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Poll: California Measure To End Death Penalty In Danger, Most Other Propositions Have Strong Support

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Poll: California Measure To End Death Penalty In Danger, Most Other Propositions Have Strong Support
Poll: Measure To End Death Penalty In Danger, Most Other Propositions Have Strong Support GUEST: David Barker, director, Sacramento State's Institute for Social Research

It is a ballot that people face this year. 17 state propositions alone. Some recent polling done on most of the state propositions find Californians in the mood to say yes. They remained voters that have not been able to make up your mind. I spoke with David Parker, director of Sacramento State Institute for social research and its Cal speaks public opinion project. Welcome to program. Looking at the big picture results, what is most striking? It looks like most of these are going to pass. That would be quite unusual in California's history when they tend to go down more often than they pass. Reporter: at this time in an election you would find a lot of measures looking like they were going to be failing, is that right? On a normal election year? Yes. That is right. That could be attributed partially to the fact that Democrats and the legislature decided to put these measures all of the ballot during this presidential year when a no more Democrats tend to turn out. Morbid publicans turnout -- more Republicans turnout on off years. Reporter: the only measure and it is a liberal one, with more opposition is prop 62. That would eliminate the states death penalty. Does that mean that disclosed to the election, that will fail? I would say it is more up in the air. No liens yes. No means no, do not repeal the death penalty can't keep the death penalty is leading. It is 45 to 37 with a few undecideds. It is conceivable that yes could still win. It is unlikely that. Reporter: the state has more Democrats than Republicans. How important is Republican opposition to prop 62? It is strong. If you look at the breakdown within party that you see that opposition to prop 62 is overwhelming among Republicans. Most Democrats actually support it. However, unlike some of the other propositions that there is a little bit less democratic support than for some of the others. In other words, when you look at something like marijuana or taxing cigarettes or multilingual education or use the overwhelming Democratic support that you see significant but not overwhelming Democratic support. When you couple that with Republican opposition got you get what you get. Reporter: is that the case for driving support for prop 66th? That is the proposition to streamline the death penalty in the state. Overwhelming probe -- Republican support? That is right. For different reasons. This is just another way for Republicans to demonstrate there was best support for the death penalty. If you are a Democrat or moderate Democrat where you might mildly support or oppose the death penalty that you might think, if we're going to have it, we should have it not cost as much money. That is what this is about. Streamlining the bureaucracy. Reporter: any races in a dead heat? Products -- prop 67. The ban on plastic bags. We currently find that with yes meeting with 35 to 39 in. That is just barely within our margin of error. That could still go the other way. Reporter: some of these propositions have a large amount of undecided voters. What are some of the measures with the largest undecided bloc? The one that stands out is prop. That says the legislature should advise the U. S. government to overturned citizens United which is the court case that expanded money and politics and gave corporations unlimited spending power. The reason that you can imagine why that one has so many undecided is because it mentions citizens United case. You have to be a pretty sophisticated voter or citizen to really be all that aware of that. If you are a political junkie, you know what that is. If you are a regular person, you might not. Comparing that to some of that other props.you don't have to know that much to know that you want to tax cigarettes or you don't. Or you do or don't want to repeal the death penalty or you think porn stars should wear condoms. Those don't require that much knowledge. The citizens United prop definitely does. It is a fascinating poll. It is Cal speaks public opinion projects. Thank you so much David. Thank you.

CALSPEAKS Proposition Poll
An October 19 CALSPEAKS poll on 14 of the 17 state ballot measures.
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A statewide survey released Wednesday found almost all of California’s 17 ballot measures are on track to pass next month, with the proposition to end the death penalty in California the only measure to have significant opposition.

The poll from Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research and its CALSPEAKS public-opinion project asked Californians about 14 ballot measures. A sample of 622 likely voters favored Proposition 67, the statewide plastic bag ban, 45-39, which was within the poll’s seven point margin of error, and opposed Proposition 62, which would end the death penalty in the state, 45-37. All other propositions in the poll had comfortable support.

“Most striking in the big picture is that almost all of these are going to pass, if our polling is instructive,” Institute for Social Research director David Barker said. “That’s remarkable in our history. (Ballot measures) tend to fail more often than they pass.”

More than 20 percent of respondents were undecided in eight of the propositions, with 34 percent undecided over Proposition 59, which would advise the legislature to work towards a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. That U.S. Supreme Court decision cut back limits on campaign spending by corporations and unions.

“If you're a typical voter, there's a good chance you've never heard of Citizen's United,” Barker said. “You can't respond to that with your gut.”

The poll also found Attorney General Kamala Harris still has a double-digit lead against Rep. Lorerra Sanchez in their race for California’s open U.S. Senate seat, 49-24. A previous CALSPEAKS poll found Harris had a 51-19 lead over Sanchez.

Barker joins KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday with more analysis of the CALSPEAKS poll.