The latest Field Poll (PDF) finds likely California voters oppose Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative, by a narrow 48 percent to 44 percent margin.
The survey’s results suggest a grim outlook for the measure, according to poll director Mark DiCamillo, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
“Historically, for measures that don’t start out with a lead, the chances of passage are much lower than those that start out with a lead,” DiCamillo said. “If they start out behind, history suggests a 10 to 15 percent chance of passing. Some do, but it’s very rare.”
“It’s going to be a very tough sell,” DiCamillo said.
Prop 19 would allow people 21 years or older to possess and transport up to an ounce of marijuana and cultivate a 5×5 pot garden. It would permit local governments to regulate and tax the commercial production and sale of cannabis.
The partisan differences in voting preferences on Prop 19 aren’t hard to spot, according to Inland News Today.
While Democrats back the measure, 53 percent to 38 percent, Republicans oppose it two-to-one, with 63 percent opposing and 31 percent supporting Prop 19. Independents are evenly divided, 46 percent to 46 percent.
Men are split on the issue, while women oppose legalizing pot, 50 percent to 41 percent, reports Stephanie Condon at CBS News.
White voters support Prop 19 by a slim margin, while minority voters disapprove of it by double-digit margins. Latinos, for example, oppose the measure, 62 percent to 36 percent.
Younger voters, 18-29, are most likely to support the initiative, although the ethnic divide remains, even among young voters.
Prop 19 does enjoy majority support among voters in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area. Los Angeles County voters are about evenly divided.
However, in all other regions of the state, sentiment seems to be running against Prop 19 by margins ranging from six to 18 percentage points, according to the poll.