Three Health-Related Ballot Measures Behind in Poll
Opposition exceeds support for Propositions 73, 78 and 79, the three health care-related measures in the Nov. 8 special election, according to a Field Poll released on Wednesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Previous polls found that likely voters were divided or tended to support each of the three measures (Ainsworth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/2).
Field Poll researchers conducted the poll from Oct. 18 to Oct. 30, including 506 likely voters in the first week and 581 likely voters in the second week. Propositions 78 and 79 findings have a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, while Proposition 73 findings have a sampling error of plus or minus six percentage points (Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2).
The new poll found that likely voters oppose Proposition 73, the abortion parental notification measure, 49% to 41% (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/2).
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, 10/31).
The poll found that Roman Catholics favor Proposition 73 by a 10-point margin. According to the poll, married couples are divided evenly, while divorced voters and those who have never been married oppose the proposition by wide margins (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2).
In addition, the poll found that opposition to the measure increased by six percentage points during one week in October, the Sacramento Bee reports (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 11/2).
"It's a tug-of-war between two different factions. This seems to indicate that the pro-choice side has gained an advantage," Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said.
Likely voters oppose both prescription drug discount initiatives, according to the poll. Proposition 78 is behind 45% to 36% and Proposition 79 is lagging 43% to 37% (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/2).
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, 10/28).
The poll found that 32% of likely voters were aware that Proposition 78 is supported by pharmaceutical manufacturers, up from 13% in late August. Among likely voters aware of drug firms' support for the measure, 47% opposed it and 13% supported it (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2). According to the poll, 55% of likely voters were more likely to oppose the measure after being informed of pharmaceutical companies' support for it (Sacramento Bee, 11/2).
Among absentee voters, the poll found that 48% opposed the initiative and that 35% supported it. Democrats are evenly divided on Proposition 79, according to the poll.
Seventy percent of voters were conscious of television and radio ads on the measures, with 29% saying the ads had no effect and 22% reporting that the ads made them more likely to vote against both measures (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2).
DiCamillo said Proposition 79 supporters have a "glimmer of hope" because 20% of voters are still undecided on the measures, noting that voters who realize consumer advocacy and labor groups support Proposition 79 are more likely to support it as well. "Proposition 79 has more opportunities for turning it around," he said (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/2).
The Field Poll is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the reports.
Additional information on Propositions 73, 78 and 79 is available online.