Voting No on Prop 29

The long slow count of mail-in votes on Proposition 29 (to add $1 tax to a packet of cigarettes) in California seems to be approaching its end, and it’s getting quite nail-biting.

Currently, with about 5 million votes counted, the No vote is 27888 ahead of the Yes vote, with an estimated 111,472 uncounted votes remaining. Given those figures, for Yes to win, it has to get over 62.5% of the remaining votes.

H/T Junican for this link to a pdf showing the current remaining uncounted votes, by county. It appears to be being updated as votes come in.

I’ve taken a map of all the counties in California and marked it up with dark red for counties with the most votes remaining, light pink for the counties with least, and added the actual numbers in white.

Is it likely that Yes can get 62.5% or more of the remaining votes? As best I know Northern California (NorCal) is all antismoking counties and Southern California (SoCal) is all smoking counties. So far the antismoking counties seem to have gone 2/3 Yes, and the smoking counties 2/3 No.

So if all the counties north of San Luis Obispo are antismoking, then that’s 64,765 votes, with 2/3 Yes amounting to 43,177 Yes, 21588 No.

The southern counties add up to 46,714 votes in total, with 15,571 Yes, 31,143 No.

So the total number of Yes votes is 58,748.

And the total number of No votes is 52,731.

So Yes picks up another 6017 votes, but that only reduces the No lead to about 22,000. So that’s my prediction. And Stanton Glantz can kiss goodbye to $735 million. And a few days ago, with the lead down to 13,000 it must’ve seemed like they could pull it out.

But it may only be on 6 July that the final tally will be declared. Yet more uncounted votes may show up by then.

Smokervoter (in San Bernardino?) with his huge spreadsheet and encyclopedic knowledge of his home state  may have different ideas.

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25 Responses to Voting No on Prop 29

  1. Tom says:

    Unscientifically, just based on hunches and feelings of 3+ decades of direct experience with NorCal and most of its counties, I’d be a little fearful of Sonoma having 25,350 uncounted votes as they are similar to Marin in attitude and Marin is strictly anti-smoking (banned outdoors just about everywhere). Santa Cruz is smoke banned in parks for mere “possession” ($50 fine), but only 2,015 votes remaining there (if they’re not stuffing the boxes with post-dated ballots as it’s a very corrupt city and the communist – yes, communist – party holds many offices of high power, including mayor and city council, at least in the past they have). Contra Costa one would think more working class old-style blue collar and less anti-smoking, but Concord, probably the largest city in Contra Costa County, recently enacted no outdoor smoking downtown with fines for breaking the law. I don’t know SoCal as well, but Ventura, along the coast and full of wealthy Hollywood types along the coastal highway in fancy houses, they might also be similar to Santa Cruzians in their outlook and be smoke-hating anti-smoking fanatics also, which would be another 9,499 votes up for grabs. Again, not scientific, but a few of those counties worry me. Placer would worry me too since it has Rocklin, which was in the news a few months back for banning all outdoor smoking, including in your own backyard – but it’s only 5 uncounted votes remaining, so not much chance of upsetting things with only 5 uncounted votes.

  2. Tom, Sonoma has been voting 61% to 39% for the tax with 89,000 votes counted. If the last 23,000 followed the same rough 60/40 pattern that would be about 14,000 yes vs. 9,000 Nos .. a gain of just 5,000 votes… not nearly enough to touch the 27k lead. Plus, the 27k lead hasn’t yet factored in the votes from Butte, Fresno, and Ventura Counties… all 3 close to 60/40 in our favor with 30 to 35k votes (I’m ignoring provisional ballots here as it seems very few of them get counted.)

    You can click on the counties at:

    to see the ratios so far for each county, and

    Click to access unprocessed-ballots-report.pdf

    to see the “unprocessed ballots” count.

    NOTE: The unprocessed ballot count has changed in the last ten hours, whereas the county votes are still showing the totals recorded at 9:41 this morning even though Butte and Ventura (which will have voted in our favor) have now been counted out. I don’t know why there’s a delay there, but I’m guessing it will be fixed within the next couple of hours and that we’ll see our lead increase to about 32k until Sonoma brings it back down below 28k.

