The final California Business Roundtable/Pepperdine University School of Public Policy poll was released yesterday indicating that there could be some late counts determining the outcome of a few ballot measures. Like the presidential race, which polls indicate is too close to call, a few ballot measures fit the same category.
All the proposition measures will be affected by who actually turns out for the election. While the presidential election is pretty much decided in California except for the vote count, the turnout driven by the presidential candidates could help determine the outcome of some of the propositions. Enthusiasm for Barack Obama is not as strong as it was four years ago. Enthusiasm for Mitt Romney has picked up in Republican circles since the first presidential debate.
Young voters who rallied to the president in 2008 are not as eager this year. At the same time, school officials and the governor have been spending time on college campuses trying to encourage a strong turnout of young voters for Prop 30, the tax increase measure.
Barack Obama defeated John McCain in California by 24% in 2008. The CBRT/Pepperdine poll shows a similar separation this time with Obama ahead of Romney by about 23%. However, other recent polls have shown a closer contest with about a 14% difference. A smaller gap between the presidential candidates could spell trouble for initiatives that voters inclined to vote for the president might support.
The online poll conducted by M4 Strategies has Proposition 30, Governor Brown’s tax measure, leading by 49.2% to 42.9%, essentially unchanged for the last CBRT/Pepperdine poll of two weeks ago. The political contributions measure, Prop 32 is dead even in the 44.7% Yes, 44.8% No. Although it should be noted that other recent polls have Prop 32 trailing while the CBRT/Pepperdine poll showed the Yes numbers dropping from the poll two weeks ago.
The death penalty repeal, Proposition 34, remains relatively the same as two weeks ago at 42.9%Yes, 48.1% No.
Sure bets appear to be toughening one set of laws while weakening another set. The Human Trafficking measure, Prop 35, leads 76.5%-13.7% while easing punishment under the Three Strikes law, Prop 36, is also well ahead, 67.4%-22%.
Proposition 39, the tax on multi-state businesses has a comfortable edge at 54.5%-28.5%. However, the numbers have closed since the last poll when Prop 39 led 60.6% Yes, 25.1% No.
Propositions 37 and 38 are in trouble. The food labeling measure (Prop 37) trails 39.1% to 50.5%. The income tax for schools, Prop 38, is behind 33% to 54.1%.
Sitting with comfortable leads in the poll but below 50% is the car insurance measure (Prop 33) at 48.8% to 37.4% and the referendum on redistricting (Prop 40) that the proponents who put it on the ballot have abandoned, 48.2%-24.8%.
The budget reform, Proposition 31, is a bit of an oddball in the group. It shows a nearly dead even standing at 37.8% Yes and 36.8% No. However, at less than 38% and ballot measures usually finding more NO votes at the end of election it seems the initiative has a big uphill battle.