After the Mormon church started an anti-marijuana campaign to stop the legalization initiative that will appear on the ballot in November, support for the hard fought ballot measure has dropped 8% in recent polling. The drop was most significant in the group of “very active” Mormons found the pollster Dan Jones & Associates. The recent poll was conducted from August 21 to August 31, 2018 and has a margin of error of 3.4%. It included 809 likely voters in the Beehive State. The church started their reefer madness campaign on August 23.
The polling shows that as recently as May 2018 72% of Utahans supported Proposition 2 but now, after a week of heavy campaigning by the church, only 64% support the measure. The numbers show the drop was largest within the group of people that identify as “very active” in the LDS church or are registered Republicans. People self identifying as “somewhat conservative” or “moderate” also saw a decline in support, but it was somewhat smaller. Those that identify as no longer followers of the religion actually increased their support over the same period, from 90% to 94% in favor.
One major change is the directness with which the church has campaigned against the measure. Their effort included emails that were sent to faithful LDS in Utah which makes it the first time the church issued such a direct communication on a political issue. Utahpolicy.com reports:
- Those who are “somewhat” active in the LDS faith still favor Prop 2, 71-23 percent. But in May it was 79-8 percent support.
- Among those who used to be Mormons, but no longer follow the faith, 94 percent favor Prop 2 today, only 6 percent opposed.
- Last May it was 90-10 percent support. So apostates from the LDS faith turned even further in favor of medical marijuana after their former leaders spoke. Likewise, Catholics are more in favor today than before the LDS opposition; 93-7 percent today compared to 84-13 percent before.
- Protestants are about the same, 87-13 percent in favor today, 89-11 percent in May, or within the polls’ margins of error.
- Those who belong to some other religion clearly didn’t like the LDS Church’s stand; they were 83-14 percent before in favor, 92-8 percent today.
- Finally, those who have no religion are about the same, 95-2 percent today, 96-4 percent in May.
Overall, support still remains strong, at this point, with 64% still favoring the Utah Medical Cannabis Act. Visit their website to learn more about the measure at https://betterutah.org/voter-guide/proposition2/