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Latest Survey USA Poll Shows Voters Opposing Taxes

By Erica C. Barnett October 6, 2010

The latest SurveyUSA poll has bad news for progressive voters who support keeping or raising taxes to fund basic state services.

In a survey of 639 likely voters, the poll shows Initiative 1107, which would repeal taxes on soda, candy, and bottled water, passing with 52 percent definitely voting "yes"; Initiative 1053, which would reinstate the two-thirds requirement for the state legislature to raise taxes, passing decisively with 56 percent; and Referendum 52, which would continue the bottled-water sales tax to pay for energy efficiency projects in public schools, likely failing, with 45 percent saying they'll vote no and just 28 percent saying they'll vote yes. Only Initiative 1098, the high-earners' income tax, seems to be in play.

The complete numbers, along with some of the demographic details:

Initiative 1098, the high-earners' income tax:

Certain Yes: 41 percent

Certain No: 39 percent

Not Certain: 20 percent

Support for I-1098 has slipped somewhat among women, who previously supported the measure 2:1; now, they support it 4:3 (41 percent yes to 32 percent no). Previously, voters making more than $80,000 a year opposed the measure by 5 points, now, they oppose it by 16 points (35 percent yes, 51 percent no). The initiative is above 50% only among self-identified Democrats (62 percent) and liberals (66 percent).

Initiative 1107, repealing temporary taxes on soda, candy, and bottled water:

Certain Yes: 52 percent

Certain No: 29 percent

Not Certain: 19 percent

The new numbers signal a major shift in favor of repealing these taxes, which pay for both state and local services. Since the last poll on 1107 five weeks ago, 24 percent of self-identified moderates have shifted their vote from no or undecided to yes; 22 percent of residents of the Seattle metropolitan area have shifted to yes; 21 percent of men and seniors have shifted to yes; and 17 percent of Republicans and middle-income voters have shifted to yes. The initiatives fares worst with self-identified Democrats and liberals; however, neither group breaks a 50 percent no vote.

Initiaitive 1053, reinstating a two-thirds requirement for the state legislature to raise taxes:

Certain Yes: 56 percent

Certain No: 19 percentt

Not Certain: 25 percent

I-1053, which reinstates a Tim Eyman initiative that required a two-thirds vote of the state legislature to raise taxes, has strong support across all demographic groups, party and ideological affiliations, and regions of the state.

Referendum 52, continuing a bottled-water tax to pay for energy-efficiency retrofits in public schools:

Certain Yes: 28 percent

Certain No: 45 percent

Not Certain: 27 percent

Although one in four voters is still uncertain about this measure, opposition has increased since the last poll five weeks ago across all demographic groups and regions of the state.
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