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Poll finds voters split on Proposition 32

September 20, 2012 |  7:00 am

Californians are split on a November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in state politics, according to a new statewide poll.

The survey, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California and released late Wednesday, found that likely voters narrowly oppose Proposition 32, with 49% saying they would vote 'no' and 42% saying they would vote 'yes.' The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The initiative would ban corporations and unions from directly contributing to candidates. But the most controversial provision would prohibit the practice of political contribution by payroll deduction, the primary method unions use to raise political cash.

Slim majorities of Republicans (53%) and independents (52%) support the measure while a solid majority of Democrats (61%) oppose it. Half of the initiative's supporters, compared to 4 in 10 opponents, say the outcome is "very important" to them.

The poll comes as business and labor groups launch dueling multimillion-dollar ad campaigns. The measure is organized labor's top priority this year, having raised more than $35.7 million to defeat it.

Californians were also asked generally about limiting the roles of labor and business in politics. Roughly half of likely voters (54%) favor restricting the ability of unions to contribute to candidates while a solid majority (60%) support similar restrictions for corporations.

PPIC surveyed 2,003 California adults from Sept. 9 to 16.

ALSO:

Unions raise nearly $10 million to fight Prop. 32

Good-government groups call Proposition 32 deceptive

Bid to curb union spending gets big Democratic backer

-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento

twitter.com/mjmishak

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