Today’s Franklin and Marshall poll provides a look at where voters are on a variety of so-called social issues, including gay rights, gun control and marijuana.
The biggest shift is gay marriage, which a majority of Pa. voters (52%) now support.
Overall, support runs 52% to 41%. 36% strongly favor providing same sex couples the same marriage rights as traditional ones, and 16% somewhat favor it. 7% somewhat oppose and 34% strongly oppose it.
That’s a 38 point swing from 2006, the last time F&M polled the question. Then, voters were opposed 60% to 33%. Just 17% strongly supported it and 50% strongly opposed.
A Quinnipiac poll released last week showed more voters support same sex marriage – 47% to 43% – but still short of a majority.
The pollster surveyed 622 registered voters from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 using live callers on land lines. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percent.
A push for new gun legislation by national and state Democrats finds healthy support in Pa. However, despite increased attention to gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, levels of support are not outside historic norms.
Asked, “Generally speaking, do you favor or oppose creating more laws that regulate gun ownership?” 58% said they strongly or somewhat favor it and 38% said they strongly or somewhat oppose it. A graph produced by F&M (below) shows that the 59% number is within the normal range of the past 15 years.
Individual measures find stronger support, including mandatory universal background checks (94%), a ban on high capacity magazines (61%), a ban on so-called assault weapons (61%) and a rule limiting handgun sales to 1 per month h unless the person is a police officer or licensed gun dealer or collector (61%).
Voters oppose allowing local governments to craft their own gun laws 66% to 27%.
34% of respondents said they were gun owners.
The numbers on assault weapons and high capacity magazines were reverse those from the latest Q-Pac poll, which showed voters oppose them (51% and 57%, respectively).
Finally, voters remain solidly opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use 55% to 36%. The number hasn’t changed much since F&M polled the question in 2010, but there has been a 31 point swing in favor of legalization since 2006 when voters opposed the measure 72% to 22%.
Voters strongly support legalizing marijuana use if it is prescribed by a doctor. 82% of respondents said they favor doing so, just 16% oppose.