Poll Shows Voters Fooled on Prop 28

Tue, Apr 10 2012

(Lake Ridge, VA) … Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national non-partisan, non-profit foundation, today released a poll of California voters that shows a complete reversal of public sentiment on Proposition 28, which appears on this year’s June 5 ballot, when voters are given additional information not available in the measure’s official ballot title, and the group called on the California Legislature to reform the ballot title process to prevent voters from being tricked.

“The polling shows clearly that giving voters more precise information in the ballot title dramatically changes their view on Prop 28,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation Chairman Michael Foudy. “A recent poll using the official ballot title showed better than two-to-one support for the measure, while our poll with a more accurate title showed voters opposing Prop 28 by a nearly two-to-one margin.”

The Public Policy Institute of California’s poll released in March and conducted February 21-28, using the official ballot title, found 68% of voters in favor and only 24% opposed to the measure. That ballot title says, in part, that Prop 28 “reduces the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years and allows 12 years’ service in one house.” The poll conducted for Citizens in Charge Foundation by Pulse Opinion Research (on March 13) found support dwindling to a mere 28% in favor and 49% opposed when voters were asked the same question, except being told that, “Proposition 28 increases the total amount of time a person may serve in the state assembly from 6 years to 12 years.  It allows a person to serve a total of 12 years either in the Assembly, the Senate, or a combination of both.”

“Voters receive lots of conflicting messages on any ballot measure from supporters and opponents, but the information they receive from their government should be fair and unbiased,” Foudy argued. “There was nothing wrong with the PPIC poll, but there is something screwy with the official ballot title, which misleads voters.”

Both ballot titles in the two polls are truthful, as far as they go. Proposition 28 both increases the amount of time a legislator can serve in the state assembly from 6 to 12 years and the state senate from 8 to 12 years, and reduces the time legislators can serve in both houses of the state legislature from 14 to 12 years overall. But a very small percentage of legislators actually serve in both chambers.

“As an organization, we take no position on Prop 28,” Foudy added, “and we think the official ballot title should not take a position, either.”

“The solution,” according to Foudy and Citizens in Charge Foundation, “is for the state legislature to clean up the ballot title process so that citizens can challenge the Attorney General’s version and have the court take a fresh look at it. Presently, the courts give undue deference to the AG, who is a politician with all the political pressures that entails. The people deserve to vote on measures that are presented on their ballot in a fair and impartial way.”

Both polls, including crosstabs, are attached, as well as a one-page direct comparison of the wording of the questions and the top-line results. For more information or to interview Michael Foudy, please call him at (520) 310-9920 or call Paul Jacob at (202) 256-0776.

ABOUT CITIZENS IN CHARGE FOUNDATION:
Citizens in Charge Foundation is the only national transpartisan voter rights group dedicated to protecting and expanding the ballot initiative and referendum process for every citizen regardless of party or political persuasion. We believe good government starts with the voter. For more information visit us at www.CitizensInChargeFoundation.org.

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R Voters Fooled by Prop 28.doc29.5 KB
Toplines- California Term Limits - March 13, 2012.doc25 KB
Crosstabs_20120313_CA.xls16.5 KB
PPIC Poll S_312MBS.pdf484.05 KB
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R Voters Fooled by Prop 28.doc29.5 KB
Toplines- California Term Limits - March 13, 2012.doc25 KB
Crosstabs_20120313_CA.xls16.5 KB
PPIC Poll S_312MBS.pdf484.05 KB