.”

The high-speed rail project has the support of 53% of adults, but among likely voters 50% oppose it. Marijuana legalization got an approval rating of 49% from adults, with 47% opposing it. 47% of Californians approve of Obamacare; 45% disapprove.

Regarding the support for Obamacare, Baldassare concluded, “We continue to see people very divided along party lines on their support, and many people not sure what the impact will be on them.”


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