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New Poll Shows 47% Of Californians Against Prop. 16, 22% Undecided

Thursday’s poll results continue to show decline of support for affirmative action proposition

By Evan Symon, September 18, 2020 7:03 am

On Thursday, a new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll found that a near majority of voters plan to vote against Proposition 16, the ballot measure to reverse 1996’s Proposition 209 and reinstate affirmative action in California.

47% of Californians against Prop 16, 22% currently undecided

The new poll continues to show the decline in support for Prop 16, which had a high percentage of support earlier this year due the George Floyd protests and subsequent racial justice mandates. As of  Wednesday, only 31% of California voters said they would vote for Prop 16, with 47% of those surveyed saying that they would not. The other 22% remained undecided.

Shirley N. Weber
Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Prop 16 began earlier this year as Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5. Written by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson), the proposition would once again factor in race and gender for public university admissions and state employment. ACA 5 was controversially passed by both houses earlier this year and, like the previous attempt to overturn Prop 209 in 2014, has brought out many charges of anti-Asian racism.

Cristina Garcia. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

These charges, enflamed by incidents such as Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) threatening to punch an Asian person in the face, as well criticism that affirmative action would not pick higher qualified students and job candidates, who are of  overwhelming white and Asian ancestry in California.

The decline in support as evidenced by the new poll figures has led many experts to say that those in favor of Prop 16 need to get the word out soon before the first ballots are mailed out next month.

“Some explaining needs to be done if the proponents have any hopes of seeing this passed in November,” said PPIC president Mark Baldassare. “People are hearing about this for the first time, not knowing where it came from, what it does, who is for it, who is against it.”

While No on Prop 16 and groups in support of the proposition did not get back to requests from the Globe, policy experts have noted that, despite major demographic changes since 1996, support against affirmative action remains high.

Racial, party factors influence the decline of support for Prop 16

“California is more conservative than many people think,” explained Washington-based ballot measure expert and analyst Veronica Newton. “The poll confirmed many things, such as a split but more on the side of against white vote, Asian-Americans being against it, and African-Americans being for it. But it also showed a split among Hispanics. In fact it was 40% for it to 38% against it according to the poll. Not many people expected that.”

“And more Democrats are against it passing than Republicans are for it. Democrats outnumber Republicans in California, registered that is, 2 to 1. But you have to remember the divisive layout of the party is much like 1976. Many Republicans have withdrawn from the party temporarily due to disagreements over who is in charge. In ’76, many were mad at Ford for pardoning Nixon and went with Carter or just didn’t vote, while now many are unsure about Trump over several issues.”

“And that’s skewed things. There’s a huge number of unaffiliated voters now, especially in California, and many of them have conservative leanings. A lot of polls were working on the notion of it being by party, but with so many Republicans not identifying as a Republican in 2020, expectations were much different.”

“Bottom line is that race and party preference surprises had really distorted earlier polls, and no one expected this big of a potential gap.”

“A lot of liberal people have been surprised that California still doesn’t have affirmative action, but they always overlook the large conservative base, the fact that many Hispanic voters are conservative, Asian-Americans really pressing racial discrimination, and a lot of other associated negative impacts of the Proposition.”

“This poll is just backing all of that up and surprising people who always agreed with the blue California narrative.”

Many pro-Prop 16 organizations have vowed to increase efforts following the release of the poll.

Proposition 16 will be on the November 2020 ballot.

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17 thoughts on “New Poll Shows 47% Of Californians Against Prop. 16, 22% Undecided

  1. California is a very diverse state. This bill is taking a 100 steps backward. I live in an area that is dominated by the asian and indo-asian community, most of these immigrants have fled oppressive regimes with little opportunity. They came here to give their children a better life, they push their kids to study and have very strong family bonds. This bill does not reward the most academically qualified.
    Giving preferential treatment to one group over another is discriminatory.

  2. Affirmative Action is one of the most racist programs still in existence. It is essentially telling black students that they are not as smart as white students and non-black students, and never will be as smart, so we the democrats will make sure you graduate because this racist Affirmative Action allows teachers to pass you no matter how lousy you’re really doing in school. What do we expect from you? You have to always vote democrat because only we know what’s good for you.

  3. I remember Ward Connerly coming out against this in a big way. He didn’t like the racial preferences for black students, which was basically black privilege, but he made a very strong point in that black students were being enrolled simply due to their race and without verifying that they possessed the educational ability required after graduating high school to actually survive college courses. Many did not, which resulted in a huge dropout rate. The point was also brought up that it was unfair to throw them into an environment they were educationally unprepared for.

  4. Prop 16 is the opposite of racial parity. It’s inherently racist and not meritocratic. Racial equality is having everyone treated identically under the law. That was MLK’s vision and that’s what good laws do. Differing outcomes are not an excuse to make unfair laws.

  5. The black and illegal alien lobby is upset they don’t run the show. Dumbing down schools didn’t help so now they need legal remedies to put incompetent people in important positions

  6. Maybe we should have quota for NBA & NFL just like college. When was the last time we seen an Asian playing in a professional basketball team? Maybe Jeremy Lin-one and only one and he got bumped too because they know if we’re applying quota, no one will watch any NBA/NFL games.

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