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Monday, Nov. 24, 11:36 a.m.
Maine ballot 2009 | News |

TABOR, Question 1 drop in polls

Medical marijuana proposal likely to pass

The Maine Campus | The Maine Campus
The Maine Campus | The Maine Campus

A poll released Monday showed a large drop in support for Questions 2, 3 and 4 on Maine’s Nov. 3 ballot. Opponents of Question 1 also showed small gains.

The poll, conducted by the Portland-based Pan Atlantic SMS Group, found 48.8 percent of registered voters were likely to vote against Question 4 — the Taxpayer Bill of Rights also known as TABOR II. According to the poll, 42.1 percent are likely to vote for the proposal, and 9.3 percent are undecided.

The findings are a dramatic reversal from a poll released Oct. 14 by the same group that found supporters of TABOR II to have a 14 point lead. The earlier poll said 52.8 percent of respondents said they would vote or were likely to vote for the proposal, with 38.7 percent saying they would vote or were likely to vote against it. The poll found 8.5 percent to be undecided.

Mark Brewer, associate professor of political science, said he did not know much about the polling company, so he could not gauge its accuracy. Pan Atlantic sometimes provides polling services for businesses.

“I’ve been looking at those numbers with a pretty skeptical eye,” Brewer said. “It’s not to say that they’re not accurate; it’s just based on the little I know about this outfit.”

Brewer said the wide swing on TABOR was large, but not implausible. While many people are very passionate about same-sex marriage, TABOR is a more complicated and nuanced issue, Brewer said.

“As people learn more about it, as they are lobbied, indirectly at least, one way or another, I don’t think it’s that unusual for a swing like that to happen on an issue like TABOR,” Brewer said. “I’d be stunned, on the other hand, if you saw that kind of a move on an issue like same-sex marriage. Most people have made up their mind.”

Opponents of Question 1, which would repeal Maine’s law allowing same-sex marriage, showed small gains. The new poll found 52.6 percent of those polled were likely to vote against Question 1 — in favor of keeping the law — and 41.5 percent said they were likely to vote for Question 1 and the repeal. Six percent said they were undecided.

“I doubt that the final outcome’s going to be anything near that big, and if it is, I’m going to be surprised,” Brewer said. “I think if there’s a difference of anything more than five points, I’m going to be really surprised.”

Campaign finance reports released Oct. 23 showed No on 1 continued its fundraising streak, raising $1.36 million in the period for a total of more than $4 million this year compared to Yes on 1’s $1.41 million in the period for a total of $2.55 million.

On Question 2, which would lower Maine’s excise tax on vehicles, 60.8 percent of respondents said they were likely to vote against the measure, with 28.5 percent saying they were likely to vote for the reduction and 10.8 percent undecided.

Question 3, which would repeal Maine’s school consolidation law, dropped slightly as well, with 44.5 percent responding they were likely to vote against the repeal and 39.1 percent saying they were likely to vote for it.

Question 5, which would create a distribution system for medical marijuana, was not polled earlier in the month. Monday’s poll found 59 percent of respondents said they were likely to vote for the proposal, with 32 percent likely to vote against it and 9 percent undecided.