Can’t We All Just Get a Bong?
National Review’s “The Corner” was kind enough run my quick look at why Proposition 19 (a) might do better than the polls suggest, and (b) (in my opinion) is doomed to failure.
The long and short of it:
1) “The Bradley Effect”. Named after the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, it’s the idea that voters aren’t always honest with pollsters — in this case, wanting to admit they’re pro-pot. Bradley, a black man who twice ran for governor, didn’t garner the actual votes that polls suggested (this also happened to Doug Wilder when he ran for governor of Virginia; Barack Obama, on the other hand, over-performed). btw, this concept isn’t limited to minority candidates. Not all Arnold Schwarzenegger fans wanted to admit they supported the action hero in the recall election. Look for the same dynamic if Sarah Palin runs in 2012 — for some, it’s simply not p.c. to admit liking the Mama Grizzly.
2) 19 doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny. I’ve ranted on this before, so I’ll spare you another diatribe . . . aside from saying that the promised revenue won’t materialize, folks will find ways to skirt the new law. I just happen to believe that voters are cynical; they’re not buying into government-run promises of a better tomorrow (see “Obama, Barack, healthcare”).
3) Building on the idea of voters in a snit: people in a bad mood tend to vote “no” on initiatives, unless they’re pound-of-flesh ideas (specifically tough-on-crime measures). I suggest you look at the initiative, then guess how many — if any — stand a chance of passing.