California's Upcoming Election
Posted by Mary
When Californians go to the polls on March 2nd, in addition to the Democrats selecting a candidate, they are also facing a complex referendum to fill the budget hole. Recent polls showed that Californians were largely satisfied with their new governor (although his approval numbers did drop after he introduced his 2004-2005 budget plan), but they adamantly opposed to his plan to borrow his way to cover the budget hole. His proposed bond had 33% support. It seems like most Californians thought that raising taxes on the most well-to-do Californians was a better way to fix the problems.
Today the LA Times says that Schwarznegger's strategists have come up with that tried and true plan to get their bond passed: scare them into supporting it.
To overcome weak public support for his $15-billion bond measure on the March ballot, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning a bipartisan campaign to unify Californians of all backgrounds and ideologies around one emotion: fear.
Schwarzenegger and a coalition of Democrats and Republicans will spend the six weeks between now and the March 2 election warning that passage of his bond measure is all that stands between the state and economic disaster.
The Democrats will be selling fear of more massive cuts and the Republicans will be pushing the "don't let them raise your taxes" meme.
One of the problems for the supporters is that there are two complicated referendums on the ballot that both have to pass and it won't be easy to come up with a simple soundbite to sell them to the voters.
"So much of his approval rating is based on his ability to communicate a sense of hope and optimism about California's future," said Mark Baldassare, director of research for the Public Policy Institute of California, whose poll Wednesday showed Proposition 57 winning the support of just 35% of those surveyed, with 44% opposing it. "It is tough to explain to people how this borrowing is going to lead to a better tomorrow."
An additional referendum on the ballot will ask Californians to drop the percentage of aye votes needed to pass a tax increase from 65% to 55%. Schwarzenegger will have his hands full trying to convince voters his solutions are the best way to go.