.Abortion Rig​​hts Yes, Sports Betting No

Oakland Power Poll, regarding six statewide measures on the November ballot, finds almost universal support of constitutional protection for contraception and abortion access

An overwhelming 96% of Oakland Power Poll respondents said they will vote in November to bar the state from interfering with Californians’ right to obtain contraceptives or abortions.

Meanwhile, almost four out of five voters indicated they will oppose both of the competing measures to bring legalized sports betting to California.

Almost 70% said they support a measure to dedicate almost $1 billion a year to arts education in public schools.

Participants were evenly split regarding whether to tax Californians who earn more than $2 million per year to address human-caused climate change and fund wildfire readiness and response.

Finally, 85% said they will not vote to overturn the state’s existing ban on flavored tobacco products.

Here are the specific questions and responses to our poll:

Question 1

Proposition 1 would enshrine abortion protections in the California constitution, barring the state from interfering with people’s right to obtain contraceptives or an abortion.

Yes — 96%

No — 0%

No opinion/don’t care — 4%

Question 2

Propositions 26 and 27 would each legalize sports betting. Prop 26 would bring it to tribal casinos and horse racing tracks; Prop 27 would allow tribes and large sport betting sites to enter the market. Both measures would impose a 10% tax and direct other revenues to the state. If each one passes, legal challenges are inevitable, but the odds would favor the top vote-getter.

I will vote for Prop 26 but not 27 — 13%

I will vote for Prop 27 but not 26 — 4%

I will vote for both measures — 4%

I will vote against both measures — 79%

Question 3

Proposition 28 would require the state to set aside an estimated $800 million to $1 billion per year to provide arts and music education in public schools, with an emphasis on schools serving low-income students.

Yes — 69%

No — 27%

No opinion/don’t care — 4%

Question 4

Proposition 30 would impose a new 1.75% tax on the income of people earning more than $2 million per year to fund initiatives designed to fight greenhouse gasses and fund wildfire prevention and response.

Yes — 46%

No — 46%

No opinion/don’t care — 8%

Question 5

Proposition 31 is a measure to overturn the state’s new ban on flavored tobacco products—whether smoked, chewed or vaped. Do you want to keep the ban in place?

Yes — 85%

No — 8%

No opinion/don’t care — 8%

Analysis of Question 1

If 59% of the generally conservative voters of Kansas opposed an effort to strip abortion protections out of that state’s constitution, it is no surprise that Oakland’s voters would strongly support access to contraception and abortions. Still, our respondents’ overwhelming support for California Proposition 1 is a bit surprising. Not a single respondent said they oppose the measure.

This further buttresses the conclusion that Democrats are wise to mention abortion access early and often this fall in campaigns for federal and state offices across the country. Although relatively few Democrats approve of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that rolled back a half century of federal protection for access to abortions, Democrats will undoubtedly benefit from that ruling as U.S. voters cast their ballots.

Analysis of Question 2

If ever there was a question that illustrates the divergence between the attitudes of all Californians and members of our panel, our query about the state’s two sports-betting initiatives is that question.

While almost four out of five of our respondents said they oppose both proposals to legalize such wagering, statewide polls have been decidedly more mixed. Early polls showed a majority of Californians with an opinion favoring passage of one or both measures. More recent polling suggests a backlash against the initiatives. But even the most negative of recent polls is vastly more supportive of sports betting than our latest survey.

Perhaps the members of our panel are simply ahead of the curve. In any case, the odds seem to suggest that would-be California sports betters must continue driving to Nevada—or breaking the law.

Analysis of Question 3

The Bay Area’s two major editorial pages are divided on the wisdom of Prop 28. The San Francisco Chronicle supports the measure, calling arts and music education essential. The East Bay Times/Mercury News opposes it, calling it reckless to limit legislators’ ability to allocate funding where it is needed most. Yet members of our panel appear to have no qualms about tying legislators’ hands.

If this measure passes, one could easily imagine future statewide measures seeking to bolster STEM education, or social-emotional learning, or the teaching of history from a multiracial and multiethnic perspective.

Analysis of Question 4

There is no question that our panel contains a relatively high proportion of people who would be affected by Prop 30’s tax on millionaires to fight climate change and wildfires. Not surprisingly, many of them appear likely to vote in favor of their own pocketbook interests.

A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found 55% of statewide residents favoring the measure.

Analysis of Question 5

No surprise here. Among residents of large cities, Oakland has one of the country’s lowest smoking rates. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just seven large U.S. cities have lower smoking rates—including Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

Oakland Power Poll is not a scientific poll. Rather, we ask questions of influential people with a wide range of viewpoints to help advance informed dialogue about the city. Power Poll is studiously non-partisan.


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