Indications are that the election for this initiative should be relatively close but probably not as close as this poll says.

The battle for marijuana legalization in Alaska could be close this November. In their first poll using actual language from the measure that will appear on the ballot, Public Policy Polling found only a narrow plurality of voters back the initiative.

The poll found 48 percent plan to vote yes on legalization while 45 percent plan to vote no. An additional 7 percent remain undecided.

There are two important things to keep in mind. The first is that there seems to be something wrong with their sampling of voters 18-29, which skew way more conservative here than they should on all the questions in this poll. For example, in the 2016 match up questions it found young people strongly favoring the Republican candidates.

Similarly, on the marijuana question it found only 28 percent of young voters plan to vote yes on legalization while 54 percent plan to vote no. By comparison among 30-45 year old voters 51 percent back legalization. These results for young voters simply don’t match with the national polling data, other Alaska polls and  PPP’s previous polling in Alaska. This clearly seems to be an outlier for this age group, which is probably throwing off the results some on this question.

Second thing to keep in mind is that the 2012 legalization initiatives in Washington and Colorado both performed roughly 2.5 percent points better than PPP’s final set of polling.

Indications are that the election for this initiative should be relatively close but probably not as close as this poll says.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy