Do Alaskans Like Fish More than Pot?
Me: Hey, Alaska!
Alaska: WHAT? We’re busy fishing.
Me: Just a couple quick questions… you can keep your line in the water.
Alaska: Make it fast, the silvers are running. I don’t want to get distracted.
Me: Would you rather have more money in the coffers of the state, or make sure you always have fish?
Me: Would you rather have people earning more money and boosting the economy, or make sure people can earn a living fishing.
Me: Would you rather smoke pot, or salmon?
Alaska: I can’t do both?
Alaska: OK, salmon. Are we done? FISH ON!
If a poll were a conversation, that’s how this one would have gone. Hays Research did a poll for fun, not paid for by anyone, just to get this out there. If you’re wondering why anyone would do a poll to see if Alaskans like fish, and why didn’t we just ask them if they like their dogs and their bunny boots while they were at it – it was a little more nuanced than that.
The questions revolved around the four voter initiatives that will likely be on the primary ballot this August – Preventing Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, raising the minimum wage, repealing the oil giveaway (SB21), and legalizing marijuana.
Here’s what the poll found:
“29.8% of Alaskan voters felt that the prohibition of mining in Bristol Bay was the most important issue followed closely by the repeal of SB21. Increasing the minimum wage came in third, however a majority of Alaskan voters still support the initiative. The ballot initiative with the least support among the four was the initiative to decriminalize marijuana in Alaska.
“These numbers are interesting considering we are still 52 weeks out from the primary election when voters will have a chance to decide on these initiatives. Alaskans have been hearing about issues like mining and oil tax reform for years, but other issue campaigns have barely started so there is a lot of potential for them to gain more ground before the election,” states Adam Hays, Research Director for Hays Research Group.”
And just in case the point needs to be driven home to candidates (particularly gubernatorial candidates) in a more direct way, like a fish club between the eyes, here’s another one.
“We asked likely Alaskan voters whether they favored or opposed the ballot initiative to prohibit mining in the Bristol Bay region, and 62% of voters were in favor. Only 22% of likely Alaskan voters were opposed to the ballot initiative. Additionally, among the voters that supported this initiative, 72% of them said that it was important that the candidate they support for Governor in 2014 elections shares their opinion on this issue,” said Adam Hays.
Considering that Sean Parnell has been outspoken about his support for the mine (aka Doomsday for salmon), and that the second-most important issue for voters is to repeal his oil tax giveaway, one would think that the opponents of said governor would be handing out No Pebble stickers, in addition to voicing their support for the repeal of SB21.
Outspoken support of salmon is a SAFE CAMPAIGN ISSUE! Even though you should never, never, never shake a baby, there is no rule about not shaking candidates firmly by the shoulders. You can do this by sending them emails, calling them on the phone, questioning them when they come to your door, tweeting at them, and blowing up their Facebook pages with comments.
That goes for Senate candidates too. I’m looking at you, Mark Begich, who is still “waiting for the science to come in.” The science IS in, and so are the poll numbers. And so are the fish, so if you’ll excuse Alaska, they’ll reassess your stance after the last pulse of silvers.