Last week, a bipartisan George Washington University Battleground poll made national headlines when the top Democratic researcher, Celinda Lake, said that ballot questions on marijuana could increase young voter turnout.
“We’re very excited about our marijuana numbers in this poll, not only for personal consumption to get through this election, but in terms of turnout,’ Lake told USA Today. “What’s really interesting and, I think, a totally unwritten story is that everyone taks about marriage equality hitting a tipping point (of acceptance). Marijuana is hitting the tipping point. It’s really astounding how fast it’s moved.”
Lake’s findings may be good news for the legalization movement in the long run. But Democrats should not conclude that the presence of pot issues on a handful of ballots in 2014 will bring out a wider youth vote and help them stay in power nationally. That’s because there aren’t many states with marijuana initiatives on the ballot in 2014—just Alaska and Florida so far, although Oregon is expecting a measure on the fall ballot. Pot may help turn out voters in those states, but that’s not unfolding on a scale that would impact whether the Senate keeps its Democratic majority.
Democrats have been seeking an electoral silver bullet for this year’s federal elections. They keep on hearing that constituencies that twice helped elect President Obama will skip voting this year. On Monday, the Times said that Latinos were deeply frustrated with both parties; blaming the GOP for blocking immigration reform and blaming Obama for deporting millions of family members.
– Read the entire article at AlterNet.