Two of the most contentious measures on the November ballot — repealing Californias gas tax and empowering cities to expand rent control — are struggling to gain traction with voters six weeks before the election, according to a new poll.
About half of likely voters say they would reject both measures, while a little more than a third would support them, according to a statewide poll released Wednesday night by the Public Policy Institute of California.
The survey offers an early glimpse into the possible fate of the controversial ballot measures — one that would hit either voters wallets or the states transportation funding, with the states traffic woes hanging in the balance; another that could play a major role in how some cities fight the skyrocketing housing costs that are displacing their residents.
“What the polls suggest is that the proponents would have a lot of work to do to get to the majority support,” said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of PPIC, “because right now theyre not close to it.”
The poll also tapped into voters preferences in the governor and Senate races — where the leads of Gavin Newsom and Dianne Feinstein have shrunk since July. The 964 likely voters who participated in the telephone poll were prone to name jobs and the economy, immigration and housing as Californias most important concerns.
Forty-eight percent of likely voters said they would reject Proposition 10 — a measure that would give cities unlimited authority to impose rent control by repealing Costa Hawkins, the state law that prohibits capping rents on single-family homes or buildings built after 1995 and allows landlords to charge new tenants market-rate rents when long-term renters leave.
Thirty-six percent said they would vote for Prop. 10, and 16 percent said they didnt know.
Some 52 percent of likely voters said they were generally in favor of rent control, while just 41 percent said its a bad thing.
Voters also were more likely to reject Proposition 6, which if passed would repeal the 2017 gas tax and vehicle registration fee increase intended to raise $5.1 billion annually by 2020, with the money going to fix the states freeways and streets and refurbish trains and buses. Fifty-two percent of likely voters said they would vote no, 39 percent said they would vote yes, and 8 percent said they didnt know. Democrats were even more likely to reject the gas tax repeal, while Republicans were inclined to vote for it.
Funds generated by the gas tax are crucial to fixing the regions traffic and congestion woes, said Pilar Lorenzana of [email protected]
“It is a little bit of a relief to see that the respondents to the survey agree that this is a very important funding mechanism that theyre going to keep in place,” she said, “and hopefully this is something that holds true throughout November.”
In the race for governor, Democrat Gavin Newsoms lead over Republican rival John Cox has narrowed from 24 points in July to 12 points this month. Fifty-one percent of likely voters polled this month said they would vote for Newsom, compared to 39 percent who said they would vote for Cox. Sen. Dianne Feinsteins lead over challenger Kevin de Leon also has narrowed, dropping from 22 points in July to 11 points.