Poll: Voters Support Tobacco Tax Increase
Sixty-three percent of California residents who likely will vote in the Nov. 7 statewide election support Proposition 86, a measure to increase the state tobacco tax to fund a number of health programs, according to a Field Poll released on Wednesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Marelius, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/2). The poll focused on five of the 12 measures on the ballot that are expected to garner the most attention, including two related to health care (Henshaw, Desert Sun, 8/2).
The Field Poll surveyed 762 likely voters between July 10 and 23 (Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/2). The entire sample group was asked about Proposition 86, and findings related to this measure have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. One of two subgroups was asked questions about the other initiatives -- including Proposition 85, which would require parental notification before an unmarried minor could have an abortion. Findings for these questions have a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/2).
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 (Desert Sun, 8/2).
The poll finds that among likely voters:
- 73% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans support the measure (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 8/2);
- 32% oppose the tax increase; and
- 5% are undecided (Reuters, 8/2).
Tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds are financing two separate campaigns to defeat the measure and to date have contributed $2.1 million to the effort. Meanwhile, the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems has contributed $7.5 million to the campaign in favor of the initiative (Harmon, San Jose Mercury News, 8/2).
Proposition 85, the parental notification measure on the ballot, is similar to Stockton Proposition 73, which was defeated 53% to 47% during last year's special election.
According to the poll:
- 44% of likely voters support the proposition and 45% oppose it (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/2);
- 67% of Republicans and 28% of Democrats support the measure; and
- A majority of men would vote in favor of the initiative, while 36% of women support it (Sacramento Bee, 8/2).