Gov. Jerry Brown losing reliable supporters for his tax hike


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Some of Gov. Jerry Brown’s most reliable allies have grown more skeptical of his plan to raise taxes, a worrying sign for his campaign just two weeks before election day, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

A close examination of the poll data, released Thursday morning, shows support has waned among Democrats, young voters, public employees and Californians with children. That decline helped drag the ballot measure down nine points in the last month, leaving overall support at 46%.


“It’s erosion, for sure,’ said Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, which conducted the poll along with American Viewpoint, a Republican company.

Brown’s plan, Proposition 30, would increase the sales tax by a quarter cent for four years and raise income taxes on the wealthy by one to three percentage points for seven years. If the taxes don’t pass, the governor says, billions of dollars will be cut from public schools.

Since September, Democratic support for Brown’s tax measure weakened seven points to 65%. At the same time, Republican opposition has increased eight points to 72%.

‘Republicans are more against this than Democrats are in favor of this,’ said David Kanevsky of American Viewpoint.

Young voters were among the most enthusiastic about Brown’s plan in September, but their support dropped 16 points to 61%.

Public employees, whose jobs are funded with the taxes Brown wants to raise, have also become less likely to vote for the ballot measure, according to the poll. Fifty-two percent said they back the governor’s plan, down nine points.


There was another drop among voters with kids of school age or younger, who could suffer the most if the taxes are rejected and school spending is cut. Their support fell 15 points to 44%.

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll surveyed 1,504 registered voters by telephone from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21. The margin of error is 2.9 percentage points.


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-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento