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Prop 19 "Robo-Polling" Shows Majority Support


Yes On 19 Internal Poll Shows Majority Support for Marijuana Initiative
Results Reveal Voters More Likely to Voice Support for Prop. 19 in Automated Polls Than to Live Callers

OAKLAND, CA -- The Yes On 19 campaign Friday released an internal poll showing that likely voters support the initiative to control and tax marijuana by a margin of 56-41 when presented with an automated questionnaire but are less likely to state their support to live interviewers.

"As the polling shows, there still seems to be somewhat of a social stigma attached to marijuana and the politics surrounding it," said Dan Newman, a political strategist working with the Yes On 19 campaign. "We're confident that when Californians find themselves in the privacy of voting booths on Nov. 2, they will vote to end decades of failed and harmful marijuana policies. Very few people think the current policy is working."

The results affirm earlier suggestions by New York Times analyst Nate Silver, the blog FireDogLake and others identifying a so-called "Reverse Bradley Effect" indicating that voters may be uncomfortable telling strangers how they would vote on controversial policies.

The Yes On 19 internal poll was conducted by EMC Research on October 13-14 and had a total sample size of 1,403 respondents. The margin of error is +/- 2.6 percentage points. The full results can be viewed at http://www.YesOn19.com/internalpoll.

Taken in context with other recent polls, these results show the race to be extremely close, as it has been throughout the summer and early fall. With the exception of Survey USA, which has consistently shown Prop. 19 to be in the lead, most other recently released polls have been conducted by live interviewers.

Yes On 19 has a team of hundreds of committed volunteers who are spending their free time calling undecided voters to help shore up support for the initiative. In contrast, the No On 19 campaign seems to be a largely top-down operation.

For more information please visit http://www.YesOn19.com.


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United States

Prop 19 Down in LA Times Poll

Two California polls last week showed Proposition 19 trailing as election day draws near. A Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Friday also had the marijuana legalization initiative trailing by 39% to 51%, with 10% undecided.

Last Wednesday, a Public Policy Institute of California poll had the measure losing 49% to 44%. But that same day, a SurveyUSA poll had it winning 48% to 44%.

Prop 19 had led in most polls taken this year and maintained a 1.2% lead in the Talking Points Memo Polltracker, which has not yet included the LA Time/USC poll. Looking at just the polls conducted in October and including the polls mentioned in this article, Prop 19 trailed by an average of 47.5% to 46.3%. At press time that had shifted to 49.6% to 43.7%.

The conventional wisdom is that in initiative elections, the burden of persuading voters is on the initiative. The electorate must be convinced to move from the status quo. But despite a late infusion of cash this month, the Prop 19 campaign does not have the funds to try to sway voters through TV ad campaigns in this state with some of the most expensive media markets in the country. Yes on 19 and allied organizations are engaged in a substantial get out the vote campaign, though.

The LA Times/USC poll found the measure supported by Democrats and independents, but opposed by Republicans. Men were split on the issue, with women leaning against it. Both sides in the campaign have considered mothers to be a key demographic.

Prop 19 continues to have support among likely voters under 40, winning by 48% to 37%. Among voters over 65, only 28% support it, with 59% opposed. The LA Times/USC poll showed Latinos swinging against Prop 19 by a two-to-one margin -- a finding at odds with most other polls. It also showed white voters opposing the measure. In most other polls, white voters favored it by a small margin.

The LA Times/USC poll surveyed 441 likely voters by telephone, including both cell phones and land lines, between October 13 and 20. The margin of error for the sample is +/- 4.6%.

United States

Cops Under Pressure to Deny They Support Legalizing Marijuana

During California gubernatorial debates last week, Meg Whitman was asked about her position on Proposition 19 and marijuana legalization and said: "Every single law enforcement official in this entire state is against Proposition 19." "She's absolutely wrong...A lot of police officers both retired and on duty are in favor of passing it because they realize that the 'war on drugs' has failed and is going to fail," said former San Jose Chief of Police Joseph McNamara. Scores of former officials recently signed a letter saying that marijuana prohibition only fuels more dangerous crime by enriching Mexican drug traffickers who put guns on American streets -- but every member of the California police department waited until after they'd retired to sign.
The Huffington Post (CA)

PPIC Poll: Prop 19 Behind 49% to 44%

Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in California, has lost support and is now trailing, according to poll results released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The landline and cell phone poll of 2,002 adults surveyed between October 10 and 17 has Prop 19 losing, 49% to 44%, with 7% undecided.

