It looks like the Democrats may take a page from Karl Rove's playbook in the 2012 election. So what did Rove do?
Turning out an extra few percent can be the difference between winning and losing in swing states, a reality Karl Rove exploited in 2004 by papering the nation with anti-gay marriage initiatives.Swell. Just swell.
Well the Democrats have a plan of their own.
Putting the question of marijuana legalization on state ballots in 2012 may be one of the most effective ways for a dispirited Democratic Party to get reluctant voters out to the polls. The wild card in the coming midterms and in 2012 will be the "surge" voters -- people who were driven to the polls in 2008 through a once-in-a-generation mix of shame at the outgoing administration and hope in a new, barrier-breaking candidate. Democrats are investing millions in figuring out how to get those voters out, and the marijuana issue is getting increasing attention from political operatives.Republicans could head this off in the legislatures if they had the smarts and the nerve.
A survey making the rounds among strategists, which has yet to be made public, indicates that pot could be just the enticement many of these voters need: Surge voters, single women under 40 and Hispanics all told America Votes pollsters that if a legalization measure were on the Colorado ballot, they'd be more likely to come out to vote. Forty-five percent of surge voters and 47 percent of single women said they'd be more interested in voting if the question was on the ballot. Most of these were energetic, with 36 and 30 percent, respectively, saying they'd be "much more interested" in coming out to vote. Roughly half said it would make no difference. For Latinos, 32 percent said they'd be "much more interested" in voting and another 12 percent said they'd be somewhat more attracted to the idea of trudging to the polls.
Surge voters said they would support the measure by a margin of 63-35. Young single women would back it 68-31. Latinos, meanwhile, oppose it 52-46, according to the survey. "Whether it can pass or not is another question, but I think it's clear that a marijuana legalization measure has the potential to increase turnout among voting groups that are critical to Democratic success in November," said a Colorado Democratic operative, who, like most strategists employed by campaigns, prefers not to talk about marijuana on the record -- highlighting the difficulty Democrats will have threading the political needle.
What are the chances that the stupid party will Get Smart? I do not believe there is a number small enough to represent the odds of that happening. Maybe in an alternate universe.
Cross Posted at Classical Values