A set of surveys taken online says support for California's death penalty has risen, and support for an initiative to repeal it has plummeted, since the mass killings at a theater in Colorado, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. A survey by the California Business Roundtable and the Pepperdine School of Public Policy released July 19, found that 45.5 percent of the respondents favored Proposition 34 and 46.7 percent opposed it. Prop. 34 on the November ballot would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A day after the poll came out, a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 at a theater in Aurora, Co. On Aug. 5, another gunman killed six and wounded three at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wi. The first Business Roundtable-Pepperdine poll after the Aurora massacre was released Aug. 2. It found 35.9 percent of respondents in favor of Prop. 34 and 55.7 percent opposed. The latest poll, released Thursday, found 38.2 percent in favor and 52.2 percent opposed. The polling organization said its sample for that survey consisted of 811 Californians, contacted between Sunday and Wednesday, who described themselves as likely voters. The director of the Yes-on-34 campaign, Natasha Minsker, called the Business Roundtable-Pepperdine polling “very unreliable” and noted that it was conducted online, in contrast to the standard method of questioning a selected group of respondents over the telephone.