Ballot Issue Polls

As the election approaches, we’ll be covering the ballot issues facing state voters.  A Rocky Mountain News/CBS4 poll provides insight into the popularity of these issues a month before the first absentee ballots go out. 

Referendum I (Domestic Partnerships): 58-?
Referendum J (Education Spending): 66-21
Amendment 38 (Petitions): 39-32
Amendment 39 (Education Spending): 58-25
Amendment 40 (Judicial Term Limits): 54-37
Amendment 42 (Minimum Wage): 74-20
Amendment 43 (Marriage): 52-?
Amendment 44 (Marijuana): 42-53

The biggest surprises at this stage are the strong levels of support for Amendments 39 and 40, both of which are opposed by a significant number of prominent Republicans and are supported by no prominent Democrats.Public Opinion Strategies polled from 9/10-9/12 were 500 likely voters (margin of error 4.38 percentage points), on behalf of the poll sponsors (for Referendum J and Amendment 39, 250 likely voters for a margin of error of plus or minus 6.2 percentage points).  The numbers shown are pro v. con, with don’t know and undecided preferences omitted.

This is an initial, largely uninformed survey.  Support often wanes during the campaign:

Support for ballot initiatives tends to fall off over the course of a campaign, and when undecided voters are in the ballot booth, the safe answer is often the status quo, or a “no” vote.

So any measure that has less than 50 percent support at this point is in “dire straits,” [RockyM Mountain News pollster] Weigel said.

No polling information is available regarding Referendum E (property tax reduction for disabled veterans), Referendum F (recall deadlines), Referendum G (obsolete constitutional provisions), Referendum H (income tax deduction for illegal immigrants), Referendum K (immigration lawsuit against federal government), and Amendment 41 (lobbying).

Conventional wisdom holds that Referendums E, F and G are very likely to pass.  The poll identified immigation as a top issue with many voters, which would seem to bode well for Referendums H and K, but didn’t appear to poll those particular measures.

Conventional wisdom would also favor Amendment 41, but this is little more than guesswork.

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Andrew Oh-Willeke

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