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California voters say they don't ignore anything on the ballot

October 25, 2012 |  2:00 pm


Being listed at the bottom of the ballot may not be an automatic death sentence for candidates and initiatives, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Eighty-eight percent of registered voters said they vote on every race and issue on the ballot, from president to local elections. 

Just 5% said they would vote only for president, and 4% said they would pay attention only to national races.

The results are similar to a September poll, which found that 86% of registered voters planned to make decisions on every question on the ballot.

Political strategists are routinely concerned that low billing on the ballot makes candidates and initiatives less likely to pass. Earlier this year, millionaire civil rights lawyer Molly Munger sued the state because Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure was going to be placed above hers on Nov. 6. She lost the case.

“There may be a marginal advantage from being listed early rather than late,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. “But it doesn’t make a huge difference.”

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll surveyed 1,504 registered voters by telephone from Oct. 15 to Oct. 21. The margin of error is 2.9 percentage points.

The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican organization. 


Brown's tax measure can be first on ballot, judge rules

Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative tops list of ballot measures

With an economy of words, California legislators state their ballot business

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Voters casting ballots in Venice in 2010. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times