California Voters Polled on Death Penalty, Newsom, Sanctuary Cities

Lawmakers and presidential candidates got a glimpse on Thursday of what California voters feel about the death penalty, the governor, horse racing, sanctuary cities and other hot topics.

On the death penalty, California voters appear to be divided. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, 41% favor capital punishment for people convicted of murder. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 48% prefer life in prison without the chance of parole.

California voters are also split when it comes to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s moratorium on executing any of the 737 inmates on death row. Based on poll results, 44% side with Newsom’s move while 46% disapprove of it.

“The governor has spoken, but California voters are closely divided on whether to put the lights back on in San Quentin’s death chamber, 13 years after the last execution,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. “They also are divided on the question of execution vs. life without parole.”

The hotly contested issue of sanctuary cities also divides California voters, with 46% reporting that sanctuary cities should be able to handle immigrants “as they see fit” and 47% saying that sanctuary cities should be forced to adhere to federal immigration standards, according to the poll.

When it comes to approval ratings, 40% of voters approve of the job Newsom is doing in Sacramento while 33% disapprove. Back in February, Newsom held a 39-28% approval rating, according to another Quinnipiac University poll.

On the issue of horse racing, which has been put in the spotlight recently following roughly two dozen horse deaths at Santa Anita Park in Southern California, 55% of voters believe that Newsom should establish an independent panel to investigate racing horse deaths across the state.

“After the deaths of 23 race horses at California’s most storied race track, the governor wants answers and so do voters,” Malloy said in a statement.

Quinnipiac University said it surveyed 1,005 California voters between April 3 and April 8 when putting together its poll.

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