Prop 23: Spinning the Poll Numbers

A new email blast from the California Jobs Initiative trumpets: “Brand new Los Angeles Times poll puts Yes on 23 in the LEAD!”  That’s true, sort of.  Or at least it has what Stephen Colbert calls “truthiness.”

The LA Times story is headlined: “Proposition 23 poll shows a dead heat among California voters.”  As shown by the pie graph, the split is 40% yes, 38% no.  That’s within the 3.3% margin of error.  Apparently, these are actually not encouraging numbers for Prop 23: “Typically, experts say that a ballot initiative that has less than 50% support at this stage of a campaign faces trouble because undecided voters usually — although not always — tend to end up voting no.”

Interestingly, the email from CJI ties the initiative to the tea party: “Join the Central Valley Tea Party in protesting PG&E’s scheme to line its pockets with AB 32 rate increases!”  This may be more than a marriage of convenience: some of the backers of Prop 23 such as the Koch brothers are also providing assistance to the tea party movement.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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