Watch CBS News

Despite Leaning Left, California Voters Reject Split Roll, Affirmative Action Measures; Back Prop. 22

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – While Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump by a 2-to-1 margin in California, results of several state ballot measures arguably show how some more conservative ideas are being supported by California voters.

In Tuesday's election, California voters soundly rejected Prop 16, which would have restored affirmative action and racial preferences.

"Every major elected Democrat in California, Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, big labor unions across the state, big organizations and nonprofits were all in favor of it, but the voter said no," said Hoover Institution Fellow Lanhee Chen.

Stefanie Roumeliotes is a political consultant based in San Francisco, who has worked closely with Democratic candidates.

"Whenever it says on a ballot that it wants to repeal a ban the voter is confused they're going to lean in and probably vote 'No,'" said Roumeliotes. "So, I do think this proposition would've passed if we had more time and more resources."

Voters appear to have also rejected Prop 15, which would have created a so-called "split roll," taxing corporate and industrial properties differently from owner-occupied residential properties.

"Statewide there's still this ethos about taxation about government involvement that suggest that maybe were a more complicated state than people think from the outside," said Chen.

San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, and Marin counties voted identically on Propositions 15, 16, and 22, but it's in stark contrast to how voters across the state did overall.

"You see a difference in the Bay Area. It leans progressive, especially in San Francisco and its surrounding counties," said Roumeliotes.

The exception is Santa Clara County, which voted in line with the rest of the state, rejecting the affirmative action measure and backing Prop. 22, the measure that gig companies like Uber and Lyft spent more than $200 million on getting passed, and widely viewed as anti-labor.

"That yes campaign flooded the airwaves. That's an example where the money that was put into that proposition on the campaign I think did effectively communicate with the voter," said Roumeliotes.

"As more Asian Americans, as Latinos and Hispanics continue to get more involved and engaged in our politics it's possible that we could see cracks forming in the traditional progressive orthodoxy that has come in many ways to define our state," said Chen.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.