Prop. 19 to legalize pot had strong youth support, but only the Bay Area tilted toward the measure, exit polls found
But the California exit poll also found that opposition to the initiative was widespread. The Bay Area was the only region that tilted toward the measure -- and just barely, at 51% to 49%. It lost 54% to 46% in Los Angeles County, and 59% to 41% in the rest of Southern California.
Men and women opposed it. Voters of every race and ethnicity opposed it. Asian American voters were most strongly against it, 62% to 38%, according to the poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Voter Pool, a consortium of the major television news networks and the Associated Press.
Voters 65 and older opposed it by more than 2 to 1. Support was strongest among voters between 18 and 24, who went for it 64% to 36%. Voters between 25 and 29 narrowly backed it, 52% to 48%. But voters under 30 made up just 13% of the electorate, about the same as is typical in a midterm election. In presidential election years, these voters are at least 20% of the turnout.
The poll found that the initiative did not win over the state’s middle-of-the-road voters, who make up the decisive swing vote. Although voters who think of themselves as Democrats went for it, 55% to 45%, nonpartisan and third-party voters went against it, 54% to 46%. Republicans rejected it 70% to 30%. Liberals supported the measure, but both moderates and conservatives sided against it.
Neither income nor education seemed to make a big difference, although voters with a high school degree or less were most strongly opposed, turning 61% to 39% against it.
-- John Hoeffel
Photo credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press