    At this point by my count we will win by roughly 25,000 votes, possibly as low as 20 to 22,000, but more likely higher and up near thirty. If I had to bet in a pool on a round number at this point I’d put my money on 27,500 as the end count.

    – MJM, aka “Karnak The Magnificent”

    • Frank Davis says:

      SACRAMENTO | Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:01pm EDT
      (Reuters) – California will not raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack after vote results posted on Friday showed a ballot initiative on the matter narrowly failed, and proponents of the tax on tobacco products conceded defeat.

      The measure, known as Proposition 29, was defeated 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent, according to full precinct count results posted on Friday by California’s Secretary of State. Some absentee and other ballots remained to be counted.

      “While the final numbers are not yet in, it appears that California’s Prop 29 will be defeated,” proponents of the measure said in a statement. “We are sorely disappointed that, yet again, Big Tobacco placed its profits ahead of the health of California and the nation.”

      • nisakiman says:

        “We are sorely disappointed that, yet again, Big Tobacco placed its profits ahead of the health of California and the nation.”

        Big Tobacco? I didn’t know they had a vote, I thought it was the people of California who were voting on this.

        Or are they calling foul, because the tobacco companies had the temerity to defend their business, and along with it the interests of their customers? I suppose those poor, penniless folk in Tobacco Control didn’t have an advertising budget and so were unable to publicise their propaganda?

  3. cherie79 says:

    I heard that on FOX News too, comments on the above article are interesting. All is not lost yet.

  4. Scot says:

    Fuck Stan. If he wants recount he can pay for it himself.

    Then again there will be another “Proposition” pushed by him and his ilk a few years down the line.

  5. In most countrys the results are known within hours of the polls closing. What are they doing in California, counting them in their bloody tea break, or something?

  6. smokervoter says:

    Back on June 13 I left a comment for Harley that went something like this:

    “Harley, do you have 326,000 still uncounted?

    I think Prop 29 will lose by between 18-24 thousand votes. Final margin 50.2%-49.8%.

    The uncounted votes are still running at a 52%-48% Yes skew after 70% of the ultimate uncounted vote.

    I think the final tally is only 7% away from being complete.”

    I was both right and wrong there. We were 2.6% away.

    That being said, here’s how I read these final votes going. Sonoma really worried me at first with the large tally. It’s hippy heaven there and they all seem to want cannabis legalized and tobacco outlawed. Fresno reassured me; regular folks and farmers there – keep your freakin’ nose outta’ my bizness folks. San Diego who did sort of flip in the late ballots, a snore at 19 net Yes by my calcs. L.A. was boring as well at 317 net Yes. Ventura was becoming slightly less No-ish in the uncounted tally, but still net us another 214 No votes.

    Bottom line, excluding the strange provisional votes which Michael
    says often disappear, I’ll say they get another 1,900 Yes votes.

    As for the provisionals; Fresno, Riverside and Butte offset even a last minute LA change of heart. And Santa Cruz, with your measly 2,000 last ditch leftovers, F-you and the horse you rode in on.

  7. junican says:

    I think that we can reasonably take it that prop 29 has been defeated.

    Is this a turning point?

    It has been very noticeable how Glantz has claimed that: ‘Philip Morris etc may have won’. No mention that some two and a half million people have vote ‘No’. The guy is a megalomaniac. He does not see two and a half million individuals – he sees a ‘Philip Morris group of zombies’. No doubt the Holy Zealots will re-group and try again – he says so.

    I fear that Philip Morris will also see this victory in the same terms. That is, that their expenditure of funds was what produced the victory. They also will see the electorate as zombies.

    That is a frightening idea, since it suggests that, if Glatz tries again in a few months or years, he will suceed and that the electorate are morons. Perhaps they are.

    This whole idea (the extra tax for cancer research) ought never have been contemplated. It was and is an obvious confidence trick. The gulibility of Americans never ceases to amaze me (present company excepted, of course!).

