The influx of money from tobacco companies leads to a shift in the electorate to vote against the proposal cigarette tax
California Proposition 29 ballot initiative to add $ 1 tax on a pack of cigarettes, has failed to work in the state ballot on Tuesday. The vote was so close; it took more than three days to determine the outcome. That vote was so close, both sides were divided by 53,000 votes out of 3.8 million ballots cast on Thursday, said the powerful impact of cash in swaying voters.
In March, a statewide poll of 67 percent of Californians supports a tax that will fund the cancer and tobacco-related health research. The proposal was majority support in all age groups and political affiliations. But as the date of the vote approached, and the money from Big Tobacco glove, voter attitudes began to change.
March 1, the cost of those who are against it, to support 29 was $ 9 million, depending on the application state elections. From March 1 to May 18, they spent $ 40 million.
It costs coincided with a significant shift in the electorate in moderation. May 23 poll, published in the same group, non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California showed that support for Prop 29 has fallen 14 points in March.
The opposition has raised more than $ 47 million, or 96 percent of which came from the big tobacco companies and their subsidiaries, according to campaign finance nonprofit MapLight. Although exact figures are not expenses will be available until July, it is safe to assume that it is not 29, the main opposition groups have continued to spend heavily in the last few weeks before the vote.
“Tobacco companies will not spend more than $ 40 million during this period, not having received what they wanted, they seek a return on investment,” said Daniel Newman MapLight. “This is extremely spent on advertising to convince California, not necessarily to teach their proposals.”
Pro-Prop 29 coalition led by the American Cancer Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, $ 12.3 million spent only about one quarter more, as against.
However, the rejection of Prop 29 was not entirely due to the money, said Shaun Bowler, a professor of election and voter behavior at UC-Riverside.
“The intuition is that advertising has been effective,” says Bowler. “But there were these other things that she spoke, a kind of prevailing winds, and went to Big Tobacco, this time.”
On the one hand, the turnout was relatively low and relatively conservative, so the electoral bloc was predisposed to be against the new tax. On the other hand, the group to “no” vote by any initiative in a better position, since they only need to manage to raise doubts in the minds of voters. As a result of the initiative is not 60 percent of the time, says Bowler.
However, the large discrepancy of cash, coupled with a simultaneous shift in voter opinion, it is difficult to ignore.
“Of course, this is no accident,” says Newman. “The resources on both sides were very unbalanced; voters do not even get information.”