Proposition 32, arguably the most high-profile and controversial proposition on California’s ballot this election, may be the key to California eventually becoming a competitive “purple” state, according to Jon Fleischman of FlashReport.
Prop 32, also called the Paycheck Protection Initiative, would ban corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates, ban contributions by government contractors to the politicians who control their contracts, and ban automatic paycheck deductions for political purposes by corporations, unions, and government agencies.
Public employee unions dump millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns all over California through the mechanisms that Prop 32 intends to stop, making California a strong blue state. Republican candidates have consistently lost in California – even moderates like Meg Whitman.
Fleischman argues that Prop 32 is the most important initiative on this year’s ballot, stating that it could drastically change California’s political climate. If it passes, Democratic presidential candidates would have to actually spend time and money in California for the first time in decades, as they will no longer be able to rely on California unions funding Super PACs through payroll deductions. It could become a purple state, making it competitive enough to actually matter to campaigns.
When it comes to Prop 32’s chances of passing, Fleischman believes it will be close. Both sides are fully funded, and about 8% of voters remain undecided on the issue. Early results in the presidential election showing a clear win for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney could have an impact on the initiative's chances, as it may lower voter turnout among the winning party's constituents before the polls close.