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Sounding Off: Last Minute Opinions on Prop 28 & 29

by Kymberly Bays, published

There are two ballot initiatives voters will be deciding on this coming Tuesday. Proposition 28 deals with term limits, while Proposition 29 will impose a $1 cigarette tax for cancer research. IVN has the pros and cons of both measures, as well as opinion editorials for each side. As the day draws nearer and advertising ramps up, particularly for Prop. 29, new polling gives insight on how the election may play out.

Willie Brown, former Speak of California's State Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco, has a strong opinion on Prop. 28, and wrote about it in his San Francisco Chronicle column today.

"I am adamantly opposed to Proposition 28 to modify term limits for California state legislators.As the No. 1 victim of term limits, I consider them an abomination and cannot support anything to make them more palatable. The only move I support is their total repeal."

A recent poll of likely voters shows Mr. Brown may be disappointed come Wednesday. A Field Poll released on May 31st shows Prop. 28 is in a good position to pass, with 50% of likely voters supporting the passage of Prop. 28. 22% of those polled are still undecided. No party preference voters support Prop. 28 slightly more than Democrat and Republican voters, with moderates supporting the measure with the most decisiveness.

The same Field Poll shows a closer margin for Prop. 29, yet still a narrow lead in favor of passing the initiative, which would raise cigarette tax by a dollar. 50% of those polled support the measure, versus 42% opposed. Only 8% of voters report being undecided on Prop. 29.

The closer margin is no surprise given the amount of advertising concerning Prop. 29. Over $40 million has been spent on TV ads for or against the measure. The Field Poll found those who choose to vote by mail support Prop. 29 by a ten-point margin, while those planning to vote on June 5 support the cigarette tax by a smaller, five-point margin.

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