Abortion Rights Get Big Thumbs Up from Power Poll Respondents, Who Also Look at Ballot Measures

An overwhelming 83% of San Jose Inside Power Poll respondents say they will vote in November to bar the state from interfering with Californians’ right to obtain contraceptives or abortions.

Meanwhile, almost 70% of those polled indicated they will oppose both of the competing measures to bring legalized sports betting to California.

A measure to dedicate almost $1 billion a year to arts education in public schools was supported by 63% of respondents..

Slightly more than half of all participants are inclined to tax Californians who earn more than $2 million per year to address human-caused climate change and fund wildfire readiness and response.

Finally, 74% say they will not vote to overturn the state’s existing ban on flavored tobacco products.

Here is how our panelists said they intend to vote on six specific ballot measures:

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 — 83%
  • No — 8%
  • No opinion/don’t care — 9%

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 tri

bes 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 ones 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 — 8%
  • I will vote for both measures — 11%
  • I will vote against both measures — 68%

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 — 63%
  • No — 33%
  • 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 gases and fund wildfire prevention and response.

  • Yes — 52%
  • No — 39%
  • No opinion/don’t care — 9%

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 — 74%
  • No — 19%
  • No opinion/don’t care — 7%

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 San Jose’s voters would strongly support access to contraception and abortions.

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. Although relatively few Democrats approve of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that rolled back a half century of nationwide access to abortions, Democrats will undoubtedly benefit from that ruling as American voters cast their ballots.

Analysis of Question 2

Our query about the state’s two sports-betting initiatives illustrates one way in which the attitudes our panelists differ from those of all Californians.

While almost seven out of 10 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 informed Californians favoring passage of one or both measures. More recent polling, however, shows the odds now stacked against the initiatives. But even the most negative of statewide 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 latest line suggests that would-be California sports bettors will have to keep betting with friends, driving to Nevada or using legally dubious foreign sports books. All that advertising during NFL football games appears to have spurred a sports-betting backlash.

Analysis of Question 3

The Bay Area’s two major editorial pages are divided on the wisdom of Prop 28. The Mercury News/East Bay Times opposes it, calling it reckless to limit legislators’ ability to allocate funding where it is needed most. Yet the San Francisco Chronicle supports the measure, calling arts and music education essential.

Members of our panel appear to have no qualms about tying legislators’ hands. If this measure passes, one can easily imagine future statewide efforts 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 disproportionately high number of people who would be affected by Prop 30’s tax on millionaires to fight climate change and wildfires. Yet many of them appear to prioritize the common good ahead of their own pocketbook.

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, San Jose has the country’s second-lowest smoking rate. Only the residents of Seattle smoke less, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And Anaheim, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco are not far behind.

San Jose Inside 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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