During the summer, when some polls indicated Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina were within striking distance of Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer, respectively, Golden State politics watchers thought perhaps liberal proponents of Proposition 19, the ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana, would flock to the polls and put Brown and Boxer over the top on election night.
Yet, with Brown and Boxer locked in dogfights with their Republican opponents, it seems as if Prop. 19 will be plagued by the same sort of enthusiasm gap Democrats are experiencing nationally and is thus in danger of not passing. According to all recent polls, from CNN to Survey USA to Field to the Los Angeles Times, likely voters seem poised to defeat Prop.19. There's a clear age gap in these polls, as expected, with younger voters overwhelmingly favoring the initiative and older voters staunchly opposing it. In midterm elections, though, the electorate tends to be older, and this is reflected in the poll numbers.
Many luminaries such as Snoop Dogg and George Soros as well as prominent organizations such as the SEIU and the Latino Police Officers Organization have endorsed the initiative.
Many other groups, prominent politicians like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even the San Francisco Chronicle, in a city whose sports fans wear "Let Timmy Smoke" t-shirts (a reference to the cult-like Giants pitcher who was pulled over for marijuana possession during the off-season), oppose it. The San Francisco Chronicle noted, among other things, that the initiative was poorly designed and may create more problems, particularly by allowing citizens to drive after smoking marijuana and by including a nondiscrimination clause that would prevent employers from firing employees for marijuana use until they could prove a direct connection to job impairment.