Tomorrow we'll have new polls out in California and Kentucky. One of the big questions in California this year has been how big of an impact Proposition 19, the ballot proposal to legalize marijuana, will have on turnout in the state. In an effort to figure that out we asked respondents on our new survey there what on the ballot they were most excited about voting for: 39% said the Governor's race, 26% the Senate race, 10% Prop 19, 4% one of the other props, 2% a local race, 1% their US House race, and 18% said they weren't sure.
The folks who say Prop 19 is what they're most enthusiastic about voting for skew very young: 34% of them are under 30, compared to 12% of the overall electorate, and 64% of them are under 45, compared to 40% of the overall electorate.
The level of interest we see from young people in California in voting this year is higher than what we're seeing in most of the country and this data confirms the hypothesis that many have put out there that marijuana being on the ballot is part of the reason for that engagement.
There is no way of knowing for sure whether the voters who say Prop 19 is what they're most interested in would vote this year if it wasn't on the ballot. But we do know that group favors Barbara Boxer by a 34 point margin and Jerry Brown by a 36 point margin. At 10% of the electorate that means the marijuana question could be worth as much as 3.4% for Boxer and 3.6% for Brown. We find both of them ahead by a good deal more than that but if California ends up being closer than we expect Prop 19 could really end up being a difference maker for the Democrats at the top of the ticket.