Californians Would Vote to Authorize and Call Constitutional Convention, New Statewide Poll of 1000 Voters Finds
* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.
Support Remarkably Consistent Across Party Lines, Age Groups, and Voting Propensity SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(Business Wire)-- Californians appear ready to support two measures to call a limited citizen`s Constitutional Convention to reform the state`s failed governance system, according to a poll conducted by EMC Research for Repair California. After explaining basic details of the proposal, such as who could serve as delegates and what issues would or would not be considered, more than two-thirds of Californians (69 percent) would vote yes on "Proposition 1," or the Citizen`s Constitutional Convention Act, which would allow the voters of California to directly call a Convention. A similar supermajority of 71 percent would vote yes on "Proposition 2," or the Call for a Citizen`s Constitutional Convention, which would immediately call a limited Constitutional Convention to assemble a representative cross section of people of the state to propose reforms to the state`s governance structure. Both measures only require a simple majority of 50 percent of voters to win on Election Day. The poll was conducted September 8-13, 2009 with 1000 registered California voters and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent. "These results confirm what we have heard from Californians across the state who are intensely frustrated with the failure of state government - and the damage it has caused - and are ready to take power into their own hands to fix it," said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council and a member of Repair California. "We are ecstatic to see support runs deep across party lines, ethnicities and age groups." After sharing details of the Convention, and subjecting voters to opponent and supporter messages, 70 percent of registered Republicans would call the Convention, 71 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of decline to state voters would vote yes. In age groups, support was highest among young 18-34 year-old voters with 73 percent reporting they would vote yes, but 71 percent of those 55 years-old or higher would also approve the measures. Turnout is often considered a key political factor for ballot measures, but the Constitutional Convention measures are strong with low propensity voters (71 percent) and with high propensity voters (70 percent). Support for the Constitutional Convention was particularly high with Latino voters (80 percent). Men registered as decline to state voters were least supportive, with 67 percent saying they would support the measure. Voters are extremely pessimistic about the direction of California. Only 14 percent think the state is on the right track and 77 percent think the state is on the wrong track. Voters were asked what their highest priority would be if they were a delegate to a Constitutional Convention limited to governance reform. Their highest priorities were limiting the influence of special interests, reducing waste and bureaucracy, and controlling spending. Their lowest priority was changing Prop. 13. If the election were held today, without any basic information or positive or negative campaigning, just rudimentary ballot language, the two measures still look strong with 57 percent voting yes on Proposition 1 and 34 percent voting no. Sixty-three percent would vote yes on Proposition 2 and 28 percent would vote no. Repair California is finalizing two ballot measures to submit to the Attorney General for the November 2010 ballot. The first measure would amend the Constitution to give the voters the right to call a Constitutional Convention, a right currently reserved only for the Legislature. The second measure would call the Convention. As has been successfully and legally done in many other states, the measure would limit the Convention to issues of governance, specifically delineated as (1) the budget process, (2) the election and initiative process, (3) the relationship between state and local governments, and (4) management of state bureaucracy. Delegates would be barred from proposing any tax increases. If called, the Convention would gather in early 2011, then propose a revised system of governance to the voters in a special election in late 2011. "We want to make one thing very clear: This effort is as diverse as the state of California," said Wunderman. "We are working with Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians and Nonpartisans. We are working with every gender, ethnicity and age group. Part of our systemic failure is our dissension into narrower and narrower interests. This Convention can unite us again." About Repair California Repair California is a broad-based coalition of Californians dedicated to achieving real reforms that are needed to get California functioning again. While the movement was initiated by the Bay Area Council, it has rapidly spread to include individuals and groups from around the state. Bay Area Council John Grubb, O: 415-946-8705 C: 415-847-6320 Copyright Business Wire 2009