Monday, August 02, 2010

"Could Pot Drive Turnout In Key Elections?"

Ryan Grim:
Putting the question of marijuana legalization on state ballots in 2012 may be one of the most effective ways for a dispirited Democratic Party to get reluctant voters out to the polls. The wild card in the coming midterms and in 2012 will be the "surge" voters -- people who were driven to the polls in 2008 through a once-in-a-generation mix of shame at the outgoing administration and hope in a new, barrier-breaking candidate. Democrats are investing millions in figuring out how to get those voters out, and the marijuana issue is getting increasing attention from political operatives.
The Service Employees International Union explored putting a pot initiative on the 2010 ballot in Washington state and engaged Project New West to poll whether it could turn liberals out. The union concluded that the move had merit in general, but in particular it wasn't impressed with how the petition drive and campaign was being organized, so didn't pursue it. (As if to confirm the SEIU's conclusion, the would-be pot organizers issued an angry statement aimed at the union when it decided not to get involved.)
Howie P.S.: This article quotes a skeptical Markos:
"I certainly wouldn't bank on these initiatives as part of a Democratic turnout initiative."

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