Here Are The Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #7362

Geography Surveyed: California
Data Collected: 10/29/2005 - 10/31/2005
Release Date: 11/01/2005 12:50 PM ET
Sponsors: KABC-TV Los Angeles, KGTV-TV San Diego, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KXTV-TV Sacramento

Propositions 73, 74, 75, 77 Losing Ground: In an election today, 11/1/05, 1 week to the 11/8/05 vote, California voters approve Proposition 73, reject Proposition 77, and are tied on Propositions 74 and 75, according to an exclusive SurveyUSA poll of 1,966 likely voters. Proposition 73, on parental notification for abortions on minors, today passes by 11 points, 55% to 44%. This is an 11-point drop in support from a SurveyUSA poll 2 weeks ago. Proposition 74, on teacher tenure, today trails by a statistically insignificant 1 point, 49% Yes, 50% No. This is a 9-point drop in support from 2 weeks ago. Proposition 75, on union dues, today leads by a statistically insignificant 1 point, 50% Yes, 49% No. This is a 13-point drop in support from 2 weeks ago. Proposition 77, on redistricting, today fails by 9 points, 44% Yes, 53% No. This is a 22-point drop in support from 2 weeks ago. Republicans support Propositions 73, 74, and 75 by 4:1, and support Proposition 77 by 2:1. Democrats oppose Proposition 73 by 3:2, and oppose Propositions 74, 75, and 77 by 3:1. Interest in ballot measures intensifies as the election approaches and ad dollars are spent to influence voters. These numbers may still fluctuate before election day.

Case Study, Proposition 76: Ballot Summary Influences Poll Results: Here is exactly what appears on the ballot: "76: STATE SPENDING AND SCHOOL FUNDING LIMITS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Limits state spending to prior year's level plus three previous years' average revenue growth. Changes minimum school funding requirements (Proposition 98). Permits Governor, under specified circumstances, to reduce budget appropriations of Governor's choosing. Fiscal Impact: State spending likely reduced relative to current law, due to additional spending limit and new powers granted to Governor. Reductions could apply to schools and shift costs to other local governments." (75 words) SurveyUSA released poll data on 10/3/05 and 10/18/05 based on the following summary (written by SurveyUSA): "Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 76? Or would you vote no?" (36 words; hereafter Version A, Original SurveyUSA Summary). On 10/3/05, using this wording, SurveyUSA showed Proposition 76 passing by 22 points. On 10/18/05, using the same wording and identical poll methodology, SurveyUSA showed Proposition 76 passing by 13 points (a drop in support of 9 points). Today, 11/1/05, using the same language and identical poll methodology, SurveyUSA shows Proposition 76 tied, 49% Yes, 49% No (a further drop in support of 13 points since 10/18). To understand better the extent to which SurveyUSA's summary language might influence the data SurveyUSA was collecting, SurveyUSA began, in preparation for today's release, conducting a "split-ballot" experiment, in which 1/3 of respondents heard Version A, the Original SurveyUSA Summary, 1/3 of Respondents heard an Expanded Summary (Version B), and 1/3 of respondents heard a Further Expanded Summary (Version C). Here is Version B: "Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues. The Governor would be granted new authority to reduce state spending during certain fiscal situations. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 76? Or would you vote no?" (51 words). Using Version B (and otherwise identical poll methodology), Proposition 76 is today defeated by 14 points, 42% Yes to 56% No. Here is Version C: "Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues. The Governor would be granted new authority to reduce state spending, including school funding, during certain fiscal situations. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 76? Or would you vote no?" (54 words). Using Version C (and otherwise identical poll methodology), Proposition 76 is today defeated by 25 points, 36% Yes to 61% No. (Each poll respondent heard only one version of the Proposition 76 language). It is clear, in retrospect, that Version A, SurveyUSA's original summary, produces results kindest to the measure. Version C, we learn today, produces results least kind to the measure. Women, Democrats, African Americans and younger voters are twice as sensitive to changes in Question wording as are their counterparts. SurveyUSA's Version C most closely aligns with results produced by two other pollsters working these ballot measures, the Public Policy Institute of California, which on 10/28/05 released data showing Proposition 76 failing by 32 points, and by the Field Poll, which today 11/1/05 released data showing Proposition 76 failing by 28 points. Where is the truth? No one can "know" for sure. But analyzing the data from all available sources, it appears that in a vote today, Proposition 76 would be defeated by 14 points (SurveyUSA Version B) to 32 points (PPIC). That is the finest point SurveyUSA is willing to put on 76 today. To imply today that we (or others) know with greater certainty what will happen on 76 on Election Day would be misleading. Seven days of campaigning remain.

Filtering: 3,600 California adults were interviewed 10/29/05 - 10/31/05. Of them, 2,911 were registered voters. Of them, 1,957 were judged to be "likely" voters on Proposition 73. 1,966 were judged to be "likely" voters on Proposition 74. 1,959 were judged to be "likely" voters on Proposition 75, 629 were judged to be "likely" voters on Proposition 76 Version A, 650 were judged to be likely voters on Proposition 76 Version B, 670 were judged to be "likely voters on Proposition 76 Version C, 1,948 were judged to be "likely" voters on Proposition 77. Crosstabs reflect "likely" voters. 20% of the "likely" voters report having already voted.

1
  Asked of 1957 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 2.3%

First, Proposition 73. Proposition 73 requires that physicians notify the parent of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion. If the special election were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, would you vote Yes on Proposition 73? Or would you vote No?

55% Yes
44% No
2% Undecided

2
  Asked of 1966 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 2.3%

Next, Proposition 74. Proposition 74 extends the probationary period for new teachers from 2 years to 5 years, and makes it easier to dismiss teachers with unsatisfactory performance evaluations. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 74? Or would you vote No?

49% Yes
50% No
1% Undecided

3
  Asked of 1959 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 2.3%

Next, Proposition 75. Proposition 75 prohibits public employee unions from using union dues for political purposes without the written consent of union members. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 75? Or would you vote no?

50% Yes
49% No
2% Undecided

4
  Asked of 629 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4%

(PROPOSITION 76 VERSION A, ORIGINAL SURVEYUSA SUMMARY, INCLUDES TRACKING GRAPHS FROM PREVIOUS RELEASES): Next, Proposition 76. Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 76? Or would you vote no?

49% Yes
49% No
2% Undecided

5
  Asked of 650 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 3.9%

(PROPOSITION 76 VERSION B, EXPANDED SURVEYUSA SUMMARY, NO TRACKING DATA AVAILABLE): Next, Proposition 76. Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues. The Governor would be granted new authority to reduce state spending during certain fiscal situations. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 76? Or would you vote no?

42% Yes
56% No
2% Undecided

6
  Asked of 670 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 3.8%

(PROPOSITION 76 VERSION C: FURTHER EXPANDED SURVEYUSA SUMMARY, NO TRACKING DATA AVAILABLE): Next, Proposition 76. Proposition 76 limits growth in state spending so that it does not exceed recent growth in state revenues. The Governor would be granted new authority to reduce state spending, including school funding, during certain fiscal situations. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on Proposition 76? Or would you vote no?

36% Yes
61% No
2% Undecided

7
  Asked of 1948 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 2.3%

Finally, Proposition 77. Proposition 77 changes the way California draws boundaries for Congressional and legislative districts. District boundaries would be drawn by a panel of retired judges and approved by voters in a statewide election. If the special election were today, would you vote Yes on 77? Or would you vote no?

44% Yes
53% No
3% Undecided

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  Complete Interactive Crosstabs
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  Statement of Methodology
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