Four years ago, we defeated a death penalty repeal initiative, but the opponents got closer than they should have. I believed at the time that the reason was not opposition to the death penalty as such but rather the success of the opponents in blocking enforcement of the death penalty and the absence of a reform alternative on the same ballot.
The topline results of the new poll tend to confirm this hypothesis. For the repeal initiative, the poll found 45.1% in favor and 54.9% opposed. For the reform initiative, the poll found 75.7% in favor and 24.3% opposed. At a minimum, then, one fifth of the people of California intend to vote for both initiatives. That is, if all of the 24.3% who intend to vote no on reform vote in favor of repeal, then 20.8% who intend to vote for reform also intend to vote for repeal. If anyone intends to vote no on both, though I'm not sure why anyone would, then the "yes on both" vote is that much larger. A large segment of the population of California is so fed up with the status quo that, although they would like to see the system fixed, they would rather scrap it than go on as we are.
The "crosstabs" are also interesting. What would happen if California Democrats decided this issue by themselves?