Independent Driver Ballot Question Polling Evenly

Poll results released on Friday tracked similar levels of support and opposition so far for a proposed ballot question that would define drivers for app-based services like Uber and DoorDash as independent contractors and offer them new benefits such as paid sick leave and an earnings floor.

In early stages of what will be an expensive and intense campaign with major gig economy companies backing the question and labor groups in opposition, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance Foundation’s poll found 35.9 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat backed the question and 34.7 percent were against it.

About 29 percent of the 750 registered voters surveyed were undecided on the question, which barring legislative intervention is on track to appear on the November ballot.

The poll, which has a 3.5 percent margin of error, was fielded March 7-9 and conducted by Jim Eltringham of Virginia-based Advantage, Inc.

It found higher levels of support for the question among Democrats — 42.6 percent chose either “strongly” or “somewhat” support — than Republicans (26.7 percent) or unenrolled voters (34.18).

“This election’s a long way off,” Fiscal Alliance Foundation spokesperson Paul Craney said. “Both campaigns are probably going to gear up a lot and spend a lot of money, but, you know, several months out, if I was on the yes side I’d be pleased to see that this early on.”

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley on Friday endorsed the coalition opposing the question, and she plans to join its members for an East Boston event Saturday.

“We cannot accept the false choice between flexibility and critical workplace protections, and we cannot allow major corporations to strip away the rights of thousands of workers – disproportionately Black, brown, and immigrant workers – in order to improve their bottom line,” Pressley said in a statement. – Katie Lannan/SHNS

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