There is an interesting (and potentially important) change occurring on the ballots of states with tight Senate races. Legalization of marijuana issues are appearing on the ballots in places like Alaska and Oregon and are expected to draw in younger voters. This could be the margin that the Democrats need to reduce their expected losses. However, the Democratic leadership has followed the lead of President Obama in opposing (or at least not supporting) legalization efforts. The result is that the Democrats could benefit from the ballot pull of pot but do not appear to be capitalizing on the prospect.
Brookings Institution expert John Hudak expects an influx of potential young Democratic votes. All that is required is a couple seats to stay blue for the Democrats to keep the Senate — though Joe Biden might have to become a full-time member of the Senate in casting votes on ties. The GOP is widely expected to make gains in both houses but the pot issue could be a game changer in a couple of states. The GOP is counting on Alaska and Oregon.
These type of wedge issues have worked for the GOP with the gay marriage ballot issues in the past. Hudak says however that the Democrats are missing this “real opportunity” to use pot at the polls.
They seem to be trying to have it both ways in a political version of Bill Clinton insisting that he tried marijuana but “I didn’t inhale.”