Poll Finds Californians Favor Proposition 73, Opposed to Propositions 78, 79
Of the three health-related measures on the Nov. 8 special election ballot, California residents narrowly favor Proposition 73, but most are opposed to Propositions 78 and 79, according to a poll by the Los Angeles Times. The poll also addressed respondents' views on abortion.
Between Oct. 26 and Oct. 31, the Times polled 940 state residents considered to be likely voters. Of those polled, 459 were asked about Proposition 73 and 481 were asked about Propositions 78 and 79. The margin of sampling error for each group was plus or minus five percentage points. All 940 respondents were asked about abortion. The margin of error for the abortion questions was plus or minus three percentage points.
The poll found that 51% of likely voters favor Proposition 73 and 39% oppose the measure (Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, 11/3).
Proposition 73 would amend the state constitution to require health care providers to inform a parent or guardian 48 hours before performing an abortion on an unmarried minor. Under the measure, a girl could seek a judicial bypass and would receive no-cost legal counsel, a confidential hearing and a ruling within three days on whether she could receive an abortion without notifying her parents (California Healthline, 11/2).
About two-thirds of voters who attend religious services at least once a month favor Proposition 73, the poll found. The measure is most popular among Republicans, conservatives and the elderly, according to the poll.
Democrats and liberals are least likely to support the measure, the poll found. In addition, the poll found that about six in 10 men support parental notification prior to an abortion, while support among women is split.
According to the Times, the poll found that voters have "not formed strong opinions" about Propositions 78 and 79. The majority of likely voters in the poll opposed both measures (Los Angeles Times, 11/3).
Proposition 78 would establish a voluntary prescription drug discount plan for state residents whose annual incomes do not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level. The measure is supported by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Proposition 79, a measure supported by Health Access California and a coalition of labor groups, would require drug makers to participate in a prescription drug discount program or face exclusion from the Medi-Cal formulary in some cases. To qualify, state residents' annual incomes could not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level. State residents who spend more than 5% of their annual income on health care also would be eligible to participate in Proposition 79's drug discount program. In addition, people could sue a pharmaceutical company if they believe it is participating in illegal pricing practices (California Healthline, 11/2).
Thirty-eight percent of likely voters were in favor of Proposition 78, while 43% opposed the measure. When voters were told Proposition 78 was supported by the pharmaceutical industry, 44% of respondents said that would make them more likely to oppose the measure; 9% said it would make them more likely to support the measure.
For Proposition 79, 30% of voters supported the measure, while 47% were opposed to it. After being told the measure was supported by health advocates, seniors groups and labor unions, 36% said that information would make them more likely to vote for the measure, and 16% said it would make them more likely to vote against the measure (Los Angeles Times, 11/3).
With regard to abortion in general, 58% of respondents said abortion should be legal in most cases and 39% said it should not. According to the poll, 85% of liberals and 65% of moderates said they support legal abortions, while 66% of conservatives said they opposed legal abortion.
About two-thirds of Democrats support legal abortions and about the same percentage of Republicans oppose it, according to the poll.
Fewer than one in 10 respondents said abortion should always be illegal (Los Angeles Times, 11/3).
The Monterey County Herald on Wednesday released recommendations for measures on the special election ballot. The Herald recommends a 'no' vote on Propositions 73 and 78, and a 'yes' vote on Proposition 79 (Monterey County Herald, 11/2).
KPCC's "Talk of the City" on Wednesday included an interview with Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, about the most recent Field Poll finding that opposition exceeds support for Propositions 73, 78 and 79 -- the three health care-related measures in the Nov. 8 special election (Felde, "Talk of the City," KPCC, 11/2). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
Additional information on Propositions 73, 78 and 79 is available online.