Poll: California Voters Oppose Repealing Proposition 209, Restoring Affirmative Action

Proposition 209 (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty

A new poll suggests California voters oppose Proposition 16, a ballot measure that would repeal Proposition 209 of 1996, which bars the state from using race as a basis for discrimination for any purpose, including affirmative action.

Despite the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, which has sparked large protests (and riots) in many cities across the state, California voters are not sold on the idea of re-introducing race in college admissions and governments contracts.

A new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reported Wednesday night:

Proposition 16 would repeal a 1996 constitutional amendment (Prop 209) that banned the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in public hiring decisions. Among likely voters, 31 percent would vote yes and 47 percent would vote no, with one in five (22%) undecided. Forty-six percent of Democratic likely voters support Proposition 16, compared with 26 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans. The San Francisco Bay Area (40% of likely voters) and Los Angeles (37%) are the only regions with more than one-third support (28% Orange/San Diego, 25% Central Valley, 20% Inland Empire).

PPIC president and CEO Mark Baldassere said in a press release: “Support for Proposition 16 is well below 50 percent, with one in five voters undecided about this effort to add diversity as a factor in public employment, education, and contracting decisions.”

The California state legislature, in which Democrats have a supermajority, passed a constitutional amendment to repeal Proposition 209 in June, while the Black Lives Matter protests were in full swing. That our Proposition 16 on the ballot.

It is opposed vehemently by Asian American groups. Asian Americans make up about one-sixth of California’s population, and generally feel that affirmative action hurts them the most.

The poll surveyed 1,168 likely voters from Sep. 4 to 13, and has a margin of error of 4.3%.

The poll also found that Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in the state, 60% to 31%.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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