SEATTLE — Marijuana advocates, fresh off victories for legal recreational pot in Oregon, Alaska and the nation’s capital, are already preparing for their next target, and it’s a big one: California.

They are aiming to ask voters in the nation’s largest state to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2016, hoping to draw on a more liberal and larger electorate during a presidential election to help them avoid a repeat of their 2010 failed pot measure.

The victories in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia came in a midterm election that saw a low turnout and a conservative electorate hand Republicans back control of the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2006.

“This is a Republican wave year, so we’re excited for our prospects,” said David Boyer, who is leading Maine’s legal pot effort for 2016. “In a tough midterm, we gained steam.”

The results emboldened them – even from a loss in Florida, where a medical marijuana proposal earned 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent required to pass.

Legalization opponent Kevin Sabet called the votes “a bit of a wake-up call before 2016,” noting that drug policy groups had spent millions on the legalization campaigns, vastly outspending opponents.

“This is going to make our side redouble our efforts to find donors who can put forth real money,” said the president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, adding that if they can get the resources to get their message out, voters could make informed decisions.

Sabet pointed to the result in Florida as well as votes in five Colorado cities banning marijuana dispensaries in saying, “I think we’ve slowed the legal marijuana freight train.”

The pot votes were considered by many to be the first real test of marijuana reform’s popularity since Washington state and Colorado passed the nation’s first legal pot laws in 2012.