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Both State Props May Pass

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In a statewide survey, Field Poll finds California voters are in support of passing both Proposition 28 and 29 in the June 5th elections.

Prop 28 will alter the state’s term limits law limiting the total numbers of years a politician can serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years. Currently a legislator can serve only six years in Assembly and eight years in the Senate for a total of 14 now they can serve in either up to a total of 12 years.

According to the survey, Prop 28 may pass by twenty-two points with 50% for, 28% against and another 22% undecided.

Proposition 29 will increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products by one dollar per pack. The money collected will largely be devoted to cancer research. The poll found that voters are likely to narrowly pass Prop 29, 50% to 42%, with 8% undecided.

There is general support for Prop 28 with Democrats, Republicans, those with no party preference, and independents, favoring it by at least 18 points or more. A similar term limit law failed in February 2008.

With Prop 29 Democrats and voters with no party are in favor of the dollar increase on tobacco products by two-to-one margins, while a majority (58%) of Republicans are opposed. Voters who are smokers oppose Prop 29, 75% to 17%. Former smokers are about evenly divided, 46% yes vs. 47% no, while those who have never smoked support the measure 55% to 36%. San Francisco, Northern California and Los Angeles County support it (68% to 27%), while the nine Southern California counties outside Los Angeles oppose it by eighteen points (54% to 36%).

The Field Poll noted that tens of millions in advertising against Prop 29 overwhelm the only recently begun ads in support of the measure. In 2006 voters rejected a $2.60 per pack tax increase after it held early two-to-one leads in the polls decreasing to just even before the vote and then ultimately failing by a 4% margin. It was noted that advertising may continue to affect the numbers this time, decreasing the narrow 8 point lead. The last approved increase in state tobacco tax was in 1998.