Legislation / Politics

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SW Florida hurting med. marijuana chances, poll finds

Oct 10, 2014

 

News-Press.com - The latest SurveyUSA/WFLA poll finds backing for Amendment 2 dipping to 51 percent, its lowest point to date. Opposition is firm at 33 percent and 15 percent aren't sure.
 
In Southwest Florida, approval sinks even further, to a tepid 46 percent, with 36 percent against and 18 percent unsure.
 
The measure must clear the 60 percent threshold on Nov. 4 to become law.
 
Since September, SurveyUSA has shown support steadily declining, from 56 percent to 51 percent, in four successive polls.
 
FGCU political science professor Peter Bergerson said he's not surprised by the results.
 
"I think it might end up in the 55 percent range, but I never saw it getting 60," he said. "Obviously, that could change, but right now there's not a groundswell of support."
 
Bergerson also believes the amendment will have an uphill climb in Southwest Florida.
 
"I think it most likely will end up under 50 percent support," he said. "It comes down to the dynamics of who's going to vote, the election cycle and awareness factor."
 
Interestingly, the poll finds there is a generation gulf, not merely a gap. Voters 18-34 overwhelmingly support Amendment 2 by 62 percent to 20 percent while seniors, those over 65, oppose it 52 percent to 34 percent.
 
Again, Bergerson believes this works against the amendment.
 
"The youth vote is only about 20 percent," he said. "The amendment is going to have to have all of them to have a chance."
 
Despite the downward trend, The News-Press forecast model makes Amendment 2 slightly better than a 50/50 bet to succeed in November, with the probability of passage at 51.9 percent. The final margin, based on polling data and historical trends, is projected to be 60.2 percent in favor and 39.8 percent against.
 
The SurveyUSA poll of 594 likely voters was taken Oct. 2-6 and has a margin of error of +/-4.1 percent.

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