By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Sep. 21, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

A campaign finance measure on the November ballot is trailing among likely California voters, according to a new survey, although a sizable percentage remain undecided as dueling campaigns head into their final weeks.

The poll, by the Field Poll and the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, shows 44 percent plan to vote no on Proposition 32 while 38 percent support the measure.

The rest, 18 percent, said they haven’t decided.

“Opinions on this aren’t fully formed yet,” said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo.

Proposition 32 would ban unions and corporations from using payroll-deducted money for political purposes and prohibit their direct contributions to candidates or candidates’ committees.

Both sides could still fund independent campaigns backing candidates and causes, but unions would have less money for those activities, since they rely on payroll-deducted dues to fuel their political efforts.

Corporations use money from their company resources and executive donations to fund their activities. The two sides often battle in Sacramento over everything from home mortgage reform and minimum-wage laws to government contracting and taxes.

Pollsters found that 52 percent of Democrats – a party generally considered pro-union – reject the measure, more than twice the 24 percent of Democrats who support it.

Republicans favor the measure, 52 percent to 37 percent. Some 45 percent of independents said they’ll vote yes; 37 percent said they’ll vote no.

The undecided voters in each party: Democrats, 24 percent; Republicans, 11 percent; independents, 18 percent.

Still, DiCamillo said he expects more voters will move into the “no” camp over the coming weeks. Organized labor has raised about $40 million to fight Proposition 32, compared with about $8 million raised by proponents.

Both sides have launched statewide ad campaigns, but Jack Citrin, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, said the unions are more motivated.

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