Support plummeting for charter school amendment

Support for the charter school amendment, previously falling, is now dropping like a rock. Saba Long wrote the Saporta Report 15 October 2012, Latest polls show the Charter School Amendment vote will be close, but the actual poll results, when compared to previous polls, including those before T-SPLOST lost by a landslide, say Amendment 1 is going down in flames.

Georgia Charter School Polls 2012-10

That poll conducted 4 and 5 October showed 34.2% saying they would definitely vote no and 18.06% saying probably no. That’s 52.26% No, which is far higher than 26.2% only a month before.

The pollsters, HEG-GPS, say, Re: October 4-5 Charter School Amendment Survey, 15.35% responded Probably Yes and only 9.30% said Definitely Yes. That’s 24.62% Yes, far down from the 48.3% Yes of a month before.

Yet only 23.12% responded Unsure, which is hardly changed from 25.5% a month before. It sure looks to me like this is not just undecideds switching to No. It looks like a lot of formerly Yes votes are switching to No.

It looks even worse compared to T-SPLOST. Two weeks before the 31 July Primary election, 11Alive reported 36% Yes, 48% No, and 16% Undecided in a poll about T-SPLOST statewide. That wasn’t nearly as bad for T-SPLOST (12% spread in favor of No) as the October poll is for the charter school amendment (27.64% spread in favor of No). The October 52.26% No is already almost as bad for the charter school amendment as the actual vote against T-SPLOST, which was 58% No to 42% Yes in our Region 11 and also in Region 12 (Coastal).

The October poll also asked about the preamble that is biased like the one for T-SPLOST was. The pollsters found that about a quarter (26.25%) of people asked about it said the preamble would cause them to change their vote.

Based on the 40+% of overall respondents who received this question, we estimate that the Preamble could impact the election results by up to 10 points in favor of passage.

That’s probably good news for the pushers of the charter amendment, but the preamble propaganda is not going to be enough.

Look at this from the pollsters’ writeup:

3. Methodology. The poll of 1,216 likely voters was conducted October 4 and 5, 2012 by IVR/autocall. Recipients were randomly selected and dialed statewide. The data presented is not weighted to allow for personalized weighting. The survey poll consisted of:
  • Women (53%)
  • Men (47%)
  • Republicans (61% self identified as strong or leaning Republicans)
  • Democrats (27% self identified as strong or leaning Democrats)
  • “Other” (12% self identified as something other than Republican or Democrat)
  • Margin of error ± 2.81

  Republicans Democrats
Def. + Prob. No 46.82% 64.54%
Definitely No 24.77% 52.22%
Probably No 22.05% 12.32%
Unsure 24.09% 23.15%
Probably Yes 17.95% 7.39%
Definitely Yes 11.14% 4.93%
Def. + Prob. Yes 29.09% 12.32%
Hm, almost 2 to 1 Republicans to Democrats in the sample. But the poll’s Key Crosstabs show what I’ve summarized in the table to the right. While Republicans are actually against the amendment 46.82% No to 29.09% Yes, Democrats are even more against it, 64.54% No to 12.32% Yes. And there are about as many Democrats as Republicans in Georgia. So if the pollsters had sampled as many Democrats as Republicans, the poll results would be even worse for the amendment.

Let’s recall what the WSJ misunderstood about T-SPLOST going down in flames. While as recently as yesterday I heard Republicans claiming credit for that massive defeat, actually that Atlanta power grab was loudly opposed and massively voted against by Democrats, as well. This charter school amendment Atlanta power grab is at the expense of public education, which Democrats overwhelmingly support. So it’s not surprising that the October poll shows Democrats oppose it much more than Republicans.

Add this from the Saporta article:

In a phone conversation, pollster Fred Hicks mentioned that slightly more than 60 percent of people who supported T-SPLOST, oppose Amendment One. Also, slightly more than 50 percent of people who oppose T-SPLOST also oppose Amendment One. The remainder of the month is packed with community forums debating the pros and cons of the issue with plenty of time on the clock to sway the electorate.

At the rate Amendment 1 is already falling in the polls, permit me to predict: this thing is going down worse than T-SPLOST!

Wall Street greed But let’s not take that for granted. Let’s keep educating people that Amendment 1 is not about education: it’s a power grab by Atlanta at the expense of our local school boards and our local school taxes. It’s Wall Street profiteering by privatizing public education. Do you want your local tax dollars to make richer the Walton family and the private charter school companies in Virginia and Michigan that are the biggest donors after Alice Walton and the Walton Foundation towards pushing this amendment?

As our local school boards jointly resolved:

Joint Resolution of VBOE and LCBOE NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Lowndes County and the Valdosta City Boards of Education request that the Governor and State Legislators commit their support to adequately fund a first-class K-12 public education for students in Lowndes County and Valdosta City and across the State of Georgia, believing and affirming that public education lifts people from poverty, equalizes opportunities, reduces crime and violence, builds bright individual and collective futures, and makes democracy real and sure; and accordingly, the Boards hereby request that voters of the State of Georgia not support the Constitutional Amendment related to state charter schools, which will be on the November 2012 General Election ballot, as a result of House Resolution 1162.

Vote No on Amendment 1!


PS: While you’re at it, vote No on the multi-year contract Amendment 2, as well, which was sponsored by the same Georgia Senate ALEC’s “our state legislators” who sponsored the two charter school bills in the Senate.