With one week to go before Election Day, here is the seventh edition of the 2018 California Initiative Editorial Scorecard. Forward Observer and Klink Campaigns developed the Scorecard to track editorials for and against the 11 statewide initiatives on this November’s ballot.
In 2016, editorial endorsement was a leading indicator of success at the ballot. On the November 2016 ballot, of the 10 ballot measures with a majority of editorials in favor, only one failed to pass (Prop 62, death penalty repeal); of the seven measures with a majority of editorials against, only three passed.
While we’ll provide a more thorough analysis after next week’s election, below are some preliminary thoughts:
Look at the initiatives with a consensus: For five of 11 measures, there is lopsided editorial support/opposition – Prop. 3 (3Y-14N), Prop. 8 (0Y-19N); Prop. 10 (2Y, 18N), Prop. 11 (16Y and 1N) and 12 (3Y and 14N). This one-sided statewide editorial position highlights agreement among editorial boards with different ideological perspectives and audiences.
Look at those close initiatives: Five of 11 initiatives – Prop. 1 (10Y, 8N), Prop. 2 (11Y, 7N), Prop. 4 (11Y, 7N), Prop. 5 (9Y, 10N), Prop. 6 (7Y, 12N) reflect the strong ideological divisions among editorial boards statewide.
The seventh edition of the California Initiative Editorial Scorecard is based on 186 editorials.

The following excerpts are from endorsement editorials that appeared online or in print since our last edition:

Proposition 4
Palm Springs Desert Sun – Yes
“Most of the children treated for conditions such as cancer and leukemia at the eight not-for-profit children’s hospitals that will be eligible for the bulk of the bond (about $135 million each) are on Medi-Cal, which pays facilities at among the lowest reimbursement rates in the U.S. These facilities, along with the UC-affiliated hospitals, also handle nearly all of the pediatric organ transplants, heart surgeries and cancer treatments in California each year, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.” Link
Proposition 7
San Diego Union-Tribune – Yes
“So we support Proposition 7 – but if it passes, we’ll press the Legislature to grasp that adolescents badly need adequate sleep. They also badly need wise decisions from those who run California.” Link
Proposition 8
Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, Torrance Daily Breeze, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Long Beach Press Telegram, San Bernardino Sun, Riverside Press Enterprise – No
“By placing an artificially constructed cap on revenues, there will certainly be a bad impact on needed dialysis clinics across the state. Closures of existing clinics, and any slowdown in the opening of new clinics, would force patients into choosing between fewer and fewer options.” Link
Palm Springs Desert Sun – No
“Critics fear the effect could be reduced hours or closures of clinics that will operate at a loss under the new cap. Such closures will force those who need dialysis three times per week in order to live to find a slot at another clinic, if possible, or seek much more expensive treatment at a hospital. There is no guarantee that the measure will do what its backers suggest, which is force improvements or cut overall health care costs.” Link
Proposition 12
Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, Torrance Daily Breeze, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Long Beach Press Telegram, San Bernardino Sun, Riverside Press Enterprise – No
“Proposition 12 on the November ballot asks voters to create new minimum requirements for the housing of egg-laying hens, calves raised for veal and breeding pigs, which sounds like it would improve the welfare of farm animals. But the first red flag that something is askew here is the opposition to Proposition 12 by the well-known animal rights activist group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” Link