Hollywood’s Polls Are Not a Good Idea

How Hollywood Got Behind California’s Prop. 28

For the last two decades, Hollywood insiders and industry-watchers have been warning that a Prop. 28 anti-voter initiative is on the horizon, probably before the November 2016 election. They predicted that Proposition 28 would be easily passed, and thus far that has proved true. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce published its “2016 Election Forecast,” which revealed that a record-breaking number of voters in California are ready to strike down Prop. 28, the “Voter Empowerment Act” (VEA).

But, it should be noted that these predictions were based on the assumption that Hollywood will go along with the agenda of big money and will work within the existing state-political structures to ensure passage of Prop. 28 at the national level. A Hollywood Chamber of Commerce poll conducted last summer found that nearly three-quarters of respondents, who have made a record number of campaign contributions to political parties, were already opposed to Prop. 28, and were willing to support any number of ballot initiatives, including the California initiative, that would make it tougher for people to vote. That poll was conducted in July before the July 5 California law, which made it easier for voters to challenge election registration forms that they believed were fraudulent. The California law was also backed by the American Civil Liberties Union and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in California.

A quick look at the numbers, however, does not reveal any reason to be optimistic about whether the Hollywood Chamber poll is correct. According to the most recent California State Bar Election Data for 2015, Prop 28 was supported by 53.4 percent of those polled and opposed by 46.6 percent. According to the most recent CIRCLE poll, the voters who opposed Prop. 28 were overwhelmingly Democrats and Republicans, although the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. The poll also indicated that more voters had voted for Obama twice than for any other national candidate except for Republican Mitt Romney. In this context, Hollywood must surely know it is time for it to go along with the program in California it helped to establish.

According to the New York Times, Proposition 28, which passed by a 58 to 42 percent margin in the June

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