    But we have the same gullibility here in the UK. There is something extremely odd about this gullibility. Extremely odd. I do not know what to make of it precisely.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Is this a turning point?

      I have no idea. Perhaps it is, and perhaps it isn’t.

      • dixie1 says:

        Frank really it all depends on how badly the economy tanks this year………if its gonna dump to near a depression like some economists are saying…..tobacco control is probably D.O.A.

    • truckerlyn says:

      “But we have the same gullibility here in the UK. There is something extremely odd about this gullibility. Extremely odd. I do not know what to make of it precisely.”
      Perhaps our VERY UNdemocratic government are putting something in the water?

      I, too, find it hard to believe how gullible and positively naive so much of the population are! Just plain common sense knocks the bo**ocks off the rubbish the likes of ASH, WHO, etc spew every time they open their mouths!

      It appalls me that people just jump on the anti smoking bandwagon just because they have lost a loved one to cancer and that loved one smoked! I lost my first husband to lung cancer when I was 39 years old and my daughter just 13. Yes, he smoked, he also drank to great excess; he also had a couple of episodes when riding his motor bike in very still, heavy, hot weather, down the M4 whilst farmers had been crop spraying. The chemicals used in the spray caused him to be short of breath and have great difficulty breathing – not verified by the hospital, but it was only on these occasions that he ever had anything like this happen. After being checked in hospital on each occasion, an ECG done, he was sent home and told he was fine, but should rest! For all we know that could have been as much, if not more to blame than the fact that he smoked! Of course, it could also have been something to do with his genetic make up and which case he would have got lung cancer whether or not he ever smoked or touched a drink!

      Sorry to go on, but it makes my blood boil!

  8. smokervoter says:

    I’ve just watched a fellow being caned for alcohol in Timbuktu on the BBC stateside broadcast here. And there was a video of a 68-year old granny being harassed to tears by a young punk over her weight. And people just can’t seem to quit talking about how over the top Mayor Bloomberg is becoming in NYC.

    I hope the Healthist Taliban (how’s that for an exacting simile) are proud of what they’ve spawned. They can run from the increasingly obvious tag, but they can’t hide.

    Hopefully their days are numbered.

  9. Walt says:

    From Frank’s link on Glantz:

    Here’s the part ya gotta love:

    “There is a small chance that a tobacco tax might pass in the Legislature, depending on what happens with the new “top two” primary system in California that might lead to less radically anti-tax (and pro-tobacco) Republican minority in California. …..I would support a state increase in the tobacco tax as long as it included a reasonable allocation to reinvigorate the state tobacco control program.

    He also describes how he’ll try for another ballot initiative, too:

    ‘If 29 does indeed loose [sic!], we should try again with an improved initiative. I think that 29 was reasonably well-conceived but there is definite room for improvement, such as adding “in California” a bunch more times. (I am in the process of developing a tightened up suggested language based on our research…”

    And here, btw, is what “our research” shows:

    “Ballot measures to increase tobacco taxes with a substantial fraction of the money devoted to tobacco control activities will probably fare better than ones that give priority to funding medical services.”

    • Frank Davis says:

      “as long as it included a reasonable allocation to reinvigorate the state tobacco control program.”

      This was always a money grab. Federal money is running out, so Stan wanted CA smokers to instead fund his antismoking habit.

      He didn’t win this time. And if I have anything to do with it, he never will.

  10. magnetic01 says:

    $735M. That’s 735,000,000 smackaroonies.

    Glands’ eyes bulge past the contours of his face with avaricious desire, drool running along his bearded chin. In a high-pitched scream (as in following inhalation of helium), Glands’ lets fly, “It’th (spittle) mine. All mine!”

    [It reminds me of a Bugs Bunny episode years ago. Bugs and Daffy Duck find a treasure that our web-footed friend believes only he is entitled to – of course. Even after being miniaturized to the size of a finger and barely detectable amongst the “loot”, Daffy squeals (of the treasure), “It’th mine. All mine!”]

