Democrats Hope Marijuana Will Help Elect Hillary Clinton – WILL GREENBERGAUG. 29, 2016 6:00 AM


But experts say it might be a pipe dream.

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With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both viewed unfavorably by the majority of Americans, Democrats are hoping that if the top of the ballot doesn’t excite voters this November, maybe the bottom will. Marijuana liberalization and minimum-wage hikes will get a vote in a handful of swing states for the presidential candidates. But there’s reason to think these issues might not galvanize voters the way they once did.

In previous presidential elections, down-ballot races have helped turn out voters in key states. In 2004, proposed same-sex marriage bans helped President George W. Bush secure reelection. President Barack Obama appears to have gotten a boost in Colorado in 2012 as residents there voted to legalize marijuana.

Marijuana is on the ballot in nine states this year—five voting on legalization and four voting on medical marijuana—and Democrats hope the measures will be a draw for liberal voters. The conventional wisdom, says Josh Altic of the nonpartisan political reference site Ballotpedia, is that marijuana measures attract a lot of young voters who support legalization but wouldn’t otherwise vote, and that these voters overwhelmingly support Democrats.

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