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The legalization measures in Montana present a lead of 10 factors within the final survey

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A new poll from Montana State University found that the state's two marijuana legalization measures are 10 points ahead of the campaign in the last two weeks of the campaign.

When asked about the two marijuana legalization initiatives (CI-118 and I-190), 49% of respondents said they would vote in favor of the initiatives and 39% were against.

I have to vote for both to legalize

montana-legalization-poll-October-2020In the last two weeks of the campaign, Montana's dual legalization efforts maintain a solid lead. (Data: Montana State University Survey / Leafly Illustration)

If those numbers are correct by Election Day, November 3rd, Montana could join the growing number of constitutional states in the American West. Only 10% of the Montaner surveyed stated that they remained undecided on this question. All of these undecided would have to break against the measures for the race to level out.

Historically accurate survey

Montana State University's Treasure State poll is one of the largest publicly available polls of the state's voter preferences. It is administered by members of the MSU Institute for Political Science and carried out between September 14th and October 2nd.

A total of 1,787 Montaner responded to the mail-in survey, which consisted of around 80 questions.

There are two initiatives that address the legalization of marijuana on the ballot (CI-118 and I-190). The survey therefore asked the following question: “The state vote asks about the legalization of recreational marijuana in Montana. Will you vote to support or oppose legalization? "

Of all of the voting questions in the survey, the answer to this question was the only one outside of the survey's error rate of 3.9%. 70% of Democrats agreed to legalize it compared to 27% of Republicans. However, 13% of voters in each party were undecided or did not intend to vote on the issue.

Legalization measures could attract young voters

A majority of voters aged 18 to 59 are in favor of the measures, with a majority of voters aged 60 and over saying they will vote against legalization.

Parker said the marijuana initiatives could draw young voters to the polls, which would help Democrats all the way to the polls.

"I think it's important to think about a ballot as a complete organic entity," said Parker. "Young voters are strong in favor of the measure and they tend to be democratic."

Effects of legalization on voter turnout

Parker's comments are particularly interesting given President Trump's recent observations about legalizing the ballot – and why he believes this will work against him and his supporters.

Many Republican voters and even die-hard Trump supporters actually support legalization. Republicans enjoy cannabis just like Democrats, and legalization matches the libertarian sentiments of many conservatives. But legalization policies tend to attract younger voters, and as Parker says, younger voters currently tend to be democratic.

Bruce Barcott

Bruce Barcott, Leafly's Senior Editor, oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

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Beth Edmonds