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Polls Show CA Prop 9 Losing Ground

Polls Show CA Prop 9 Losing Ground

California's statewide electricity ballot referendum that would turn back parts of the state's ongoing power industry restructuring is losing by a bigger margin in the latest nonpartisan Field Institute survey, but the percentage of undecided voters (36%) is still large, according to political polling experts.

With a coalition of nearly all major business, labor and environmental interests, led by the state's three major investor-owned utilities, the anti-Proposition 9 forces have committed to spend as much as $29 million to defeat the measure supported by several state and national consumer groups, some with ties to Ralph Nader. The Field Institute Poll completed earlier this month showed 19% of those surveyed favoring the measure (down 1% from August); 45% opposing (up 2%); and 36% still undecided (down 1%).

The ballot initiative proposes to undo parts of California's 1996 electricity law that mandate ratepayers to pay for past investments in nuclear and other traditional power plants, along with creating special rate revenue bonds-also paid for by utility customers- to grant an across-the-board 10% rate cut for residential and small business customers of the three investor-owned utilities.

Richard Nemec, Los Angeles

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