The numbers for Prop 19 are down eights from PPIC's September poll, which had it winning with 52%. But they are almost the mirror image of SurveyUSA poll also released Wednesday that showed Prop 19 leading 48% to 44%.

In the new PPIC poll, the initiative lost significant support among independents (from 65% to 40%) and Latinos (63% to 42%), and among almost all demographic groups. Whites are now more likely to oppose the support Prop 19 by a thin margin, a reversal from last month.

This poll is the fifth of 15 polls taken this year to show Prop 19 trailing. Ten others had it ahead, but only four of them had it at 50% or over, and the last one to do so was last month's PPIC poll. According to the Talking Points Memo Polltracker, the average of all polls has Prop 19 leading 46.8% to 44.5%.  As of publication time, it had not been updated with Wednesday's two polls, but in terms of the poll averages, they would be a wash.

This is going to get very tense for the next 12 days.

United States

SurveyUSA: Prop 19 Ahead 48% to 44%

Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in California, is maintaining a narrow lead, according to poll results released Wednesday by SurveyUSA. The poll of 621 likely and actual voters (early voting started two weeks ago) was taken between Friday and Sunday and had the initiative leading 48% to 44%, with 8% undecided.

[Editor's Note: A Public Policy Institute of California poll released Wednesday night had contrary results. It was too late for this week's Chronicle, but you can read about it here.]


Election Day not far away
The findings are roughly in line with more than a dozen other polls taken on Prop 19 this year, all but four of which have the measure leading. According to the Talking Points Memo Polltracker, the average of all polls has Prop 19 leading 46.8% to 44.5%. The polltracker, however, has not been updated with this latest SurveyUSA poll. Once it is, support will increase slightly, while opposition will decrease slightly.

SurveyUSA has done six polls on Prop 19, and they show support declining slightly from 50% in the earliest surveys. They also show opposition rising slightly. It was at 40% in July, peaked at 43% in September, then declined to 41% early this month before rising to 44% in the current poll.

With a four percent margin of error, this latest SurveyUSA poll shows a very tight race indeed. With undecideds beginning a not unexpected peeling off toward a "no" vote, voter turnout is going to be key to victory on November 2.

United States

Help Legalize Marijuana in CA

Call California voters today and urge them to vote "Yes" on Prop. 19.

Dear friends,

We're closer than ever to winning the fight against marijuana prohibition.

On November 2nd, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, which would legalize personal possession of marijuana for adults and allow cities and counties to regulate its sale.

Right now, polls indicate that Prop. 19 has a good chance of passing. But the fight is so close that voter turnout will make all the difference. That's why we need you to call California mail-in voters today and urge them to vote "Yes" on Prop. 19.

California has a long history of setting legal precedents that other states follow. That means that even though you live in District of Columbia, Prop. 19 is a big deal. If marijuana is legalized in California, there's a better chance it will be legalized in District of Columbia.

The battle is close, and to end decades of failed marijuana prohibition we need to make sure Californians vote.Click here to make a few calls today and bring us to victory on November 2nd!

Even if you've never called voters before, our friends at the Yes on 19 campaign created a tool that makes it easy. Just click here to sign up to their phonebank. After you do, you'll be given the number of a mail-in voter and a script that will guide you through the process.

We have a real chance at getting marijuana legalized in California. Your help today is crucial in making it happen.


