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Prop. 22: Poll Finds Voters Closely Divided Over Measure Backed By Uber, Lyft

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.


"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.

• ALSO READ: Appeals Court Upholds Ruling On Classifying Lyft, Uber Drivers As Employees Amid Crucial Prop. 22 Vote

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.

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