POLL: Proposition 16 Unlikely To Pass In California

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Proposition 16, a California ballot measure that would allow public employers to factor in race, gender, and ethnicity when making hiring decisions, is unlikely to pass according to a new poll by UC Berkley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

38% of voters said that they supported Proposition 16, while 49% said that they do not support it, the poll found. 13% were undecided on the measure. (RELATED: ‘There Are No Consequences’: California Grocery Stores Push For Tougher Crime Laws, Citing Safety Concerns)

Proposition 16 would overturn California’s 1996 law prohibiting government agencies from considering things like race or gender when making hiring decisions.

The measure has received support from two dozen Democratic California representatives, who signed a June 22 letter in favor of Proposition 16. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris also signed the letter.

Voters were divided along party lines, with Republicans highly likely to oppose Proposition 16 and Democrats more likely to support it. 57% of Democrats supported the measure and 26% opposed it, while 86% of Republicans opposed it and just 6% supported it. The majority of independents and people with no party preference also said that they would vote no.

White Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans were more likely to vote no on Proposition 16, according to the poll. White Americans opposed the measure 53% – 35%, Latinos opposed it by a narrow 42% – 40% margin, and Asian Americans opposed it 50% – 39%.

Black Americans were the only group more likely to vote yes, with 58% of Black voters saying that they would vote yes and 33% saying that they would vote no. (RELATED: California To Ban New Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales By 2035, Newsom Says)

“The absence of strong Latino support for Proposition 16 is surprising given that the community remains significantly underrepresented in higher education and public employment in California and would stand to benefit from the proposition’s passage,” Berkely Institute of Governmental Studies Co-Director Cristina Mora said.

A majority or plurality of voters in all of California’s major geographic regions except for San Francisco Bay Area said that they would vote against Proposition 16.

Two other closely-watched ballot measures, Proposition 15 and Proposition 22, had more voters who said they would vote yes than would vote no. Proposition 15 is a proposal to tax commercial and industrial properties based on its current market value instead of its purchase price, and Proposition 22 would classify drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft as independent contractors rather than employees.