Welcome to the Thursday, December 1, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- The closest and widest vote margins for state ballot measures in California
- President Joe Biden’s approval rating at 41% at the end of November
- Catch up on the U.S. Supreme Court with the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast
The closest and widest vote margins for state ballot measures in California
Californians voted on seven statewide ballots this year. Of those, Proposition 30, which voters rejected 57.66% to 42.34%, had the narrowest vote margin—15.32%. Proposition 27, which voters rejected 82.41% to 17.59%, had the widest difference in vote share for the winning and losing sides at 64.82%.
We recently completed our internal publication of all ballot measures in California’s history. That let our team have some fun looking comprehensively at the data.
How do this year’s vote margins stack up against those in previous years? Here’s a list of California’s 10 closest ballot measure elections and the 10 landslides.
There were 23 state ballot measures decided by less than a percentage point in California between 1910 and 2022.
- The ballot measure with the closest vote margin percentage during that period was 1988’s Proposition 74, which was defeated with a vote margin of .02%. The margin in absolute votes was 545. Proposition 74 would have issued $1 billion in bonds for improvements to state highways, streets and roads, and rail transit.
- The measure with the closest absolute vote margin was 1915’s Proposition 4. ‘No’ defeated ‘Yes’ by 514. The vote margin percentage was 49.90% to 50.10%. Proposition 4 would have allowed judges appointed to fill vacancies on the supreme court, district court of appeal, or superior court to finish the rest of the position’s term.
The following table shows the vote margins for the closest 10 ballot measure elections in California between 1910 and 2022:
Click here to read about the 10 measures.
The 10 statewide ballot measures in California between 1910 and 2022 with the widest vote margins averaged at least a 71% difference in vote share for the winning and losing sides. The ballot measure with the widest margin during that period was Proposition 12 in 1972, which was approved with a vote margin of 79.47%, or 6,288,157 votes. Proposition 12 extended tax exemptions for disabled veterans to veterans who had lost the use of both arms, the use of one arm or one leg, or the use of one arm and one leg and extended this tax exemption to surviving spouses.
Voters approved nine of the 10 statewide ballot measures with the widest margins. In 1988, California voters defeated Proposition 101 86.73% to 13.27%. Proposition 101 would have required insurance companies to reduce the bodily injury liability and uninsured motorist portions of motor vehicle insurance rates and limit claims for non-economic losses and attorney contingency fees.
The following table shows the vote margins for the widest 10 ballot measure elections in California between 1910 and 2022:
Click here to read about the 10 measures.
In 2022, California voters defeated Proposition 27, which would legalize mobile sports betting, 82% to 18%. Overall, about 2% of California ballot measures that were defeated had wider margins than Proposition 27.
President Joe Biden’s approval rating at 41% at the end of November
Now that we’ve entered December, let’s look back at President Joe Biden’s (D) approval ratings through November.
Following the Nov. 8 elections, in which Democrats maintained control of the Senate and Republicans gain control of the House, President Biden’s average approval rating stood at 41%. Fifty-three percent of voters disapprove of his performance.
Biden last had a 41% approval rating on Aug. 26 of this year. One month ago, Biden’s approval was 44%. Biden’s lowest average approval rating was 38% on July 27, 2022. Biden’s highest average approval ratings was 55% on May 26, 2021.
At the end of November 2018, following a midterm election in which Democrats gained control of the U.S. House, then-President Donald Trump’s (R) approval was at 43%.
Congress’ November average approval rating was 22% approval was at 22% and disapproval was at 53%. A month ago, its approval rating was at 26%. The highest approval rating Congress has received is 36%, last seen on July 16, 2021, and the lowest approval rating it has received is 14%, last seen on January 26, 2022. In November 2018, congressional approval was at 22%.
Ballotpedia’s polling index takes the average of polls conducted over the last 30 days to calculate presidential and congressional approval ratings. We average the results and show all polling results side-by-side because we believe that paints a clearer picture of public opinion than any individual poll can provide. The data is updated daily as new polling results are published.
Click below to follow presidential and congressional approval ratings.
Catch up on the U.S. Supreme Court with the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast
On the Ballot, our weekly podcast, takes a closer look at the week’s top political stories. Last week, we looked at the midterm elections and what the results mean for politics at the state and federal levels.
This week’s episode is all about the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Host Victoria Rose talks with staff writer Myj Saintyl about the cases SCOTUS will hear in its December argument sitting.
Episodes of On the Ballot come out Thursday afternoons, so if you’re reading this on the morning of Dec. 1, you’ve still got time to subscribe to On the Ballot on your favorite podcast app before this week’s episode drops!
Click below to listen to older episodes and find links to where you can subscribe.