New polling on Delta tunnels

Who knows if the twin tunnels will be put to a public vote.

But it’s worth noting that, according to the latest poll from the Public Policy Institute of California, 80 percent of Californians believe the tunnels proposal is either “very important” or “somewhat important” for the future of the state.

Not surprisingly, the highest level of support was found in L.A. (61 percent “very important”). But the Bay Area wasn’t that far behind, with 49 percent of residents giving the same answer. And Democrats were more likely than Republicans and independents to say “very important.”

Of course, it’s important to note how the question was presented to poll respondents. The exact language:

“The governor has proposed to improve the reliability of water supplies by building tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. How important is this proposal for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California — is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?’

I’m not sure how a tunnels opponent would answer that question. The question, after all, is whether folks think the proposal is important, which tunnels opponents surely do, or they wouldn’t be fighting it. There’s no “I don’t like the tunnels” option.

Anyhow, it’s neither the first nor the last poll we’ll see on this subject. We may never know how accurate they are.

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