Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a sharp critic of the pharmaceutical industry, returned to California last month to rally his anti-establishment following in support of Proposition 61, the ballot measure that would cap drug prices paid by the state.
Now, with a recent poll suggesting the contest will come down to the wire, Sanders will be back in the state to rally support.
Amid more than $100 million in spending by the pharmaceutical industry, a Field Poll put Proposition 61 in the tightest match of the 17 measures on the ballot. The poll, released last week, suggested voters were evenly split at 47 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing the measure, with the rest undecided.
Sanders begins the day in Los Angeles, where he joins a Proposition 61 rally downtown. Then he boards a plane for Sacramento to make a final pitch to voters on the west steps of the Capitol at 1:30 p.m.
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WORTH REPEATING: “It’s pretty darn confusing.” – Gov. Jerry Brown on the 17 ballot measures facing Californians
REGISTRATION SURGE: A record 19,411,771 Californians are registered to vote Tuesday, according to final registration numbers from Secretary of State Alex Padilla. This time around, voter registration accounts for 78 percent of eligible state voters and topped 2012 numbers by more than 1.2 million.
MUST-READ: Bee reporter Jeremy B. White explains why special interests are taking so many proposals to the people.
CALLING ALL PROCRASTINATORS: With less than 24 hours to go before the polls open, it’s your last chance to read up on candidates and causes. Think of our voter guide like SparksNotes for the 2016 ballot. The interactive tool tells you everything you need to know about death penalty changes, condoms in the porn industry, and countless other issues without having to crack the state’s official 225-page and 181,000-word pamphlet.
BY THE NUMBERS: Outside spending in legislative races on Tuesday’s ballot soared past $40 million heading into the weekend, state filings show, eclipsing the total spent in Assembly and Senate contests two years ago. The charter school industry, oil companies, and EdVoice, which seeks changes to the education system, lead the way in spending. Late last week, a committee funded by billionaire Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer reported six-figure spending on radio ads in Southern California’s battleground 21st Senate District. Super PAC’s also have been active in California House races, spending a total of $34 million as of Friday. The re-election campaigns of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, have attracted the most outside spending in the state.
Editor’s Note: This post was corrected at 8:38 a.m. Nov. 7, 2016 to say that Brown is campaigning against Proposition 53.
Jim Miller of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.