Poll: PG&E is in trouble

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Internal polls by Pacific Gas and Electric Company's consultants show that Prop. 16 -- the scandalous attack on public power and community choice -- is still trailing, despite $45 million in advertising, a source familiar with the polling told me today.

The tracking polls show that PG&E is having a hard time getting above 40 percent support in some parts of the state, particularly in the Central Valley, where complaints about smart meters are soaring. "PG&E's name is just shit out there," the source told us.

The utility had planned to spend $35 million on the campaign, but has recently dumped in $10 million more -- a sign that Prop. 16 is still lagging. And despite the fact that the No on 16 campaign lacks the money even to do a single major television buy, the public apparently isn't buying PG&E's line. It doesn't hurt that nearly every major newspaper in the state has opposed the measure -- and that PG&E is having a hard time finding allies.

So it's possible that the private utility will wind up spending $45 million or more -- and wind up losing, and in the process, alienating a wide range of political leaders and community groups. Peter Darbee, you're doing a heck of a job.