Proposition 205 just shy of 50% of the vote, Proposition 206 slightly stronger with 54%
PHOENIX (October 18, 2016)— In a poll of likely Arizona General Election voters, conducted on October 14th as ballots hit mailboxes, Proposition 205 (initiative regarding the regulation and taxation of marijuana) has a slim lead over its opposition, but is falling short of passage with 49.8% Yes to 45.3% No. See the survey here.
On the other hand, Proposition 206 (initiative relating to Arizona’s minimum wage and earned paid sick time benefits) has a stronger chance of passage with 54.3% Yes to 38.8% No.
A very small percentage of the electorate remains undecided on either issue.
Proposition 205 (recreational marijuana) has been hit by a massive advertising blitz, which it has struggled to overcome. The result is that the Proposition is struggling in rural Arizona garnering only 46.4% of the vote. Its likely support in metropolitan areas has been suppressed as well with Maricopa County reporting 50.6% Yes and Pima County showing 51.1% Yes. The issue also suffers from nearly 60% Republican opposition.
Meanwhile, Proposition 206 (minimum wage) appears to be tracking towards passage despite opposition from the business community. Prop 206 is passing with 55.7% of the vote in Maricopa County and a staggering 65.0% of the vote in Pima County. It struggles in rural Arizona with only 41.7% of the vote.
“When you are working on a proposition or issue, you want to head into early voting with a number that is in the mid to high fifty percent range. We tested the full ballot language to simulate exactly what the voters will see when they receive their ballot. What we found is that Proposition 205 is on the brink of falling short of passage, while Proposition 206 has slightly firmer footing,” said J. Charles “Chuck” Coughlin, President and CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which commissioned the poll late last week. “Quite frankly, both issues risk failure, but at this point, minimum wage would be more likely to pass.”
Age appears to be one of the largest factors at play in the recreational marijuana discussion. Proposition 205 has a 20-point advantage among all age groups under 49 years old. The issue has a slight plurality in favor among voters 50-64 years of age. However, the issue is significantly opposed by voters 65+ with 69.9% in opposition.
Minimum wage appears to perform well among all age demographics – the challenge it faces appears to be more of a partisan issue. More than 84.0% of Democrats and 57.7% of independent, unaffiliated, and other party voters support the proposition. Conversely, Republicans were more likely to oppose with only 28% in favor compared to 64% opposed.
Coughlin concluded, “As we always say, polling is a snapshot in time. Things can certainly change, but from our experience, support for issues is likely to flag as the election draws closer. When people are undecided, they are more likely to vote no. With three weeks left, both issues will need a strong surge in order to pass.”
About the Survey
The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender. The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users. Anticipated turnout for the Arizona General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +9%.
Q. Proposition 205 is a proposed initiative regarding the regulation and taxation of marijuana. A “yes” vote shall have the effect of permitting individuals 21 years and older to privately use, possess, manufacture, give away, or transport up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to 6 marijuana plants at the individual’s residence; generally declaring violations of the Act (including public use) a petty offense punishable by no more than a $300 fine; creating the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, which includes a 7-member Marijuana Commission appointed by the Governor, to regulate and license entities involved in cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, selling, and testing marijuana products; granting local jurisdictions limited authority to enact ordinances and rules to regulate marijuana and marijuana products; establishing licensing fees for marijuana establishments and levying a 15% tax on all marijuana and marijuana products; and declaring all marijuana establishment contracts enforceable notwithstanding any conflict with federal law. A “no” vote shall have the effect of retaining existing law, which prohibits individuals from using, possessing, growing or purchasing marijuana unless the individual is authorized by and doing so in compliance with the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Knowing just what you know right now, would you vote Yes or No on this Proposition 205? 41.8% Definitely Yes 8.0% Probably Yes 5.3% Probably No 40.0% Definitely No 3.0% Don’t Know 1.9% Refused Q. Proposition 206 is a proposed initiative relating to Arizona’s minimum wage and earned paid sick time benefits. A “yes” vote shall have the effect of increasing the minimum wage from $8.05 per hour in 2016 to $10.00 per hour in 2017, and then incrementally increasing the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour by the year 2020; entitles employees to earn 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked with limits based upon the size of the employer; broadly defining the conditions under which paid sick time may be taken, including mental or physical illness, care of a family member, a public health emergency, or absence due to domestic violence, sexual violence, abuse or stalking; prohibiting various forms of retaliation against employees for exercising any rights under the law; and requiring employers to provide various notices to employees about the law. A “no” vote shall have the effect of retaining the existing minimum wage (along with the existing method for annually increasing the minimum wage for inflation) and retaining employers’ existing ability to determine their own earned paid sick leave policy. Knowing just what you know right now, would you vote Yes or No on this proposal?
40.5% Definitely Yes
13.8% Probably Yes
11.0% Probably No
27.8% Definitely No
4.5% Don’t Know
The survey was conducted on October 14th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence. HighGround recently “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include Restoring Arizona, Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Maricopa Health Foundation, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns. Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.
12.0% 20 to 29
17.0% 30 to 39
25.0% 40 to 49
22.7% 50 to 64
23.3% 65 Plus