Support Declines for Tobacco Tax Measure
Support for Proposition 86 has declined to 53% from 63% in July, according to a Field Poll to be released on Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The ballot measure would provide funds for health care programs by increasing the state tobacco tax by $2.60 per pack.
Opposition to the initiative has increased to 40% from 32% in July (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4).
The poll found that:
- 60% of nonpartisan or independent voters said they would vote in favor of the measure;
- 59% of Democrats support it;
- 53% of Republicans oppose Proposition 86;
- 70% of Latino voters support the initiative;
- 49% of whites support Proposition 86, while 44% oppose it; and
- 57% of black, Asian-American and other voters support the measure (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/4).
Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said the change in voter opinion likely is a result of a widespread advertising campaign by opponents of the measure, including tobacco firms (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 10/4).
According to the Center for Governmental Studies, opponents of the measure have spent about $16.1 million on television advertisements, with their ads running more than 10,300 times in the top five media markets in the state. By comparison, supporters of the measure have spent $1.9 million on television ads that have run 1,767 times. None of the ads in support of the measure have run in the Bay Area (Sevrens Lyons/de Sá, San Jose Mercury News, 10/4).
The poll found that 60% of voters surveyed in the most recent poll reported having heard of the measure previously, compared with 26% in July. Forty percent of people who had heard of the initiative opposed it, up from 32% of people who had heard of it in July (Sacramento Bee, 10/4).
The poll includes responses from 739 California residents, 557 of whom were considered likely voters. Interviews were conducted between Sept. 14 and Sept. 24. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4).