  11. dixie1 says:

    Stanton Glantz committed suicide moments ago!

    Found with a Nazi flag draped over his hanging body,jack boots shined,a zieg heil farewell painted on the wall……………………A meat hook thru his brain…………..A silence fell…….Then rejoising was heard across Los Angeles as smokers lit up in wicked abandon. Tis a good thing!

  12. jaxthefirst says:

    I confess to being pretty confused about all this Prop 29 business (never been good with numbers, me!) but certainly, even if in the – seemingly unlikely – event that the Prop 29 supporters, by fair means or foul, manage to squeeze this through, the fact that they will have done so only by either a tiny margin or by statistical (or actual) manipulation speaks volumes about how much support the anti-smoking lobby has lost amongst what is now a majority non-smoking public. Ten years ago such a proposition would have flown through the ballot with a resounding “yes” vote and Tobacco Control would have been popping the champagne corks with gay abandon and happily planning their next move.

    It’s all very heartening. Living here in the UK I, like many others, have noted with no small sense of relief how, following the imposition of our own smoking ban, much of the wind has dropped from the sails of Tobacco Control over here, but the impression I got was that anti-smoking in all its horrific glory was still very much alive and kicking over the pond. But this whole Prop 29 story indicates that it just isn’t so. Maybe the fact is that anti-smoking politicians both in the UK and the US have gone just about as far as they are prepared to go on restrictions on smoking – and, let’s be honest, neither set were prepared to go as far as making tobacco illegal, because that would have ruined them financially – and so Tobacco Control with all its leading lights and associated hangers-on are simply no longer of any use to them.

    In many ways it’s surprising that, having shown how adept they are at forward planning in terms of achieving each of their onward objectives regarding the control of smoking and smokers, Tobacco Control should have had such an enormous blindspot when it came to their own fortunes as a movement. No doubt there are many among them who, like most people these days, regard politicians as an inherently untrustworthy breed, given to using others on a regular basis purely for their own political objectives. So it’s somewhat staggering then that adherents of the anti-smoking cause could deceive themselves into thinking that those very self-same politicians, in the case of Tobacco Control only, could possibly be genuine friends and allies whose support would never waver.

    • XX but the impression I got was that anti-smoking in all its horrific glory was still very much alive and kicking over the pond. But this whole Prop 29 story indicates that it just isn’t so. XX

      Which, when you think, proves a point about propoganda in the Westminster dictatorship run press.

      They would not DREAM of telling us that there may be OPPOSITION to these smoking bans. But an election/referendum is rather harder to cover up, no matter HOW your propoganda department tries.

  13. jredheadgirl says:

    “Supporters of Proposition 29, the $1-a-pack cigarette tax hike, conceded defeat Friday more than two weeks after the election and following a bruising and expensive campaign by opponents. “

    • smokervoter says:

      That SF-based article speaks volumes about the Bay Area mentality that Tom describes so well. And the picture of that smoker – pure hideous denormalization. Glantz seems to have a problem with the First Amendment. He’s a dangerous man, and he’s got a big following up there.

      Suppose he managed to ban the tobacco companies from all monetary political input. What then, the $18 million they raised through fake charities and Lance Armstrong versus zero from we smokers, the very citizens on the hook for the $735 million a year tax burden? That and the 85 to 15 demographic numerical advantage going into it? Sounds like a perfect totalitarian game plan to me.

      I meant to complement you on the excellent summation you did on Prop 29 over on your site. As Junican has mentioned before, navigating the comment box is like pulling teeth. But you know that already, I’ve noticed it sometimes takes two or three starts for you to leave a reply.

      You’ve really got me to thinking about safer cigarettes, something I admit I haven’t pondered much before. We always seem to be able to build a better mousetrap, why not with tobacco products?

      If I walked in to my local smoke shop and found one-pound bags labeled even 50% safer, you can bet your booty I’d give them a try. If they tasted all right, I’d switch in a heartbeat.

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Finally 49 million dollars spent to protect smokers and fight the nazis!

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