San Fernando Valley Secession
Still, separating the Valley from the rest of Los Angeles, the spread between the vote for and against secession grows larger. Almost a fifth (18%) of non-Valley city likely voters would vote for Valley secession, while 62% would give a thumbs down to this measure.
Among Valley likely voters, 42% are supporting the measure and 47% are voting against it, with 11% undecided. ( The margin of sampling error for the Valley is plus or minus 5 percentage points, therefore, the results are within margin of error). However, the East and West Valley split is showing disparate views of opinion about secession. The East San Fernando Valley (where it is more Latino, Democratic and economically downscale) is not supporting secession. The measure is losing by 18 points (36% for, 54% against), while the West Valley, where the movement to secede started, shows it struggling -- 46% in favor of secession, 42% against it.
It appears that the frustration or anger by Valley voters against city government has softened. This may be because likely voters in the Valley think things are going well in the city, including those voters in the West Valley. Among Valley likely voters, Mayor Hahn receives a big thumbs up for his job performance (56%), including 61% of East Valley voters and 53% of West Valley voters. They also heartily support the appointment of William Bratton as the next chief of the LAPD. Another reason that enthusiasm for secession may be dwindling is that most likely voters believe city services have either stayed the same or gotten better. Relatively few likely voters (in the Valley or citywide) believe basic city services in their area have gotten worse. In fact, 28% of those likely voters living in the West Valley and 17% of East Valley voters believe things have gotten better.
Surprisingly, about half (49%) of all Valley likely voters agree with the current law that says in order for an area to break away from the city of LA it must be approved by both a majority of voters citywide and a majority of voters in each of the breakaway areas, while 46% disagree with the current law and believe that only the area that wants to break away should be required only to get approval from voters. (Nearly three out of five East Valley voters and 44% of West Valley voters also agree with the current law.)
The anti-secession movement's focused message about higher costs and more taxes has resonated with likely voters, the survey found. When likely voters in the Valley were asked why they are voting against secession. 18% mentioned loss of tax revenues/taxes will increase and 15% cited higher costs all around. The anti-secession ads started on the fourth day of the poll, the first day of Hahn's campaign airing television spots. Comparing the data by days -- the ads did what it set out to do initially -- turn the Valley voters more against secession. It leveled off, but to a virtual split in the vote.
The older Valley likely voters (65 and over) are against secession (55%) compared to 32% who are for it. Those between the ages 45 and 64 are split, roughly at 42% each. Usually the older voter is a more reliable voter. The elderly do come out to vote and they are worried about some of the issues the anti-secessionists are promoting -- taxes and higher costs.
There is a gender gap on secession among voters living in the Valley. The share of women voting against secession (55%), is nearly the same as the share of men voting for it (52%). Nearly three out of five Valley Democratic likely voters are not voting for the secession measure, while virtually the same share of Republican likely voters are voting for it. Almost half of white likely voters in the Valley support the secession measure, but a large majority of Latinos voters are against it. (However, white men likely to vote in the Valley are solidly backing the measure (60%) compared to 45% of white women who are against it (38% are for secession) Jewish likely voters, whether in the Valley or city overall, are voting against the initiative.
However, those who are voting for Valley secession cite they want smaller government (27%), a fair return on taxes paid (25%), better access to city services (23%) and more local control over government (18%).
Besides the two ballot measures on secession this election, there is a list of 10 candidates running for the new position of mayor of the San Fernando Valley if Proposition F passes. No one knows any of these candidates. A huge 68% of Valley likely voters were undecided in their choice for mayor. But 13% say they would vote for California State Assemblyman Keith Stuart Richman and 5% for Insurance Adjuster David Raymond Hernandez, Jr. The other candidates each received less than 5% of the vote.
All demographic groups citywide are voting against the San Fernando Valley secession, with some small exceptions. Republican likely voters are split over Valley secession -- 42% would support it, while 43% would oppose it. GOP male likely voters are leaning toward "yes" on secession (49% for-42% against), while GOP women likely voters are not supporting this measure (33% for-44% against). Also, conservative Republicans are voting against secession (44%), while 39% are behind it.
Some issues affecting secession
When likely voters were asked which section(s) of the city are receiving their fair share of city services and attention, or were some sections receiving less than their fair share, 14% of all likely voters thought all sections were sharing equally in city services. However, 23% of likely voters thought South Central LA was not being treated fairly by the city and 21% thought the Valley was being bypassed by some services. Yet, among those living in the Valley, nearly half thought their area did not receive their fair share. Those Valley voters who think they are not getting their fair share from the city are voting for secession 51% to 40% against it. Not surprisingly, when Valley likely voters are removed from the city sample, just 4% of likely voters in the rest of LA think the Valley is being treated unfairly.
The anti-secession movement drove home a couple of issues that are uppermost in some voters' minds. One of them is minimum wage for companies doing business with the city. As it stands now, the city of LA sets a higher minimum wage than the state and federal governments. There is the possibility that this current law would not continue in the new breakaway cities. Nearly 3 out of five likely voters say that this possibility would have no affect on their vote in November, but more than three times more voters say it would make them less likely to vote for the measure than more likely (28% to 8%). A quarter of Valley likely voters say it would make them less likely (the same number in both East and West Valley).
Another group that opposes secession is the city employee union. The union is afraid that jobs will be lost. Many Latinos belong to the union. About a fifth of likely voters say that opposition by city unions would make them less likely to vote for Prop F, while 13% say it would make them more likely and 63% say it would have no effect. In the Valley, the vote is split -- 18% each say more or less likely.