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Governor’s Race, Marijuana Vote Drove Higher Voter Turnout

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(AP)

(AP)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - California’s governor race and the push to legalize marijuana drew voters to the polls in numbers in unexpectedly high numbers, according to a new survey.

An analysis of the turnout by the Public Policy Institute of California found just under 60 percent of the state’s registered voters cast a ballot in the November 2 election, five points higher than many pollsters were predicting.

“For all the talk about the enthusiasm gap this time around, we saw a lot of enthusiasm among Democrats, Republicans, independent voters, and we had a pretty good turnout,” said the PPIC’s Mark Baldassare.

KCBS Doug Sovern Reports:

PPIC’s post-election survey finds 38 percent were motivated to vote because of Proposition 19, but it wasn’t the young pot-smoking crowd that led to the highest turnout in a gubernatorial election year since 1994.

“It was the people who voted no, they found the outcome of this measure to be very important,” Baldassare said.

Prop 19 lost by seven percent. Voters said Prop 23, which would have delayed implementing California’s stringent greenhouse emissions standards, was the second most important measure on the ballot. It lost by a double-digit margin.

Other findings from the PPIC review:

The governor’s race drew the most total votes, more than ten million.

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley was the most successful of the losing Republican candidates, with more votes than either Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer won more votes than any other candidate, about 6,000 more than now Governor-elect Jerry Brown.

Whitman spent more than $42 for each vote she got in her losing campaign.

The largest margin of defeat was for Proposition 23 to delay implementing California’s greenhouse gas emissions standards. It lost by 23 percent.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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