It's always easy after a losing campaign to make excuses and play up the positive, but there really is some good news in the Prop. 34 loss. For starters, it put the death penalty back on the agenda in the state. That's a big deal -- one of the reasons there were so many undecided voters going into the last couple of weeks of the election was the fact that there haven't been any executions in a while, so the major news media haven't been talking about the issue. For a lot of younger voters, it's never even been on the radar.
George McIntire reported from the No on 34 party last night, and said that Jeanne Woodford, the former San Quentin warden who was the lead proponent of the measure, remained upbeat. She pointed out that the last time the death penalty was on the ballot, 70 percent of the voters supported it. Now, that's down to a narrow 55 percent -- and with a little more money to get the message out, the nubmers could have been narrower still.
So we're moving in the right direction. It's not as fast as I'd like, but the death penalty is on life support and won't be around forever.