News

Support drops for Props. 45, 46

Voter support has diminished for Propositions 45 and 46, two health–related ballot initiatives on the upcoming California general election. ballot. Currently, 41% of likely voters are inclined to vote Yes on Prop. 45, the Health Insurance Rate Changes initiative, 26% are on the No side, while a growing proportion (33%) are undecided. The poll also finds Prop. 46, the Drug Testing of Doctors/Medical Negligence Lawsuits initiative, now trailing by a narrow margin, 37% to 34%, with 29% undecided.

Both initiatives had held comfortable leads earlier this summer.

These are the findings from the latest Field Poll conducted among 467 likely voters statewide in the upcoming November general election. The complete survey and a description of its methodology can be found here.

Voter support has diminished for each of the two health-related ballot propositions, Propositions 45 and 46. Proposition 45, the Health Insurance Rate Changes initiative, would require the state Insurance Commissioner to approve any rate changes made to health insurance rates by insurance providers. The current poll finds Prop. 45 leading 41% to 26%, with a growing number of voters (33%) are undecided.

The poll also finds voters moving to the No side on Proposition 46, the Drug Testing of Doctors/Medical Negligence Lawsuits initiative. That initiative calls for drug testing of doctors and a review of a statewide prescription drug database before prescribing controlled substances. It would also increase the current $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical negligence lawsuits. At present, 34% of likely voters are inclined to vote Yes, 37% are lining up on the No side, and 28% undecided.

A late June/early July Field Poll found much greater support for both initiatives.

There are some differences in preferences on Prop. 45 across subgroups of the likely voter population, but they are not particularly large. For example, Democrats are currently supporting the initiative 45% to 24%, as are non-partisans (42% to 25%). Among Republicans the initiative leads, but by a narrower 34% to 29% margin.

The largest differences in vote support toward Prop. 45 relates to a voter’s household income. Lower income voters, with annual household incomes of less than $40,000, are currently backing the health insurance rate changes initiative nearly three to one (49% to 17%). By contrast, upper income voters, with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more, are evenly split, with 33% in favor, 34% opposed and 33% undecided.

Prop. 46 preferences across voter subgroups
There are significant partisan differences in voter preferences on Proposition 46, the Drug Testing of Doctors/Medical Negligence Lawsuits initiative. While a plurality of Democrats back the measure, Republicans are lining up against the proposition, 45% to 28%. No party preference voters are about evenly divided.
There are also differences in voter preferences by household income. Voters with incomes of less than $40,000 are about two-to-one in support of the initiative. By contrast, voters making $100,000 or more are opposed nearly two to one. A plurality of middle income voters opposes the initiative.

Younger voters under age 40 and the state’s ethnic voters are also lining up in favor of Prop. 46, while pluralities of middle age voters and white non-Hispanics are on the No side.

A plurality of voters registered as permanent mail ballot registrants, who will likely comprise a majority of all voters in this election, are also opposing the initiative.

Ed’s Note: The findings in this report are based on a Field Poll completed Aug. 14-28, 2014, among 467 voters considered likely to vote in the November 2014 general election. The maximum sampling error for results from the overall likely voter sample is +/- 4.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.


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