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Survey: Support for legal pot, school funding, tobacco tax

Photo illustration: Thomas Pajot, via Shutterstock.

Majorities of California’s likely voters strongly support three of four key ballot measures on Nov. 8, including marijuana legalization, a tax increase extension and a new tax on tobacco, according to a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Support for the fourth measure surveyed, a $9 billion borrowing for school construction, was far more narrow and within the survey’s margin of error.

From the report:

Proposition 51. When likely voters are read the ballot title and label, 47 percent would vote yes and 43 percent would vote no on this measure, which would authorize the state to issue $9 billion in bonds to fund construction and modernization of K–12 schools and community college facilities. Support among public school parents (52%) and those with no children in the household (46%) is similar. When asked about the importance of the outcome of the vote on Proposition 51, 42 percent say it is very important. Those who would vote yes are more likely than those would vote no to say the outcome is very important (49% to 34%).

Proposition 55. A majority of likely voters (54%) say they would vote yes on this measure, which would extend by 12 years the temporary tax increase on earnings over $250,000 (38% no). Revenue would be allocated to public schools, community colleges, and, in certain years, health care. This tax was enacted as part of Proposition 30 in 2012 and is set to expire in 2018. Asked to assess the importance of the outcome on this measure, 41 percent say it is very important to them—those who would vote yes and those who would vote no are similarly likely to hold this view.

Proposition 56. A majority of likely voters (59%) support this measure to increase the cigarette tax by $2 per pack to fund health care, prevention of tobacco use, and law enforcement (36% no). There is majority support among Democratic and independent voters, while Republicans are more divided. Women (63%) are somewhat more likely than men (55%) to favor Proposition 56. Latinos (76%) and members of other racial/ethnic groups (68%) are more likely than whites (52%) to support it. How important is the outcome on this measure? Very important, according to 43 percent of likely voters. Those who would vote yes are more likely than those who would vote no to say so (50% to 35%).

Proposition 64. A majority of likely voters (60%) would vote yes on this measure to legalize marijuana use under state law by adults 21 and older and tax sales and cultivation (36% no). Most Democratic (65%) and independent (64%) likely voters support the proposition. Republicans are divided (46% yes, 52% no). Just over half of Latinos would vote yes, while support among whites and other racial/ethnic groups is slightly higher. Support is higher among those 18 to 34 years old (74%) than among older voters (59% 35–54, 54% 55 and older). Half of likely voters (50%) say the outcome on Proposition 64 is very important. Those who would vote yes are much less likely to say the outcome is very important than those who would vote no (46% to 59%).

“Californians view the outcome of Proposition 64 as the most important of the four initiatives that we tested,” Baldassare said. “It’s interesting that the opponents of the marijuana legalization initiative are more likely than its proponents to say the outcome is very important to them.”

Ed’s Note: This material was abstracted from the PPIC statewide survey, “Californians and Their Government,” which includes a full description of the survey’s methodology.


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