June 6, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Prop 29 outcome still up in the air

Right now (as of 4:43 am June 7), the Secretary of State shows the Philip Morris and Reynolds leading on Prop 29, with 50.7% no vs. 49.2% yes on Prop 29.  The spread is very small, only 63,176 votes out of a total of 3.85 million votes counted so far.

There are a large number of uncounted absentee ballots -- I have seen estimates ranging up to 1 million -- which means that the Secretary of State has declared the race a "close contest," meaning that the result will not be certified until all the ballots are counted.

The ultimate outcome will depend entirely on where the uncounted ballots are, since there were huge differences in how the vote went in different counties.  For example, 64.3% voted "yes" in Santa Clara County (where reporters have told me there are a large number of uncounted ballots) whereas only 33.6% voted "yes" in Kern County. 

There is also the question of whether or not the absentee voters voted the same way as the precinct voters.  On one hand, absentee voters tend to be more conservative than precinct voters.  On the other hand absentee voters may have voted earlier than precinct voters, in which case they would not have been as influenced by Philip Morris and Reynolds' deceptive ad campaign.

At this point, it is impossible to make a reliable prediction of the final outcome. 

As far as I know, Philip Morris and Reynolds have not said anything.

The Yes campaign has put out the following statement:
Yes on Prop 29 Awaits Final Ballot Count
SACRAMENTO, Calif.– Today, the Yes on Proposition 29 campaign released this statement:

“With estimates that more than one million vote-by-mail and provisional ballots remain uncounted, and only 65,000 votes separating the yes and no side, sponsors and supporters of Prop 29 are not conceding defeat. 

Prop 29 is and has always been about saving lives and fighting tobacco-related diseases. With less than 1 percent separating defeat from victory, we remain vigilant and ever hopeful, no matter how long the odds. Frankly, our campaign of cancer survivors and their family members are used to this kind of a fight. 

We will closely monitor the counting of late absentee and provisional ballots over the next two days.  This race is still too close to call, and we remain hopeful that the victory will ultimately be ours. Millions of Californians who will benefit from passage of Prop 29 are not giving up the fight because today more than 155 people in the state will die from cancer."

Prop 29 will raise the cost of a pack of cigarettes by $1 and dedicate those new funds to cancer and other tobacco-related disease research and smoking cessation efforts.  Written by the American Cancer Society in California, the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate and the American Lung Association in California, Prop 29 is supported by the Lance Armstrong Foundation and doctors, scientists and researchers throughout California. 



Lets hope we can pull Prop. 29 out of the ashes!

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