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Oregon Polls Look Promising for Measure 91 Victory

Russ Belville

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The latest KATU/Survey USA Poll shows Oregon’s Measure 91 — the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act — leading by a 52 percent to 41 percent margin, with nine percent undecided. This poll jibes with a previous OPB/FOX 12 poll showing the same 52 percent support, 41 percent opposition and countering a recent Elway Poll showing Measure 91 trailing 44 percent to 46 percent.

Election watchers in Oregon cast their doubts on the Elway poll, having remembered when its prediction of 48 percent support, 44 percent opposition two weeks before the vote on Washington’s Initiative 502 turned into a 55 percent to 45 percent win for legalization. This year’s one-week-before-the-election Elway poll consisted of just over 400 voters, 71 percent of them over the age of 50, with a bloated margin of error of 5 percent.

The KATU poll contacted 552 voters who have already turned in their ballots (40 percent of them) or are very likely to. The poll consisted of 60 percent of voters aged 50 or older, which comports with the trend in midterm elections toward an older electorate. Also skewing the sample is the fact that 70 percent of the respondents were contacted by land-line telephone, a communications method not often used by today’s younger, mobile-oriented voters.

Media and poll watchers say the fate of Measure 91 is in the hands of the younger voters who often skip voting in midterms elections. However, Oregon’s Secretary of State has announced that the state has registered a record number of voters, up 127,000 over the last midterm election to over 2.2 million, with 50,000 new voters registered in October alone. In addition to get-out-the-vote efforts by Measure 91, the statewide campaign for Measure 92, which seeks to label GMO foods, has become the most expensive ballot measure in Oregon history and has mobilized many younger voters.

As usual, men’s support for legalization at 56% beats women’s support by seven points, and people under age 35 overwhelmingly support legalization at 71 percent. Interestingly, Baby Boomer support, age 50-64, comes in at 61 percent while Generation X, age 35-49, is evenly split at 46 percent.

Join me for live coverage of Marijuana Election Night 2014 on 420RADIO.org or find 420RADIO on the TuneIn Radio App for your iPhone or Android. Coverage begins at 3 pm Pacific Time on Tuesday, November 4 and runs until polls close in Alaska.

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