New Poll, Same Results For California Sports Betting Votes

Written By Derek Helling on October 28, 2022
poll california sports betting race politics

Proponents of either of the two California sports betting propositions on the ballot for next month looking for a last-minute sign of encouragement shouldn’t look to one of the latest polls. For opponents of the measures, though, data from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is more welcome news.

The PPIC survey joins others in suggesting that both Prop 26 and Prop 27 will fail to gain the requisite support in November’s elections. The data on the survey lend some insight as to whether another attempt in 2024 will fare any better as well.

PPIC evaluates support for California sports betting props

The PPIC published its findings less than two weeks ahead of the Nov. 8 election and as early voting in California is underway. According to the PPIC, less than half of the respondents to the survey said they would vote yes on either Prop 26 or Prop 27.

Prop 26 enjoys slightly more support than Prop 27 in the poll. PPIC says 34% of the survey answers denoted support for Prop 26 while just 26% indicated a yes vote for Prop 27. The lack of overall support and a lesser margin of defeat for Prop 26 are both in-line with earlier polling in California.

That lends legitimacy to the poll. As with any other survey results, though, weighing their value requires looking at the particulars.

How seriously should you take these results?

The PPIC lists the methodology behind the research. The poll contains responses from 1,715 Californians from five different regions of the state. The survey was conducted via telephone, a common practice for polls of this depth.

The poll does a solid job of accounting for age, ethnicity, gender, income level, and political partisanship. While 1,715 people amid California’s estimated 39.5 million population represent a tiny fraction of a percent, the objective of the survey is not to poll every eligible voter in the state. That’s literally what the election itself is for.

Rather, the poll attempted to survey a representative slice of the state’s population to identify voter sentiments that would be consistent if extrapolated out. It’s possible that the survey might have missed pockets of voters that have different feelings.

Given the congruent results of similar polls and the margins all these pools suggest, such pockets are unlikely to be large enough to change the fates of Prop 26 and Prop 27 even if they do exist. The bottom line is that approval for either proposition on Nov. 8 would be quite a surprise.

There could be somewhat of a silver lining in the PPIC’s data for those considering putting a similar measure on the ballot for 2024, though.

Is there any good news for proponents in the results?

In fact, there is. Younger voters (aged 18-44) indicated far greater support for both Prop 26 and Prop 27 than older voters. In fact, if you isolate the response to just those under 45 years of age, 51% of the respondents indicated they would vote yes on Prop 26.

Younger voters also supported Prop 27 at a rate of 41%. Additionally, Democrats and Independents were much more supportive of both measures than Republicans in California. In 2020, the PPIC did other research into the state’s voter base.

That research determined that the number of eligible voters who are registered as Democrats or Independents is growing in the state. In July 2021, voters who were 25 years of age or younger represented 13% of the state’s overall eligible base according to the state.

The voting populace might not be blue and young enough to pass a sports betting ballot measure in 2024. Such a proposal could stand a better chance than it does now, though. The PPIC is just the latest to predict defeat for California sports betting in 2022.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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