A solid majority of Washington voters approve of Initiative 502, the marijuana legalization measure sponsored by New Approach Washington, according to a SurveyUSA poll released this week. The poll had support for the initiative at 57%, with 34% opposed.
The level of support for the initiative is higher than a Public Policy Polling survey in June, which had support at 54% and opposition at 37%.
Campaign organizers can take some comfort in the numbers, which show an absolute majority in favor of the initiative. It's one thing to be leading in a poll, but unable to crack the 50% mark; it's another to go comfortably over 50%. If the campaign can keep its numbers from slipping in the final weeks, it appears poised for victory.
The poll's cross-tabs show almost identical levels of support among men (58%) and women (57%), while every age group except the 65-and-older (45%) also shows majority support. The initiative polled strongly with whites (60%), but not so much with Hispanics (47%) or Asians (42%). Whites make up 80% of the Washington electorate.
Democrats (70%) and independents (62%) strongly support the measure, while only one-third (33%) of Republicans do. Similarly, the measure wins majority support among liberals (76%) moderates (63%), and Tea Party members (!) (54%), but not among conservatives (33%).
SurveyUSA contacted 700 Washington residents last week and identified 524 of them as likely voters. The poll was conducted by telephone, using both cell phones and land lines.
Just a little more than a month and a half from election day, Initiative 502 is sitting pretty. It also has a lot of money in the bank and little sign of organized opposition. It could happen this year in Washington state.