Friday's HOT MIC
Only 31% of Californians want the high-speed rail boondoggle project between LA and Frisco to continue.
One of the project's challenges revealed by the poll is a deep geographic divide. Bay Area voters, who would get the biggest and earliest benefits of the project, are its strongest supporters. A smaller majority support it in Los Angeles, while most respondents in San Diego and Orange counties are opposed. The Central Valley, which is seeing a construction industry employment boost but also suffering through widespread disruption, has the largest pool of opposition.
About 48% of the poll's 835 respondents said that in general they strongly or somewhat support the project, while 43% oppose it. USC poll director Jill Darling said those are not strong numbers of support or opposition, given the poll's margin of error of 4 percentage points.
But when asked in a second question whether they would stop the project, given that the cost has doubled to $77 billion and the schedule has stretched to 2033, just 31% said they would keep going and 49% said they would halt construction. A sizable 19% did not know what to do about the problems.
Lots of people love the idea of high-speed rail. Who wouldn't? Bright, shiny trains zipping along at 200 mph making a trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco romantic and interesting.
But for $100 billion? No thanks, say most people.
What are the chances California is going to need a federal bailout to finish this white elephant?