As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m not much of a poll watcher. I figure that every minute you spend looking at polls is a minute you’re not working on getting someone to actually vote. I think polls are good for determining if you’re in the game or not, but once you know that, the only thing that will tell you if you’re going to win or lose is the voters on election day.
It’s been clear for quite some time that with Prop 19 we’re in the game. In the final days, you have poll numbers jumping all over the place. So you have absurd situations like an LA Times blog proclaiming California’s Marijuana Legalization Effort Going Down In Flames In Latest Poll based on their own poll with a sample size not much larger than the margin of error. And then that post has a disclaimer:
Also see our newer post about how pot-legalization backers say their own data shows Prop. 19 winning.
When a single post contradicts itself regarding polling data, you have an idea of its volatility.
For the best analysis of poll numbers that I’ve seen, read Al Giordano (who has an excellent track record): I Have Seen the Future of US Politics & Its Name is Prop 19
A friend emailed me and asked me to give my predictions regarding Prop 19. Well, I hate doing that, but I also hate to say no, so I’ll give you… something. I’m going to hedge my bets, though, and give three entirely different predictions.
Scenario #1 Prop 19 supporters do an incredible job with their Get Out the Vote efforts, particularly motivating new voters, minority voters, and cell phone voters (those young people who no longer have a land line). Democrats, while unhappy with their own representatives, fear some of the extreme rhetoric they’ve seen from the far right, and come out in respectable numbers. Republicans, Social Conservatives, and Tea Partiers are motivated, but have some identity fractures. There are lines at the polling stations. Prop 19 wins 57-43.
Scenario #2 Young people and first-time voters stay home. The whole thing was too damned confusing what with having to register and figure out where to vote and it’s not like one vote’s going to make a difference anyway. Democrats stay home. What’s the use? They’re all worthless anyway. Social Conservatives come out in force seeing an opportunity to seize. Polling places are quiet. Prop 19 loses 37-63.
Scenario #3 Relatively good GOTV efforts by the Prop 19 supporters combine with a decent Democratic turnout. Motivated Republicans also have a decent showing. Average crowds at the polling places. Prop 19 ends up in a dead heat 50-50. After 3 recounts they are still unable to find a sufficient margin of victory and it goes to the courts. Without an Al Gore willing to step down, both sides declare victory. People start growing marijuana plots and carrying small amounts of pot. Cops continue arresting people. The courts get jammed as judges put all cases on hold pending State Supreme Court decisions on the election. The state has to rent storage facilities to store all the evidence for delayed trials…
No, I don’t have any answers.
Here’s what I know. The Get Out the Vote efforts are going to be the most crucial. And you can actually help with that by calling voters from your home wherever you live. Go to Just Say Now for more info.