A new poll from California’s PPIC has Prop 19 down, 49% to 44%. Our Jon Walker analyzed the results this morning, suggesting that the wild swing from PPIC’s last poll is suspect.

The previous PPIC poll, from September, was the best poll to date for Prop 19, reporting it ahead 52-41, yet this most recent poll is one of the worst. Given how little change there has been in SurveyUSA polling, I find it hard to believe there really was a 16-point change in only a few weeks. Much of the decline in support found by the poll was among independents (from 65 percent  to 40 percent) and Hispanics (from 63 percent to 40 percent).

It’s easy to get caught up in poll after poll as the newest snapshot, so it’s always important to look at the trends from all the polling on the topic. No matter what, though, the bottom line is: turnout, turnout, turnout. But let’s take a closer look at what’s happening.

Just Say Now has been working with Talking Points Memo to document Prop 19 polls since the beginning of the summer. TPM’s Poll Tracker shows the helpful context for understanding the up and down of pot polls.

It’s clear the race is tightening, with Yes on 19 responses dropping slightly, while undecided voters falling towards voting “no” – none of which is surprising. A closer look at the polling, thanks to TPM’s excellent widget, reveals the gap first identified by Just Say Now’s Jon Walker that shows a difference in responses between telephone and automatic polling when it comes to marijuana, particularly with African American voters being less likely to tell a live person they support legalization.

Live telephone responses show the race neck-and-neck:

Prop 19 Polls - Telephone Only

While auto polling shows Prop 19 clearly ahead, with no votes closing in:

Prop 19 Polls Automatic Only

What’s all this mean? It’s all about turnout. The more people we can get to the polls, the more young people who turn out to vote for Prop 19 who aren’t being counted by pollsters, the better chance we have to pull off victory for Prop 19.

UPDATE: Tom Angell, spokesperson for Yes on 19, agrees that it’s going to come down to turnout. From the LA Times:

Tom Angell, a spokesman for Yes on 19, said the poll indicates that the race is close. “We’ll be doing everything we can to get our message out, including working with a team of hundreds of committed volunteers who are spending their free time calling undecided voters,” he said. “I don’t think the other side can match that.”

Just Say Now is right there with them – we’ve already made more then 7,000 calls to voters for Prop 19, and will make thousands more in these final two weeks. You can help: start calling voters for Prop 19 right now.

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