Tag: California Field Poll

Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 22, 2012


Moorpark College, Moorpark, California

The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.

On to today’s California headlines:

Community colleges hit by $149-million shortfall

California community colleges were struggling Tuesday to absorb an unexpected $149-million budget shortfall that will mean more class cuts, layoffs, borrowing and probable elimination of summer programs affecting thousands of students.

In the latest fallout from California’s ongoing fiscal crisis, the state’s 112 community colleges reported that revenues from students’ fees are $107 million below projections for the current fiscal year as more economically strapped students seek and receive fee waivers. In addition, property tax revenues also fell short of estimates by about $41 million.

The news has caused more angst and numbers-crunching in a system that has seen its budget slashed by $809 million since 2008. The new cuts pose a particular challenge because most colleges have begun spring session and have little flexibility to change course offerings or make other adjustments that could minimize the effects.

In California, Mitt Romney holds lead, but Santorum gains

While challengers rise and recede in the Republican presidential primaries, Mitt Romney’s sail remains full in California.

Rick Santorum, the most recent alternative to surge, remains six percentage points behind the former Massachusetts governor among California Republicans, according to a new Field Poll.

Newt Gingrich, who came within striking distance of Romney three months ago, has fallen nearly 20 points behind.

Though the Republican nominee is widely expected to be decided before California holds its primary election on June 5, the poll suggests a potential backstop for Romney should the race reach the Golden State.

California Field Poll results graphic is here.

Dan Walters: California’s red light cameras in jeopardy

The battle over the cameras that many California cities and counties use to nab motorists who blow through red lights or – more commonly – make rolling stops for right turns has raged in the Capitol for several years without resolution.

Critics of the cameras – which are installed and operated by private companies for shares of the resulting traffic fine revenues – say they are used primarily to generate income for local government coffers and serve little or no traffic safety purpose.

The critics found a friendly audience for their complaints in the Legislature. Two years ago, they finally won legislative approval of a bill that would have reduced fines for rolling red light turns caught on camera, overcoming stout opposition from lobbyists for local governments.

California city and county pensions in trouble, report says

Many of California’s biggest local governments spend an average of 10 cents of every dollar covering pension costs, according to a study of the largest independent pension plans released Tuesday.

The study, by Stanford professor and former Assemblyman Joe Nation and a junior at the school who is a member of a nonprofit that studies California governance, examines plans for cities and counties that do not rely on the state’s largest public pension group, CalPERS. They include the city and county of Los Angeles, the cities of Fresno, San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego, and other jurisdictions. The pension plan unveiled by Gov. Jerry Brown last year is intended to change these plans, as well as thousands of other local ones run by CalPERS.

The study found that pension spending grew by 11.4% over the past decade in the 24 largest independent pensions, larger than any other category of government spending. “That rapid growth,” the report states, “is likely to accelerate over the foreseeable future, exerting pressure on spending in other categories.”

The report pinned the debt of the plans at between $36 billion and $136 billion.

Enjoy your morning!


Poll Watch: A Majority of California Voters Favor Governor Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Plans


According to the latest California Field Poll.

Here’s another data point in the multidimensional chess game headed toward the ballot box next year: A majority of California voters like Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension plan for state workers, according to a new poll.

In the Field Poll, 51% of respondents said the proposal to raise the retirement age for new workers and require many current ones to pay more for their pensions strikes the right balance. Twenty-four percent said they think it goes too far, and 14% said they think it doesn’t go far enough.

A solid plurality of respondents — 41% — said they think public pensions are too generous, compared with 35% who said they think they’re fine. The percentage who look unfavorably toward pensions has steadily risen.

Now, all Democrat Governor Brown has to do is persuade the public employee unions who own the majority Democrats in the California Legislature to vote to place his reform measures on the November 2012 Presidential ballot.

There will be some massaging of the reforms making it to the ballot (if they do) but with the large turnout of Democrats to support the re-election of President Obama, the reforms may not pass anyway.

Pension reforms are needed (but California’s economic and budgetary problems don’t solely rest with state employee pensions), but I do not see cutting anyone’s pension benefits in California’s economic climate, gaining political interest or support.


President 2012 California Poll Watch: Obama Leads Romney and Gingrich But Job Approval Lackluster


US President Barack Obama speaks on payroll tax cuts at Scranton High School in Scranton, Pennsylvania, November 30, 2011

According to the latest California Field Poll.

Only 45% of California voters say they are inclined to have Barack Obama serve another term as President. But his reelection prospects improve greatly when he is paired against each of his two leading GOP challengers in general election match-ups. Obama now leads Mitt Romney by ten points (50% to 40%) and holds a more commanding twenty-point lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (55% to 35%) in general election trial heats.

Obama’s job ratings in this state remain lackluster, with 48% approving and 44% disapproving. However, these marks are somewhat better than what he is receiving nationally, where the average of his poll ratings are 44% approve and 51% disapprove.

In respect to how voters here think about the overall direction of the U.S., 70% believe the country is seriously off on the wrong track. This appraisal is virtually the same as Californians’ assessments of the direction the country was heading during the last year of the George W. Bush administration.

These results come from a statewide survey among a representative sample of 1,000 California voters conducted November 15-27.

President Obama owns California, should win handily, but there is some danger for California Democrats who are down ticket. If there is no great enthusiasm to re-elect Obama, California voters are apt to stay home and not bother to vote.

This will help California GOP candidates who may be running in districts that have close Democrat Vs. Republican registration numbers.


California Field Poll Watch: Voters Oppose Changes to Initiative Process


According to the latest California Field Poll.

  • Majorities of voters reject two other proposed changes to the initiative process.  By a 59% to 33% margin they oppose giving the legislature the right to amend or repeal an initiative four years after its initial approval by voters in an election.

  • They also disapprove 53% to 35% of allowing the legislature to place a companion proposal on the same election ballot after an initiative qualifies, that if approved can amend all or some of the initiative’s provisions.

Very interesting, since this is what the super Legislative majority of California Democrats and their public employee union cronies favor.

Wonder if these proposals will make it to the ballot anytime soon?

The Field Poll is clear on the matter.


President 2012 GOP California Field Poll Watch: Mitt Romney 28% Vs. Rick Perry 20%


According to the latest California Field Poll.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is maintaining his edge over a surging Texas Gov. Rick Perry among Republicans looking to California’s June 2012 presidential primary, according to a new Field Poll.

The poll shows Romney’s support has dipped slightly since June while Perry more than tripled his. But Romney still holds an eight-point lead.

“Perry really hasn’t taken it out of the hide of Romney, and that’s good news for Romney,” said Poll Director Mark DiCamillo.

Romney and Perry are the only Republican candidates with positive image ratings among GOP voters. “It looks like it’s boiling down to a two-person race,” DiCamillo said. “The others just aren’t stacking up as well in comparison.”

It is a two person race and this poll continues to have Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich in the sample. They and all of the others will not be around by the time Californians vote in June of 2012.

The next Field Poll will not include some of these candidates and Perry may very well do better against Romney. I assume he will unless Perry implodes or has another very poor debate performance like Monday in Florida.

Also, since Rudy Giuliani the California popular former NYC Mayor and Rick Perry are friends, an endorsement could go along way.

In all reality though, the race will probably be decided in April and/or May before an expensive media campaign comes to California in June.