July 23, 2015 - Colorado, Iowa, Virginia Voters Back Pope On Climate, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Voters Say Leave Same-Sex Marriage Alone Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Voters in the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa and Virginia agree by margins of more than 2-1 with Pope Francis' call to do more to address climate change, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Also by margins of more than 2-1, voters in each state say climate change is caused by human activity. By narrower margins, however, voters in each state say climate change is not a moral issue, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. The Swing State Poll focuses on key states in the presidential election.

President Barack Obama continues in his slump with negative job approval ratings of 41 - 56 percent in Colorado, 40 - 56 percent in Iowa and 45 - 51 percent in Virginia.

"There is a big partisan split as Democrats in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia agree with the Pope on climate change while Republicans disagree," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Conventional political wisdom is that a presidential candidate rises and falls along with the president of his/her own party. But the current relationship between Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama is uncanny. Although the questions of the president's job approval and candidate Clinton's favorability rating are different, the results are almost identical:
  • Clinton's unfavorable ratings are 56 percent in Colorado, 56 percent in Iowa and 50 percent in Virginia;
  • Obama's job disapproval ratings are 56 percent in Colorado, 56 percent in Iowa and 51 percent in Virginia.
"These numbers argue that whoever wins, the Democratic nominee needs President Obama to improve his standing with voters, at least in these three states."

Voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia support same-sex marriage and the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

By wider margins, voters in each state oppose a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage. Voters also strongly oppose allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. Voters are more evenly divided on whether businesses should be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians if the business owner says homosexuality violates his/her religious beliefs.

"Voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia who side with the Catholic Church on the environment would seem to part ways on the issue of same-sex marriage," Brown said.

"Businesses can not refuse service to gays, voters say. But they are split on whether a business owned by a person who views same-sex weddings as sacrilegious should be forced to serve homosexuals."

Colorado

Colorado voters agree 62 - 31 percent with Pope Francis' call for action on climate change. Agreement is 93 - 3 percent among Democrats and 61 - 31 percent among independent voters, while Republicans disagree 53 - 38 percent.

Voters say 54 - 41 percent that climate change is not a moral issue, but say 62 - 32 percent that it is caused by human activity.

Voters support same-sex marriage 59 - 33 percent and support the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide 57 - 38 percent. By a wider 61 - 34 percent, voters oppose a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage.

Businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians, voters say 60 - 35 percent. A business owner who cites religious beliefs should be allowed to deny service to gays or lesbians, 45 percent say, while 48 percent say the owner should not be allowed to deny service.

On other issues:
  • Colorado voters oppose 57 - 40 percent the Affordable Care Act of 2010;
  • Voters say 51 - 43 percent that the federal government should pursue policies to try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans;
  • Voters support 53 - 43 percent raising taxes on higher income earners to reduce taxes paid by the middle class.
"'People cause it, people should fix it,' Colorado voters say. In an environmentally conscious state, voters embrace Pope Francis' view that climate change is a clear and present danger that mankind is responsible for and must address," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"While President Barack Obama's approval rating is stalled, major issues he has supported, same sex marriage, the rights of gays to equal services from businesses and higher taxes on the wealthy to benefit the middle class, all have the support of Coloradans."

Iowa

Iowa voters agree 65 - 25 percent with Pope Francis' call for action on climate change. Agreement is 90 - 4 percent among Democrats and 69 - 22 percent among independent voters, while Republicans disagree by a slim 44 - 40 percent.

Voters say 50 - 44 percent that climate change is not a moral issue, but say 66 - 27 percent that it is caused by human activity.

Voters support same-sex marriage 51 - 40 percent and support the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide 51 - 44 percent. They oppose 55 - 39 percent a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage.

Businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians, voters say 58 - 36 percent, but they are divided 46 - 46 percent on whether a business owner who cites religious beliefs should be allowed to deny service to gays or lesbians.

On other issues:
  • Iowa voters oppose 53 - 41 percent the Affordable Care Act;
  • Voters say 55 - 37 percent that the federal government should pursue policies to try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans;
  • Voters support 60 - 35 percent raising taxes on higher income earners to reduce taxes paid by the middle class.
"In Iowa, how independent voters feel about the treatment of gays by businesses shows the impact of religion. By 56 - 39 percent those independents say companies should not be able to refuse service to gay customers. But by 53 - 40 percent they say denying service would be okay if serving gays violated the company owner's religion," said Brown.

Virginia

Virginia voters agree 64 - 27 percent with Pope Francis' call for action on climate change. Agreement is 84 - 10 percent among Democrats and 69 - 23 percent among independent voters, while Republicans disagree by a slim 46 - 42 percent.

Voters say by a narrow 50 - 44 percent that climate change is not a moral issue, but say 64 - 27 percent that it is caused by human activity.

Voters support same-sex marriage 49 - 43 percent, and 49 percent support the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, with 46 percent opposed. They oppose 55 - 40 percent a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage.

Businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians, voters say 61 - 32 percent, but they are divided 45 - 47 percent on whether a business owner who cites religious beliefs should be allowed to deny service to gays or lesbians.

On other issues:
  • Virginia voters oppose 50 - 44 percent the Affordable Care Act;
  • Voters say 54 - 37 percent that the federal government should pursue policies to try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans;
  • Voters support 56 - 38 percent raising taxes on higher income earners to reduce taxes paid by the middle class.
"Probably because such a large chunk of the Virginia electorate is located in northern Virginia, President Barack Obama does much better in the Old Dominion than in the other two states. The president's job rating is just six points underwater in Virginia while in Iowa and Colorado it is almost three times that," said Brown.

From July 9 - 20 Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 1,231 Colorado voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points;
  • 1,236 Iowa voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points;
  • 1,209 Virginia voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.
Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

36. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Approve              41%    40%    45%
Disapprove           56     56     51
DK/NA                 3      4      4
 
 
55. Do you think the federal government should or should not pursue policies that try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Should               51%    55%    54%
Should not           43     37     37
DK/NA                 6      8      8
 
 
56. Do you support or oppose increasing taxes on higher income earners to reduce the amount of taxes paid by the middle class?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Support              53%    60%    56%
Oppose               43     35     38
DK/NA                 4      5      5
 
 
57. Do you support or oppose allowing same-sex couples to get married?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Support              59%    51%    49%
Oppose               33     40     43
DK/NA                 8      9      9
 
 
58. As you may know, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages should be legal in all fifty states. Do you support or oppose this ruling?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Support              57%    51%    49%
Oppose               38     44     46
DK/NA                 5      6      5
 
 
59. Would you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would allow states to ban same-sex marriage?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Support              34%    39%    40%
Oppose               61     55     55
DK/NA                 5      6      6
 
 
60. Do you think businesses should or should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Should be allowed    35%    36%    32%
Should not           60     58     61
DK/NA                 5      5      7
 
 
61. What if the business says homosexuality violates its owners' religious beliefs; in that case do you think the business should or should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Should be allowed    45%    46%    45%
Should not           48     46     47
DK/NA                 6      7      8
 
 
62. Do you support or oppose the health care law passed by Barack Obama and Congress in 2010?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Support              40%    41%    44%
Oppose               57     53     50
DK/NA                 4      6      6
 
 
63. Do you think that climate change is or is not - a moral issue?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Yes/Moral issue      41%    44%    44%
No                   54     50     50
DK/NA                 5      6      6
 
 
64. Do you think that climate change is or is not - caused by human activity?
                     CO     IA     VA
 
Yes/Human activity   62%    66%    64%
No                   32     27     27
DK/NA                 6      8      8
 
 
65. Do you agree or disagree with the message from Pope Francis calling on the world to do more to address climate change?