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Bipartisan poll: medical marijuana at 70% among FL likely voters


Seven in 10 likely Florida voters support a proposed constitutional amendment for medical marijuana -- outsized support that has remained relatively constant for more than a year, according to a new bipartisan survey.

“This support is broad-based and spans the electorate regardless of partisan, regional, or racial lines,” pollsters Anzalone Liszt Grove Research/Public Opinion Strategies wrote in an analysis of the survey, which was conducted for the amendment's backers, United for Care.

“Strong majorities support medical marijuana across media markets, regardless of whether they live in North, Central, or South Florida,” the pollsters wrote. Anazalone polls for Democrat Charlie Crist and President Obama; POS has surveyed extensively for the Republican Party of Florida and GOP candidates.

The United for Care poll jibes with others taken over the past year, including a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday that shows the Florida amendment would garner about 66 percent support.

“Florida's medical marijuana amendment that will be on the ballot this fall continues to appear headed for easy passage,” PPP wrote in an analysis. Its poll found opposition at 25 percent, the United for Care survey registered 28 percent opposition.

It takes 60 percent voter support to pass a constitutional amendment in Florida.

Unlike the PPP survey, this poll showing 70-28 percent support had a large sample size of 900, screened for likely voters and also polled the exact language of the ballot summary voters would see. The error margin is 3.3 percent. The amendment is targeted toward people who have “debilitating” medical ailments as determined by a licensed Florida physician.

This United for Care survey showed that Democrats support the proposal the most, 75-23 percent. Republicans support it the least, but still strongly (64-34). And independent and no-party-affiliation voters have mid-level support, 72-27.

The poll tested supported by media market as well. Tampa Bay: 71-28 percent. Orlando: 72—26. Jacksonville: 71-27. West Palm Beach 68-30. Miami-Fort Lauderdale: 68-29.

One reason the Miami-Fort Lauderdale media market’s support is so low relative to the rest of the state: Cuban voters, who tend to be social conservatives and back the measure the least, 53-43 percent.

A Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of just registered Miami-Dade County voters conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International also showed that Cuban-American support was the lowest: 38 percent, with 62 percent opposing the amendment.

Overall, in Miami-Dade, that poll found support in the county was just 54-46 percent.

Opponents of the proposal, known as Amendment 2, highlighted the relatively weak support found in the poll of just Miami-Dade voters.

“This Amendment is vulnerable and can be defeated, despite the millions of dollars that have already been spent on it,” Sarah Bascom, Vote No on 2’s spokeswoman, said in a written statement. “It also means that once Floridians start to learn the truth about the Amendment and are educated on the loopholes, support drops.”

But United for Care’s director, Ben Pollara, said he draws more comfort from numerous statewide polls.

“Our opponents can keep trotting out the same discredited talking points for months but the people of Florida are smarter than that and will approve Amendment 2 this fall,” he said. “And poll after poll shows that.”

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