Despite an investment of more than $150 million by its proponents so far, Proposition 27 wouldn’t pass if the election were held today, according to survey results released Thursday by the independent Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).
The non-partisan group based in San Francisco polled voters on multiple topics, including three of the initiatives that will be on the November ballot, and results showed that 34% of voters support Proposition 27, the operator-sponsored digital sports wagering initiative, and 54% opposed it. The poll did not include Proposition 26, the retail-only initiative sponsored by the state’s tribes.
The survey was conducted Sept. 2-11, and 1,705 California adults were contacted.
The poll revealed that California voters rank jobs, economy, and inflation as their biggest issues, followed by homelessness, and housing costs/availability. Based on the poll results, incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely to easily be reelected, and Proposition 1 (constitutional right to abortion) and Proposition 30 (reducing greenhouse gasses) should both pass easily. Pollsters read the title and a short description of each proposition to voters. Below is the question associated with Proposition 27:
Proposition 27 is called Allows Online and Mobile Sports Wagering Outside Tribal Lands. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. It allows Indian tribes and affiliated businesses to operate online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands. It directs revenues to regulatory costs, homelessness programs, and nonparticipating tribes. The fiscal impact is increased state revenues, possibly in the hundreds of millions of dollars but not likely to exceed $500 million annually. Some revenues would support state regulatory costs, possibly reaching the mid-tens of millions of dollars annually. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 27?
Time to leverage homelessness?
Under Proposition 27, 85% of tax revenue from legal wagering would be directed to battle the state’s homelessness and mental health issues, though those topics aren’t mentioned in the initiative’s title. Given that 70% of likely voters said that homelessness “is at least somewhat of a problem,” it would seem that the Proposition 27 campaign could have the opportunity to leverage that concern in the coming months.
More than 70% of Californians said rising prices have created a financial hardship, in one of the nation’s most expensive and most Democratic states. Despite that, 55% of those polled said they would support Proposition 30 even though it imposes a tax increase.
With regard to Proposition 27, the PPIC wrote, “This citizens’ initiative would allow Indian tribes and affiliated businesses to operate online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands. Among partisans, a strong majority of Republicans would vote ‘no,’ compared to half of Democrats and independents.” Additionally, the poll showed that 52% of voters aged 18-44 and 51% of renters favor the initiative. Twenty-nine percent of those polled said the outcome of Proposition 27 was “important” to them.
Most respondents are Democrats
Seven sports companies — Bally’s, BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel, PENN Entertainment/Barstool Sportsbook, and WynnBET — wrote and are backing the initiative, which would require operators to partner with tribal casinos in order to offer wagering. The tribes, along with civic groups, unions, the state Democratic Party, and the state Republican Party, oppose Proposition 27, while Major League Baseball and three tribes have come out in support of it.
The PPIC conducted its survey by phone and attempted to reach those being surveyed up to eight times, though according to the methodology, up to 11 times for those believed to be Asian American. Interviews were conducted in English and in Spanish. Of those interviewed, 1,442 are registered voters, and for that category, the poll has a margin of error of +/-4.4%. The overwhelming majority of respondents were registered Democrats.