BERKELEY (CBS SF) – With a week before Election Day, a new poll finds California voters are split over Prop. 22, a ballot measure backed by Uber and Lyft that would let app-based companies continue to classify drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.
The poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies finds 46% of voters backed Proposition 22, while 42% are opposed. Twelve percent said they were undecided.
While support of the measure has grown 7 points since the institute’s poll in September, the percentage of opponents has also grown by 6 points. A quarter of voters surveyed in last month’s poll were undecided.
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“The relatively large proportions of undecided voters in both polls suggest that many voters were having a difficult time reaching a final decision on this initiative. How these late deciding voters ultimately come to judgment will likely determine its fate,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said in a statement.
The poll found Prop. 22 having its strongest support among the state’s Republicans (71% to 21%). A majority of Democrats were opposed, but not by as large of a margin (52% to 34%). Meanwhile, voters with No Party Preference or with minor political parties were closely divided.
Pollsters found significant differences among age, as majorities of voters under 40 were opposed, while a plurality of voters 50 and up supported Prop. 22.
Geographically, the measure was trailing by 20 points in the Bay Area, where Uber and Lyft are both headquartered.
The ride-hailing giants, along with DoorDash and Postmates, have contributed more than $185 million for the passage of Prop. 22. Campaign messaging included pop-up ads and messages within the apps themselves, which has prompted a lawsuit from some drivers.
Berkeley IGS also found voters were closely split over Proposition 15, which would create a “split roll” on taxing commercial and industrial properties, while keeping residential properties under rules set by Proposition 13 in 1978. Prop. 15 was leading 49% to 42%, with 9% undecided.
Meanwhile, pollsters found two other measures trailing. Proposition 16, which would reverse the state’s ban on affirmative action in hiring, college admissions and contracting decisions is down by 11 points (49% opposed, 38% support, 13% undecided.) Also facing an uphill climb for passage is Proposition 21, which would allow for the expansion of rent control in California (48% opposed, 37% support, 15% undecided.)
The poll of 6,686 California registered voters was conducted in English and Spanish from October 16-21. The margin of error is plus / minus 2%.
Election Day is November 3.