Measure to end California’s ban on affirmative action is tied 45-45, leads with those who have already voted
In 600 interviews over the last three days, 45 percent of California voters say they support the measure to level the playing field by ending California’s ban on affirmative action, tied with 45 percent who say they oppose it. The new approval numbers represent a significant increase in support from earlier surveys and shows a clear path to victory for the ballot measure.
As of today, 19 percent of ballots issued across the state have been returned. Among survey respondents who have already voted, 59 percent say they support Prop 16 compared to 41 percent who oppose it.
“This new survey proves that as voters learn that Prop 16 is about combatting discrimination, they support it. And it shows without a doubt that we can win this fight for racial and gender equality,” said Andy Wong, Campaign Manager for Yes on 16. “We’ve said from the beginning that our biggest hurdle is the intentionally misleading language that the architects of California’s ban on affirmative action put in our state Constitution.”
The shifts in support suggest that the campaign is now breaking through, despite a crowded news environment dominated by a historic presidential election and unprecedented pandemic––and despite competing for airtime with 11 other ballot measures that have raised more than $650 million combined.
Affirmative action programs have been proven to level the playing field and create opportunities for women and people of color in education, jobs, promotions, and government contracts––a message that is clearly resonating with California voters.
“The ballot language is confusing, plain and simple. But when voters fill out their ballots, they are not just looking at that language. They’re consulting local newspapers, conducting research, and learning that Prop 16 is supported by trusted leaders like Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, and many more,” Wong added.
Prop 16 has dominated editorial board endorsements across the state, earning support from the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune, Mercury News, East Bay Times, Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Desert Sun, Chico Enterprise Record, Bay Area Reporter, Sing Tao Daily, Los Angeles Sentinel, San Diego Voice and Viewpoint, San Francisco Sun Reporter, Sacramento Observer, Black Voice News, and La Opinión.
“We’ve been counted out at every stage of the process, but we know that Californians are ready to stand up against systemic racism and gender discrimination. And we are confident that as voters continue to learn more about how Prop. 16 levels the playing field for women and people of color they will continue to come over to our side,” Wong said.
To view the full polling memo from David Binder Research, click here.