Measure 80, Oregon's marijuana legalization initiative, continues to trail in the polls as the clock ticks ever closer to Election Day. According to a new poll conducted for The Oregonian and released Tuesday, the measure is losing among likely voters, with 49% opposed and 42% in favor.
It is also the least well-funded. While Colorado and Washington are seeing multi-million dollar legalization campaigns, the big donor money has stayed out of Oregon. The reasons for that include a lack of favorable early polling, the lateness of Measure 80 in making the ballot (it only did so in July), and lingering controversies over the reputation of medical marijuana entrepreneur Paul Stanford, Measure 80's chief proponent. Stanford came up with enough money to get Measure 80 on the ballot, but not enough to finance an advertising campaign.
The latest poll shows Measure 80 with majority support among Democrats (55%), but not independents (41%) or Republicans (23%). It also garners majority support among voters under 35, but not among any other age group. Among voters over 65, who vote heavily, only 30% support Measure 80, while 62% are opposed.
Another key demographic that is dragging the measure down is women. While men split almost evenly on the issue, a majority of women (52%) oppose it, while only 37% support it.
Still, Yes on 80 campaign spokesman Roy Kaufmann told The Oregonian it isn't over yet. Pollsters tend to undercount younger voters who are harder to reach, he said, and older voters may be reluctant to admit they favor voting for "an issue that's still considered by many to be taboo." The campaign "still has work to do, but we're within fighting distance," he said.
The poll was conducted October 25 through 28 by Seattle-based Elway polling and surveyed nearly a thousand likely voters statewide. It has a margin of error of +/- 5%.