A few ballot proposition poll numbers changed in the newly released Pepperdine University-California Business Roundtable Poll, in the two weeks since the poll’s initial release. It appears that outside events and the newly issued ballot labels may have an effect on voters.
Since the issuing of the first poll, the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado occurred, with the death of 12 victims and the wounding of scores more. Proposition 34 to repeal the death penalty saw its numbers drop from 45.5% support to 35.9% support.
“While you can’t be completely certain, the major decline in support for Prop 34 likely reflects a public response to the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado,” said Dr. Michael Shires associate professor at Pepperdine University. ”For many Californians, life in prison would not be severe enough for such a terrible crime.”
Less dramatically, but significantly, Proposition 30 calling for higher income and sales taxes fell from 56.2% to 52.5% after days of news dealing with found millions of dollars in the Parks Department special funds.
The polling technique used in this effort allows voters to spend time online reading the title and summary as they would in a voting booth or before they mark an absentee ballot. The original polling a couple of weeks ago presented to voters the title and summary of initiatives that were affixed to petitions as the measures qualified.
Since the first poll was issued, the Secretary of State has released the ballot labels that voters will see on their ballots. In addition, this time voters participating in the poll could pull up a quick reference guide consisting of analysis by the Legislative Analyst and Pro and Con ballot arguments.
For example, Proposition 31, California Forward’s budget reform measure got a simple label: State Budget. Many voters have concerns with the state budget which may explain Prop 31’s drop in support from 51% 40.7% in one of the biggest changes for any measure.
Proposition 38, the Munger initiative to raise income taxes for the schools, gained from 35% Yes to 42.4% Yes. In the estimation of the pollsters, Prop 38’s improved standing occurred because of its ballot label.
Other Results from the bi-weekly poll can be found here.