In response to Joe Mathews’ piece today in which he concludes that Redistricting is doomed to failure, I think there are enough differences in this November’s redistricting initiative effort that it does have a chance of passing.

The Democratic Party has officially come out against the measure, but they’ll have their hands full explaining their position. On one hand, they are trumpeting the campaign of Barack Obama who calls for change and undoing the old partisan wars, and on the other, they are defending the status quo of a very partisan current redistricting system.

And, the campaign for the initiative won’t seem as partisan as some Democratic Party leaders will try to make it. A number of groups that often align themselves with the Democrats have endorsed this initiative. So have some visible Democratic politicians such as Steve Westly, and I don’t think he will be the only one.

Political scientists often say that when voters look around at measures they are not sure about, they often take a cue from endorsements they trust. In this case, many Democratic voters will respect the opinion of these groups and individual Democratic leaders who choose to endorse the measure.

History says that your conclusion is right, Joe, since so many redistricting reform measures have failed in California in the past. However, this year could be different. This redistricting initiative will be a good test to see if “change” is truly in the air.