The group of billionaires and the former stock trader behind a plan to build a city from scratch in eastern Solano County say they aren't bothered by bad press. But a new poll suggests they have a major uphill climb to get a ballot measure passed this November that will allow the project to move forward.

Money can buy a lot of things, but it can't necessarily buy the good will of voters after years of subterfuge and the unveiling of an enormous, arguably ill-conceived idea for a city that no one asked for on some windswept farmland in Solano County.

The project calling itself California Forever has spawned an opposition group called Solano Together, and that group, along with tge Greenbelt Alliance, has now sponsored a poll by the firm FM3 which found that a whopping 68% of Solano County voters aren't really digging this plan. Specifically, as Bay Area News Group reports, 61% said they would definitely be voting no on the ballot measure that California Forever is sponsoring — which would grant them an exemption to a 30-year-old, countywide growth ordinance — and another 7% of those surveyed said they were probably voting no.

"Poll results highlight the profound public mistrust of the backers of California Forever," Solano Together said in a press release about the poll. "Flannery Associates’ approach has sowed distrust by deploying secretive tactics, keeping their identity elusive, suing farmers, and misleading the public, government officials, and landowners about their intentions. Trust is a major concern for Solano County voters, and these secretive and duplicitous tactics have contributed to strong opposition to this project."

The poll was conducted last month by FM3 and included 428 interviews by phone and online with randomly-selected Solano County voters. Among the voters polled who said they had heard "a lot" about the proposed new city, 79% said they were opposed.

California Forever, which had gone under the mysterious name Flannery Associates for several years as it quietly assembled some $900 million worth of property, has a relatively easy task of gathering 13,500 or so signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The ballot initiative they want to get passed, dubbed the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative, would grant them an exemption to the 1994 Orderly Growth Ordinance that stipulated that all new major development in the county had to occur within the boundaries the existing cities of Vacaville, Fairfield, Vallejo, Suisun City, Benecia, Dixon, and Rio Vista.

According to the pollsters, getting this initiative passed will take a lot more convincing than a slick but vague TV ad.

"Voters are well-aware of the proposal, with more than three-quarters having heard something about it, and that familiarity has yielded remarkably broad, strong and durable public opposition – opposition which changes very little after voters are exposed to messages on both sides of the proposal," the pollsters from FM3 say in their report.

"After hearing a series of arguments in favor of the measure, voter support is essentially unchanged – with 27 percent  in favor and 69 percent," FM3 says. “Opposition arguments presented in their wake further reduce support, with more than three quarters (77 percent) ultimately saying they would vote 'no.'"

California Forever continues to say they are unbothered by such news.

"This push poll was paid for by the Greenbelt Alliance, an outsider group from San Francisco and Oakland whose policies have directly contributed to the housing and jobs crises that our initiative will help solve," says California Forever's campagin manager Matt Rodriguez."The push poll was designed to manufacture a desired outcome for a small but vocal minority – it doesn’t even test the ballot language that will appear before voters in November."

As of now, we don't yet know where the group is at in terms of the signature-gathering process.