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Field Poll on California Death Penalty

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Opponents of the death penalty in California are happy about a new Field Poll that shows their position is behind by "only" 22%, less than previously.
Field also asked a second question, which would be useful in classes on polling about how to frame a question if you actually want to skew the results.  The question is, "What should California do in light of a federal judge's ruling the California's death penalty is unconstitutional because it takes so long for the state to carry out an execution (among California registered voters)." 

Loading the question with the negative word "unconstitutional" and failing to inform the respondent that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected similar arguments many times over the years and that this decision is on appeal and likely to be reversed will naturally produce a skew in the opponents' favor.  Even with all that, their position loses by 12%.

Last year, the initiative campaign asked the question in a much better, more neutral way by fairly stating both sides' key argument and asking which one the voter agreed with.  It was 69-24 our way.  See this post.  I very much doubt that a 45% margin shrunk to a 12% margin in a year.  The difference is question wording: fair v. biased.

Reporting on the poll are Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury-News, Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee, and Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Congratulations to the abolitionist movement, whose 22% margin of defeat is only slightly more than five times the margin by which Mitt Romney lost the White House to Barack Obama.

I didn't know until now that Romney had done so stunningly well. Far more frequently I had heard that his defeat was so decisive that the Republican Party needs to go back to Square One.

I wonder when I can look forward to hearing that abolitionism similarly has to go back to Square One.

Should I wait?

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