California voters on Nov. 7 will weigh a familiar issue: Should unmarried minors have to notify a parent or guardian before having an abortion? Voters in last year's special election said "no" and defeated Proposition 73, but supporters of that measure believe that greater voter turnout, which usually is the case in a general election, could be beneficial to their cause. Thus, they have included Proposition 85 on this year's ballot.
As of Sept. 30, the campaign in favor of the measure had raised $4.5 million, $3 million of which have been spent. About half of these funds were allocated to efforts to qualify the measure for the ballot. As with last year's effort, San Diego publisher James Holman and Sonoma winemaker Don Sebastiani are the top contributors to the campaign.
Planned Parenthood affiliates have led opposition to the measure, contributing the majority of the campaign's $9.3 million. About $3.4 million had been spent on television air time, ad production, consulting and polling as of Sept. 30.
The most recent Field Poll -- Aug. 2 -- found voters to be closely divided over the measure: 45% said they opposed the measure and 44% supported it. Heading into the election last year, a Field Poll found that 51% of likely voters favored Proposition 73 and 39% opposed the measure. However, the tables turned on election day and 52.6% of those showing up at the polls voted "no" on the measure.
Another close vote is possible this year, prompting both sides of the debate to pay special attention to Latinos, a traditionally Democratic constituency that Proposition 85 supporters say is more likely to diverge from the party line on parental notification and vote to approve the measure.