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Prop 19 Trailing by Two in New SUSA Poll

This is not a good sign for Proposition 19. The California initiative to legalize and tax marijuana has lost a small amount of support in the latest SurveyUSA poll. For the first time in their polling, the “lean no” side outnumbers the “lean yes” side by two points.

SurveyUSA (10/21-25)
???California voters may also vote on several propositions. On Proposition 19, which would change California law to legalize marijuana and allow it to be regulated and taxed, are you…
Lean Toward Yes 44
Lean Toward No 46
Not Certain 10

The best “Yes” numbers from SurveyUSA were in July, when Prop 19 was up, yes 50 – no 40. Since then, the trend has been slowly moving in the directin of the opposition. The previous SurveyUSA poll from two weeks ago had it yes 48 – n0 44.

The decrease in support over the course of the campaign has been fairly minor but critical. With the measure polling so close, even a small decrease in support could be the difference between a close win and a close lose.

Turnout is going to be critical. According to the poll, the measure is losing among those who have already voted, but doing much better among those who haven’t voted but are likely to. Without heavy young voter turnout on election day, it is hard to picture how Prop 19 would succeed.

This poll contains more evidence that there might be a heavy “reverse Bradley effect,” in which voters appear to be lying to live interviewers about their support for marijuana legalization. This SurveyUSA poll was done mostly with automated interviews, as was the PPP poll out yesterday that had Prop 19 trailing, 45 to 48. Both recent automated polls show the measure to be very close. Two recent live interview polls, however, have it losing by large margins. A Los Angeles Times poll found Prop 19 losing, 39 percent to 51 percent, and a Suffolk poll had it losing, 40 to 55. This huge divergence appears to be the result using the two different polling methods.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at