Posted: Jun 22, 2012 12:18 PM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A closely-watched effort to impose a new tax on tobacco to pay for cancer research in the nation's most populous state has failed by six tenths of a percentage point.
The Associated Press determined Friday that California's Proposition 29, backed by cycling legend Lance Armstrong, had failed by about 27,000 votes out 5 million cast.
Through a barrage of campaign ads, tobacco companies were able to cut support for the $1-a-pack cigarette tax from a two-thirds majority in March to a dead heat on Election Day.
Opponents of the measure raised $47 million to fight it, dramatically outspending supporters, who raised $12 million.
Campaign ads sponsored by tobacco companies framed the tax as a government boondoggle and warned that some of the cancer research could be done outside California.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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