SAN DIEGO - A new scientific 10News poll shows the polarizing state Proposition 30 is still up for grabs.
Thirty-three percent of likely voters said they are certain to vote "yes" while 38 percent said "no." A whopping 29 percent are undecided.
The original poll question gave little information on Proposition 30. It simply stated that it would raise the sales tax to pay for education and public safety.
When pollsters read the more detailed 100-word ballot initiative and then asked voters about their stand, opposition rose by 1 point but support jumped by 12 points to 45 percent. Pollsters consider that jump to be soft, less reliable support.
The television ads about Proposition 30 have not done much to sway almost a third of voters strongly one way or the other.
"It's not unexpected," said political analyst Carl Luna, Ph.D. "Californians typically don't like to vote to raise taxes. Tax increases at the local level, yes… at the state level, no."
It is an emotional issue. Most voters want schools to have more money but many are themselves feeling strapped for cash.
Proposition 30 calls for state sales tax to increase by one-quarter of a cent for every dollar spent on goods other than food for the next four years.
For seven years, personal income tax would rise by 1 percent for single filers making more than $250,000 and up to 3 percent for those earning more than $500,000.
Opponents said the money will not end up going to schools. They point to a part of the initiative that allows remaining dollars to help "balance the state budget."
"It's a concern but what's almost certain is that if Prop. 30 doesn't pass, the schools will get less money," said Luna.
Part of the reason for so many undecided voters on Proposition 30 may be voter fatigue from too many propositions.
Eleven state propositions and 27 local/regional ones will greet citizens at voting booths this November.
"Problem is they can't agree in Sacramento so much… everybody's going to the voters so now you're producing voter gridlock," said Luna. "It's like you go from one freeway to the other one to avoid the rush hour and you just move the rush hour over. I'm a professor of political science and I look at that ballot proposition book and I get tired from the whole thing."
Luna said if people do not wade through the issues, the majority may not prevail.
"The voters get their way, the people may not," he said.
At stake is nearly $6 billion, which is the amount Proposition 30 supporters say the initiative will provide for schools or the amount that will be cut from schools if Proposition 30 does not pass.