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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Kevin Dayton

California High-Speed Rail’s Approval Rating Should Be 30%

In November 2008, 52.7% of California voters approved Proposition 1A, which authorized the state to borrow $9.95 billion for the “Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train for the 21st Century” by selling bonds to investors. Support has slipped since then.

A 2011 Field Poll and a 2012 USC/L.A. Times poll showed 59% of California voters would reject Proposition 1A if put back on the ballot. A 2013 Public Policy Institute of California poll indicates that 54% of likely voters outright “oppose” the high-speed rail project as it stands now.

Frankly, these polling results are astonishing. Why does a significant minority of Californians STILL support California High-Speed Rail after all of its financial and management fiascoes?

Well, there’s a sizeable group of Californians who regard high-speed rail as an evolutionary step toward enlightened collectivism. Another group recognizes it as an opportunity to make a lot of money off of taxpayers through its design, engineering, construction, or operation.

Their minds are made up. That leaves another group of California voters who still support high-speed rail but don’t have an… Read More