Poll: California’s Prop 19 Has Young Voters Fired Up

An advanced look at a survey of California done by Public Policy Polling revealed that while Prop 19 is not the top reason why people are voting this year, it is inspiring young people to vote. 34% of those who described themselves as enthusiastic about voting for 19 are under age 30, and 64% are under age 45. These younger voters also favor Democrats Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown by 34 and 36 points each.

According to PPP, Prop 19, which is the ballot proposal to legalize marijuana in the state, is the third most popular most motivating issue for California voters. The gubernatorial race between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman tops the list of what voters are most excited to vote for at 39%. The US Senate race between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina is second at 26%. It is followed by Prop 19 at 10%. Not surprisingly, the voters who are most excited about Prop 19 are young. 34% are under age 30. This number is almost three times larger than their percentage of the entire electorate (12%). Voters under age 45 make up 40% of the state’s electorate, but 64% say they are excited about Prop 19.

The so called Pot Voter heavily leans Democratic. These voters favor Barbara Brown by 34 points and Jerry Brown by 36 points. The increased Democratic voter turnout could mean that despite spending $163 million on the race, Meg Whitman could be defeated by Jerry Brown. You have to wonder if Meg’s millions might have been better spent on a few more dime bags and few less negative television ads. Apparently, these stoners aren’t for sale.

On his Friday night HBO program, Real Time, host Bill Maher argued that Democrats should seize on the marijuana legalization issue. Maher said, “In the legalization of marijuana the Democrats finally could have something that they have always wanted a wedge issue. Remember wedge issues? Things like gay marriage, and prayer in school, and other bullshit that Republicans used for years to get hillbillies to the polls. That’s how Bush got elected in 2004.” Maher pointed out that young voter turnout is expected to double due to Prop 19 in California from 6% to 12%.

Maher made a very logical point that is backed by the polling data. Marijuana legalization is a powerful issue with young voters because they really don’t see what the big deal is about pot. To them, this is another stupid conservative position, just like their opposition to gay marriage. The problem with using the marijuana legalization issue is that it requires the proper demographics in order to fare well. In more conservative states, or states with aging populations, the legalization issue could back fire, and turn Republicans out to the polls.

While not the most representative state to judge the potency of this issue on, California, due to its demographics, does provide a look into the policy direction that the nation might go in once it younger and more diverse. As the white haired culture warriors age and fade away, the next generation is likely to engage in some real common sense politics, and near the top of their list will be the legalization of marijuana.

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13 Replies to “Poll: California’s Prop 19 Has Young Voters Fired Up”

  1. I’m going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
    I’m going back to Cali.. hmm, I don’t think so
    I’m going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
    I’m going back to Cali.. I don’t think so

  2. You can already get a medical prescription for legal pot in CA so why not raise some revenue over it by legalizing it for everyone? It’s just silly to harbor all of these fears about legalizing pot. It seems like we’re back in the prohibition. People are going to smoke pot no matter if it’s legal or not. Who cares? Let them do what they want in their own homes.

  3. I voted absentee and chose not to vote for Governor or Senator, but I did support Proposition 19. These politicians don’t listen to what the people want and although my stand will be pointless, they will not be getting my vote. Prop 19 would be a win for States rights and a loss for federal propaganda. Tell me the truth and I will vote for you even if I don’t totally agree with you. I am 22 and I endorse this message.

  4. Not voting is like shooting yourself in the foot. You’re in CA? You don’t see a difference between Brown and Whitman? You don’t care if she lets run away production get even worse and drives the state into even more chaos and poverty? You don’t have to like the candidate – sometimes you are voting against something. They don’t give a crap that you aren’t voting to make a statement. That is great for the Tea Publicants. That means they have more power since there are less of them. Not trying to come down on you too hard, but please reconsider. There’s huge difference in parties, esp this year. Gay rights, womens rights, workers rights, protecting us from the corporate meg whitman take over should be enough to motivate anyone.

  5. Maybe he doesn’t support what either candidate is campaigning for or against. Choosing the lesser evil isn’t very encouraging when voting.

  6. According to a diary I just read on Daily Kos, George Soros has an opinion piece on the WSJ site encouraging voters to vote yes on Prop 19. He also donated $1million to get it passed. Wait for the rw outrage to occur, spearheaded by Fox PAC. It’s okay for rw donors to give over $175 million + to defeat democratic candidates, but it’s not okay for a rich liberal-leaning donor to give cash to NPR, Media Matters, or the yes on Prop 19 campaign. FoxPAC’s Hannity allowed Fiorina to come onto his show and solicit money for her campaign last night, but that’s okay because she is a corporatist. The hypocrisy of the so-called Christians on the right is appalling.

  7. WOOOOH! there.
    I am as hard boiled a conservative as any.
    Watch Fox every day, and I do think there’s a leftist agenda in the media.
    And I’m none to fond of Mr Soros political stand most of the time.
    However, I must point out there are some conservatives that defend a persons privates rights.
    For example some of us though we do not personally agree with abortion will defend a womans right of choice.
    Some of us do not do drugs of any kind and yet will be voting yes on Prop 19.
    I also believe there are conservative democrats and if I knew of one truely conservative fiscally, I would have no problem voting for them.
    Unfortunately neither party is offering up viable candidates to run for dog catcher let alone governor, senator, or any other office.

  8. So MORE evil is better? I know it’s not exciting but it matters. MORE evil= less rights for average Americans and total corporate take over.

    VOTE. it matters. Al Franken won by a few votes in MN.

  9. Good to hear from a uncrazy conservative. I agree about fiscal conservatives- I am one, but I am a liberal on social issues, like most Americans. I find that actually, there are more fiscally responsible Democrats than there are Republicans. Have you ever read the cost sheets for senators and congress? Republicans need five times more aids, at 100,000 a year for some of them. They make outrage demands financially and they use their office to campaign from (Michelle Bachmann). If you really care about fiscal conservatism, I hope you will read up on how money is really being spent. Talk is cheap. Republicans always say they are for lower taxes and less spending, but they actually raise spending and never pay for it. A balanced budget? Not so much.

  10. The so called Pot Voter heavily leans Democratic. These voters favor Barbara Brown by 34 points and Jerry Brown by 36 points. The increased Democratic voter turnout could mean that despite spending $163 million on the race, Meg Whitman could be defeated by Jerry Brown. You have to wonder if Meg’s millions might have been better spent on a few more dime bags and few less negative television ads. Apparently, these stoners aren’t for sale.

    Ah it’s Barbara Boxer NOR Barbara BROWN as it appears in the article. Please corret this.

  11. “Uncrazy” conservatives? Really? Perhaps this is a call for a moment of introspection for you because if you’re truly listening you’d find that no matter how far people lean to the right, they are just people trying to make their way too. I can’t stand it when people are vilified for differing views. Crazy baby, Crazy…..

  12. I hope Prop 19 passes in California. I live on the east coast so I won’t be voting on it. California is usually a few years ahead of the rest of the country on social issues. If it passes there it may pass here one day. Don’t let me down, Californians!

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