With less than 36 hours until the first precincts of the 2012 election close in California, veteran pollsters met with members of the UC Berkeley campus community Monday to discuss what the findings of a late-October voter survey could mean for the imminent election.
The surveys were conducted by The Field Poll, a service founded by Melvin Field in 1947 and currently directed by Mark DiCamillo, both of whom were the speakers at Monday’s event hosted at the Institute of Governmental Studies.
The service surveys voters in California, and this most recent round of polling focused mostly on California ballot propositions.
According to DiCamillo, Proposition 30 — a measure that would raise income and sales taxes to fund public education — is likely to pass tomorrow, despite a decline in support between polls conducted in September and October.
“The poll shows a ‘yes’ vote for Prop. 30 at 48 percent now, down from 51 percent in mid-September, but that needs to be compared to the ‘no’ vote of 38 percent,” said DiCamillo.
Field and DiCamillo also discussed the ethnic makeup of Prop. 30 supporters. Black and Hispanic voters were significantly more likely to vote in favor of Prop. 30 than white or Asian American voters, according to their surveys.
“The largest percent increase in voter rolls in the last decade are by Latino and Asian Americans,” said DiCamillo. “If this thing passes narrowly, you could probably say it was the (non-white) ethnic groups.”
Field went on to say that without its ethnically diverse population, California could be a swing state in the national election.
The survey also pointed to age as an important factor in Prop. 30 support. Likely voters aged 18 to 29 were 61 percent in favor of the proposition, higher than any other age group. Likely voters aged 65 and older were 38 percent in favor of the measure, lower than any other group.
Tuesday’s election will also be the first in California history to consist of more mail-in votes than in-person votes, according to the Field projections. For the 2008 election, mail-in voting comprised 48.4 percent of the total ballots cast. The Field Poll estimates that this year, mail-in ballots will make up 51 percent of California votes.
The Field Poll also showed a relationship between support for Gov. Jerry Brown and support for Prop. 30. Seventy-one percent of those in favor of the governor supported the proposition.
Contact Jacob Brown at [email protected]