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SurveyUSA: Prop. 62 Headed for Defeat.

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SurveyUSA has this poll, conducted for four California TV stations. Among the findings:

"Proposition 62, which would end the death penalty in CA and replace it with life in prison, trails by 16 points today and is headed for defeat." 

The overall result is 36% yes, 52% no, 12% undecided.  They did not poll on Prop. 66, the reform initiative.  The poll has some interesting crosstabs, and some quirky ones.
Click on the "Printer Friendly PDF" link in the left sidebar for an easier-to-read version of the full results.  Prop. 62 is Question 12 on pages 21-23 of the PDF file.

Prop. 62 is losing with both genders, all education, income, and urbanity levels, all religion groups, and all four designated regions of the state.  Yes, even the [in]famously lefty Bay Area.

For party affiliation, a plurality (not a majority) of Democrats are in favor, but independents are solidly against by 2-1.

Among racial and ethnic groups, white voters are against, and Hispanic and Asian voters are even more so.  Prop. 62 ekes out a bare majority (51%) with black voters.

There is an interesting split between children and grandchildren of immigrants.  Among the group SurveyUSA calls "first-generation," which it defines as those with a parent who immigrated to this country, Prop. 62 gets clobbered 29-52.  Among their "second generation," those with a grandparent who immigrated, the split is even within the margin of error, 47-46.  [This is idiosyncratic terminology.  Standard usage is to call the immigrants themselves "first generation," their children "second," and so forth.]

Then there are the quirky crosstabs.  Smokers and nonsmokers are not significantly different.  Vegetarians are different, though, with a plurality in favor of 62, while the flesh-eaters are a mere 1% more opposed than the total.  (I gather there aren't that many vegetarians in the sample.)  Motorcycle ownership doesn't make much difference.  People with tattoos are a tad more opposed that those without.

This is all very good news, but no reason to be complacent.  The friends of murderers have lots of money, and we can expect a barrage of misleading ads.  In 2012 we saw an absurd commercial about an unfortunate young man wrongly convicted of murder.  His case was not a capital case and therefore utterly irrelevant to the death penalty debate, but the commercial accidentally on purpose left out that essential fact.

We also have to deal with press bias.  I noted here a misleading story in the San Francisco Chronicle.  I immediately fired off a letter to the editor.  My letter hasn't printed yet.  We will see if they print it at all.

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