SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakotans are deciding the fate of recreational marijuana and Medicaid expansion in the state. KELOLAND News spoke with someone on each side of both issues on Tuesday.
A new poll of 1,500 likely voters from KELOLAND News, Emerson College and The Hill says 50.9% of respondents plan to vote yes on Constitutional Amendment D, which would expand Medicaid eligibility in the state. 21.5% of respondents said they plan to vote no, while 27.5% are undecided. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
“Very favorably,” John Wiik, committee chair for No on Amendment D, said about the figures. “Some of the polling I saw earlier was overwhelming. In fact one interview, I said I kind of feel like David wrapped up against three Goliaths, so I’m cautiously optimistic that we could possibly pull off a sneaker here.”
“In previous polling that we have seen come out on this issue, specifically a poll that the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released earlier this year, they showed that when we really probed those undecideds, and kind of asked which direction they were learning, the vast majority are leaning yes,” said Chrissy Meyer with the American Heart Association, which is part of South Dakotans Decide Health Care.
The poll also shows 50.5% of voters plan to reject Initiated Measure 27, which would legalize recreational marijuana in the state for people who are at least 21 years old. 39.7% of respondents plan to vote yes, while 9.8% are undecided.
“Just very, very hopeful, that as more messages get out and more people find out about what marijuana will do, the dangerous drug that it is, that more folks will turn out because that is way too narrow of a margin,” said Jim Kinyon, committee chair for Protecting South Dakota Kids.
“I believe that there’s a large number of voters who don’t typically vote in midterm elections, who are going to be motivated to show up and vote in favor of Measure 27,” said Matthew Schweich, campaign manager for Yes on 27. “So I believe that we’re still in a position to win.”