Stephen Gutwillig
State Director, California
Drug Policy Action

United States

Los Angeles Times Hasn't Learned Anything After 14 Years of Legal Medical Marijuana

The mindless incoherence of Prop 19's opposition is really kicking into full-gear following Attorney General Eric Holder's statement that he'll continue to enforce federal law if California legalizes marijuana. LA Times is so intimidated by Holder that I can only assume they believe he possesses super powers or commands a vast army of narco-clone-soldiers capable of capturing every casual user in California:

If California voters were still under the illusion that Proposition 19  would legalize marijuana, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. sought to disabuse them of the notion last week. "We will vigorously enforce the [federal Controlled Substances Act] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use…

If the proposition is approved, the result would be a legal morass. DEA raids would nab Californians who think they're complying with the law, only to face federal penalties.

There's no need for a battle with Washington that the state is unlikely to win.

Los Angeles dispensary map (latimes.com)
It's really remarkable to watch the LA Times cowering in awe of the exact same federal powers that have been proven impotent before their eyes for more than a decade during the failed federal war on medical marijuana. Where were the editors of the LA Times when the city became overrun with dispensaries during the Bush Administration? They were reporting the damn news. They ought to be the foremost experts on the practical limitations of federal drug enforcement.

How far up your ass does your head have to be stuck to actually believe California is "unlikely to win" a fight with the federal government over marijuana policy? California has been winning that battle for more than ten years. LA Times is literally suggesting that Obama and Eric Holder are more determined opponents of marijuana reform than George Bush and John Ashcroft, which has got to be some of the worst analysis of marijuana policy ever put in print. It was Eric Holder himself who issued a memo calling on federal agents to find something better to do than bother dispensaries. How could anyone be dumb enough to believe he'll now turn around and begin busting hippies for simple possession?

Amazingly, it has yet to become obvious to everyone that the reason the feds failed to shut down medical marijuana in California is because they don't have the resources to do that. There aren't enough agents to make the cases, enough courtrooms to hold the trials, or even enough sunglasses to hide their eyes, and if they couldn't control the medical marijuana situation, please explain to me how the hell they would deal with a law legalizing all adult use. I shouldn’t have to explain this. Just picture for yourself the size of California's pot-smoking population, tucked into every nook and cranny from Orange County to Arcata, and imagine the magnitude of the army it would take kill their buzz after the state stops making arrests.

If Prop 19 passes, there's nothing Holder, Obama, the DEA, or even the entire U.S. military can do to stop it. That's exactly why its opponents are willing to do anything, even rewrite history, in their desperation to confuse voters and obstruct the surging momentum of the movement for reform.

Fox News Poll: Prop 19 Marijuana Initiative in Dead Heat

California's Proposition 19 tax and regulate marijuana legalization initiative is in a statistical dead heat, according to a Fox News Poll released Tuesday. The poll, taken last Friday, had the electorate split 47-46 against the measure, well within the poll's three-point margin of error.

Fox released no cross-tabs, so there are no breakdowns by race, age, gender, political party, ideology, or location.

The poll showed both Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Democratic US senate candidate Barbara Boxer pulling ahead of Republican challengers Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Other polls have shown strong support for Prop 19 among Democratic voters, even though Brown, Boxer, and most Democratic elected officials oppose the initiative. If a Brown/Boxer surge reflects improved prospects for Democratic turnout, that would be good news for Prop 19, which is favored 2-1 among Democratic voters but opposed by the same margin by Republicans.

Even with the Fox News Poll showing Prop 19 trailing by one and a Reuters/Ipsos poll two weeks ago showing it trailing by 10, the Talking Points Memo Polltracker average of all polls this year still shows Prop 19 leading by 46.8% to 44.5%. Of all the polls conducted since the beginning of September, only the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed it losing. All the other polls showed Prop 19 in the lead, although only one of them had it over 50%.

Get out the vote efforts will be critical between now and November 2, just two weeks from now. To get involved, visit  our latest action alert and follow the links. You don't need to be in California to volunteer for Prop 19; all you need is a phone.

United States

California Beer & Beverage Distributors Don't Speak for Us

United States

Former Surgeon General Calls for Marijuana Legalization

United States
Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders told CNN she supports legalizing marijuana. "What I think is horrible about all of this, is that we criminalize young people. And we use so many of our excellent resources ... for things that aren't really causing any problems," said Elders. "It's not a toxic substance."

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