Munger Campaign Poll Highlights Some Tax Choices — But Not All

The campaign to raise income taxes for schools headed by civil rights attorney Molly Munger released a memo on a campaign poll that argues voters would embrace her plan if they knew all the facts. The Munger campaign, which handily filed enough signatures to qualify the tax measure for the ballot, has been fighting the perception that her measure will fail at the polls. The recent Public Policy Institute poll had the initiative at 40% support.

The release stated that when a “balanced” presentation of both the Munger and Gov. Jerry Brown tax measures are presented to the voters, the Munger initiative is supported by 52% of the voters while the governor’s plan gets 30% support.

However, the campaign would not release the poll questions so that independent parties could judge how “balanced” the information was.

The press memo did give an indication how aggressively Munger and her team will pursue the initiative. After acknowledging that the initiative’s title and summary doesn’t garner majority support from the poll respondents, the memo concluded: “It should be noted that in well-funded initiative campaigns that include broadcast TV and extensive voter outreach, voters seldom decide on initiatives solely on title and summary language and frequently make up their minds prior to reading the ballot.”

Munger is signaling that the $6-million she has invested in the campaign is just the beginning. The campaign understands it will take a massive media effort to persuade voters and the memo indicates she is prepared to lead such a fight.

As Sacramento Bee columnist, Dan Walters, has noted a number of times, including yesterday, the Brown campaign is concerned about the media advertising Munger could put forth. If a good portion of the ads attack the governor’s plan as not being adequate for education that could sink Brown’s canoe.

You can see the lines of battle being drawn in the memo. The poll was intended to test voter support between the governor’s tax measure and Munger’s proposal and get a reading how the voters would choose between the two.

There is another choice that voters can make besides either/or – supporting both measures seems highly unlikely but voters could choose to reject them both.

(Joel Fox is the Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee. Originally posted on HJTA.)