Term limits initiative has slim lead, new poll finds

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An initiative on the June ballot to alter California’s term limits law has support from a narrow majority of registered voters, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Proposition 28, which would shave two years off the 14 years legislators are allowed to serve in Sacramento but permit them to spend all of the 12 years in one legislative house, is favored by 51% of voters. The survey found that 32% oppose it and the remainder are undecided.


Currently, lawmakers are limited to six years in the Assembly and eight in the state Senate under a law passed by voters in 1990.

An earlier, similar measure to change the law was backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrats in the Legislature but was rejected by voters in 2004.

This time, Republicans strongly favor the measure, by a 58% to 30% margin. Democrats are more tepid, with 48% backing it and 34% opposing it.

The poll of 1,500 California voters was conducted for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times from March 14 through 19. It was fielded by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in conjunction with the Republican firm American Viewpoint. The margin of error is 2.9 percentage points.

Look for more findings in coming days at


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-- Nicholas Riccardi in Sacramento