Field Poll: Voters Appear Split on Health Measures
California residents who will likely vote in the Nov. 7 statewide election are evenly split on Proposition 86, a measure to increase the state tobacco tax to fund health programs and services, according to a Field poll released on Thursday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Marelius, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/2). The poll surveyed voters on four ballot measures, including Proposition 86 and Proposition 85, the parental notification measure for abortions (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 11/2).
The Field Poll surveyed 795 likely voters between Oct. 23 and Nov. 2. The entire group was asked about Propositions 85 and 86, and findings related to both measures have a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points (San Diego Union-Tribune,1/2).
Proposition 86 would increase the state tobacco tax by $2.60 per pack to fund children's health insurance, hospital emergency departments, community clinics, nursing education and disease prevention programs (California Healthline, 8/2).
The poll finds that among likely voters:
- 45% support the tax increase;
- 45% oppose the tax increase; and
- 10% are undecided (Sacramento Bee, 11/2);
- 53% are Democrats;
- 31% are Republicans;
- 10% are smokers;
- 41% are former smokers; and
- 53% are nonsmokers (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/2).
Several broadcast programs reported on Proposition 86:
- APM's "Marketplace": The segment includes comments from Craig Fischel, spokesperson for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco; John Matsusaka, president of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California; Bill Phelps, spokesperson for Philip Morris USA; and U.S. residents who smoke (Saito, "Marketplace," APM, 11/1). The complete transcript and audio of the segment are available online.
- KPCC's "KPCC News": The segment includes comments from David Stewart, professor of marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business, and state residents who smoke (Guzman Lopez, "KPCC News," KPCC, 11/1). Audio of the segment is available online.
- KXJZ's "Capital Public Radio": The segment includes comments from Paul Knepprath, lobbyist for the American Lung Association of California; La Donna White, president of the Golden State Medical Association; and state residents who smoke (O'Mara, "Capital Public Radio," KXJZ, 10/31). The complete transcript and audio of the segment are available online.
Proposition 85 would require parental notification by a physician before performing an abortion on an unmarried minor.
According to the poll, 46% of likely voters support the measure and 43% oppose it.
The poll also shows that the measure is "strongly backed" by evangelical Christians, Republicans, Latinos and inland voters, according to the Union-Tribune (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/2). Support for the measure has increased by two percentage points since a poll in July (Contra Costa Times, 11/2).
Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said that the slight increase in support for Proposition 85 could signal that it will pass (Sacramento Bee, 11/2). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.