Prop 10 falling in polls, even among Democrats, with Newsom support holding

Opponents of rent control measure spent $73M to defeat it

Oct.October 26, 2018 12:15 PM
Essex Property Trust CEO Michael Schall, AIDS Healthcare Foundation exec Michael Weinstein and Park La Brea

The prospect of a future with more rent control laws is looking less and less likely.

A recent poll by the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California shows that 60 percent of likely voters — and majorities in all major political parties — plan to vote no on Proposition 10 on November 6. The ballot measure would repeal a state law restricting rent control across the state, opening the floodgates for new rent control laws.

It’s the latest poll showing that Proposition 10 isn’t so popular among voters. A poll earlier this month that showed that only 41 percent of voters would support the measure.

Proposition 10 has turned into one of the most expensive ballot questions on this year’s ballot. The opposition, led by donors in the real estate industry including Essex Property Trust and Equity Residential, have spent $73.5 million to fight the measure, with supporters spending $25.8 million, according to state figures. Much of the support has come from the L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Developers argue that rent control would devastate the multifamily market and lead to less development. Some developers put plans on hold to wait for the results of the election out of concerns they wouldn’t pencil out if rent control was expanded.

According to the Public Policy Institute poll, only 25 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Proposition 10, down 11 percent from September. The measure needs 50 percent of voters to vote yes to pass. Around two in every three voters in Los Angeles do not support Prop 10.

Even among Democrats, who were expected to support the measure, just 28 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes. Housing affordability is still a concern among voters though — two of every three voters said it’s a “big problem” in their part of the state.

In the statewide race for Governor of California, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, holds a healthy lead over Republican challenger John Cox. Newsom leads Cox among likely voters 49 percent to 38 percent.

In Los Angeles Count, around 55 percent of voters said they supported Newsom.

Voters are largely voting with their party. Among Democrats, 83 percent support Newsom. A similar percentage of Republicans support Cox.

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