SAN FRANCISCO — A majority of likely voters surveyed by the Public Policy Institute of California said they will vote in favor of the $7.5 billion water bond authorization that will appear as Proposition 1 on the Nov. 4 ballot, according to a recent survey.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, released the statewide opinion survey late Wednesday.
"Majorities across the major state regions say that water supply is a big problem in their part of California and that their state and local government is not doing enough about this issue," said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and chief executive officer. "Whatever the outcome in November, voters will want more action on water and the drought next year."
The survey found that 56% of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 1, 32% would vote no, and 12% didn't know. The majority of Democrats and independents surveyed favor the measure, while Republicans were divided evenly, at 43% yes and 43% no.
Proposition 1 would authorize the state to sell $7.12 billion in new debt, and repurpose $425 million of unspent bond funds to fund water quality, supply, treatment, and storage projects.
When asked to name the most important issue facing Californians, 28% named water and drought and 30% named jobs and the economy. That compares to four years ago when 59% of likely voters named jobs and the economy.
Support for Proposition 2, which would establish a new rainy day fund for the state government, has increased since September, to 49% from 43%. Around 24% would vote no and 17% are undecided.
Proposition 2 would increase the size of the rainy day fund and require the state to deposit above-average revenues into the account. It would also create a separate reserve for public schools.
"The state propositions may end up driving voters to the polls who would otherwise sit out this midterm election in California," said Baldassare. "Many likely voters say the election outcomes on the ballot measures dealing with water, the state budget, health care, and criminal sentencing are important to them."
Next month voters will also decide whether to re-elect Gov. Jerry Brown or his opponent, Neel Kashkari.
Based on the survey findings, 52% of likely voters support Brown, while 36% support Kashkari-a 16 point lead. By comparison, Brown led by 19 points in July and 21 points in September.
In addition, Brown received an overall job approval rating of 54% among likely voters. His highest approval rating was 60%, reached in January.
Findings of the survey are based on telephone interviews of 1,704 California adult residents conducted from Oct. 12-19, 2014.