Bear hunting and trapping advocates won another narrow victory this week, 54 percent to 46 percent. Despite polls that predicted a much bigger victory, the No on 1 campaign failed to significantly increase the margin of victory we won in 2004 on the same referendum question.
And the no vote fell about 75,000 short of the no vote in 2004, a presidential election year with a higher turnout. With 95 percent of precincts reporting, the turnout this year was 593,000, with 313,198 voting no on 1. 734,000 voters cast ballots in 2004, with 389,455 voting no on the bear referendum and 344,322 voting yes.
Today’s two-mornings-after analysis will focus on the lessons learned from the bear referendum.