April 6, 2015 - Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania Voters Back Marijuana, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Toomey Up In Pennsylvania; Strickland Leads In Ohio Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Voters in three critical swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, support legalization of medical marijuana by margins of 5-1 or more and also support legalization of recreational marijuana use by smaller margins, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

Support for medical marijuana is 84 - 14 percent in Florida, 84 - 15 percent in Ohio and 88 - 10 percent in Pennsylvania, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. The Swing State Poll focuses on Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania because since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.

Support for allowing adults "to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use" is 55 - 42 percent in Florida, 52 - 44 percent in Ohio and 51 - 45 percent in Pennsylvania.

But swing state voters say they don't plan to use marijuana themselves:
  • 17 percent of Florida voters say they "definitely" or "probably" would use it, while 81 percent say they "probably" or "definitely" would not;
  • 14 percent of Ohio voters say they "definitely" or "probably would use it, while 84 percent say "definitely" or "probably" not;
  • 15 percent of Pennsylvania voters say they are likely to try, while 83 percent say no.
"Bare majorities in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania say they support allowing adults to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, and more than eight in 10 say it should be available for medical uses," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.

"But it is worth considering the lesson of Florida in 2014, when a referendum on medical marijuana fell short of the 60 percent needed for passage."

Florida

Republican State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is the strongest candidate in an early look at the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Florida, getting 38 percent to 34 percent for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. Atwater leads another possible Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, 42 - 32 percent.

In other possible matchups:
  • Murphy gets 35 percent to 31 percent for Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera;
  • Lopez-Cantera gets 33 percent to 32 percent for Grayson.
The percentage of voters for each of these candidates who don't know enough to form an opinion of them is 58 percent or higher.

Florida voters disapprove 49 - 42 percent of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing, continuing a four-year streak of negative ratings.

Voters approve 54 - 35 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is doing and give U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson a 45 - 30 percent approval rating.

"If U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio runs for president, the fight for his Senate seat will be a test of relatively unknown candidates on both sides of the aisle," Brown said. "Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has a small edge in exposure to the voters, but we have a long way to go. Whoever wins will be the candidate who does the best job introducing themselves to the voters."

Ohio

In the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, former Gov. Ted Strickland, the Democrat, leads Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Rob Portman 48 - 39 percent. Independent voters back the Democrat 50 - 32 percent.

Portman tops another possible Democratic challenger, Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld, 47 - 24 percent.

Ohio voters approve 49 - 23 percent of the job Portman is doing and give him a 38 - 18 percent favorability rating. Strickland has a 49 - 29 percent favorability rating, while 89 percent of voters haven't heard enough about Sittenfeld to form an opinion of him.

Voters approve 52 - 27 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is doing.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets a 61 - 28 percent job approval rating, continuing his trend as one of the highest-ranked governors in any of the nine states surveyed by Quinnipiac University.

"Gov. John Kasich's strong cache with Ohio voters isn't helping his fellow Republican, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who trails former Gov. Ted Strickland in a head-to-head matchup," Brown said. "One reason may be that Portman, who is now finishing his first term in the U.S. Senate, is not all that well-known to voters. Only slightly more than half of voters say they know enough to have an opinion of him. Strickland, who has been out of office since 2010, is very well-known. Three quarters have an opinion and it is favorable by 20 percentage points."

Pennsylvania

If the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania is a rematch of the 2010 race, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey leads Democratic challenger Joe Sestak 48 - 35 percent.

Toomey gets a 49 - 24 percent job approval rating and a 44 - 23 percent favorability rating. For Sestak, 61 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Voters approve 46 - 26 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Robert Casey Jr. is doing.

Pennsylvania's new governor, Tom Wolf, gets a 44 - 34 percent approval rating.

"It's an uphill fight for Joe Sestak who has to chip away at U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey's approval numbers while trying to win over Pennsylvanians who just don't know enough about him," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Gov. Tom Wolf brings good vibes back to the State House after four years of broad discontent with his predecessor, Gov. Tom Corbett."

From March 17 - 28, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 1,087 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
  • 1,077 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
  • 1,036 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
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.

17a. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Carlos Lopez-Cantera the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot
 
Murphy               35%
Lopez-Cantera        31
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4
DK/NA                29
 
 
17b. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Jeff Atwater the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot
 
Murphy               34%
Atwater              38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3
DK/NA                24
 
 
17c. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Carlos Lopez-Cantera the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot
 
Grayson              32%
Lopez-Cantera        33
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4
DK/NA                30
 
 
17d. (FL only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Jeff Atwater the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot
 
Grayson              32%
Atwater              42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3
DK/NA                22
 
 
17e. (FL only) Is your opinion of Patrick Murphy favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            19%
Unfavorable           6
Hvn't hrd enough     74
REFUSED               1
 
 
17f. (FL only) Is your opinion of Carlos Lopez-Cantera favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            13%
Unfavorable           8
Hvn't hrd enough     78
REFUSED               1
 
 
17g. (FL only) Is your opinion of Jeff Atwater favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            29%
Unfavorable          12
Hvn't hrd enough     58
REFUSED               1
 
 
17h. (FL only) Is your opinion of Alan Grayson favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            20%
Unfavorable          17
Hvn't hrd enough     62
REFUSED               1
 
 
17i. (OH only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Ted Strickland the Democrat and Rob Portman the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot
 
Strickland           48%
Portman              39
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3
DK/NA                10
 
 
17j. (OH only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were P.G. Sittenfeld the Democrat and Rob Portman the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot
 
Sittenfeld           24%
Portman              47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4
DK/NA                24
 
 
17k. (OH only) Is your opinion of Ted Strickland favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            49%
Unfavorable          29
Hvn't hrd enough     21
REFUSED               2
 
 
17l. (OH only) Is your opinion of Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            38%
Unfavorable          18
Hvn't hrd enough     44
REFUSED               1
 
 
17m. (OH only) Is your opinion of P.G. Sittenfeld favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable             5%
Unfavorable           5
Hvn't hrd enough     89
REFUSED               1
 
 
17n. (PA only) If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Joe Sestak the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot
 
Sestak               35%
Toomey               48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3
DK/NA                13
 
 
17o. (PA only) Is your opinion of Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            44%
Unfavorable          23
Hvn't hrd enough     32
REFUSED               1
 
 
17p. (PA only) Is your opinion of Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot
 
Favorable            24%
Unfavorable          14
Hvn't hrd enough     61
REFUSED               1
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - (FL) Rick Scott / (OH) John Kasich / (PA) Tom Wolf - is handling his job as Governor?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve              42%    61%    44%
Disapprove           49     28     34
DK/NA                 9     11     22
 
 
19-20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way - (FL) Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio / (OH) Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman / (PA) Bob Casey Jr., Pat Toomey - is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     FL...............       OH.................     PA................
                     Nelson      Rubio       Brown       Portman     Casey Jr.   Toomey
 
Approve              45%         54%         52%         49%         46%         49%
Disapprove           30          35          27          23          26          24
DK/NA                25          11          21          28          27          27
 
 
42. Do you support or oppose allowing adults in - (FL) Florida / (OH) Ohio / (PA) Pennsylvania - to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Support              55%    52%    51%
Oppose               42     44     45
DK/NA                 3      4      5
 
 
43. Do you support or oppose allowing adults in - (FL) Florida / (OH) Ohio / (PA) Pennsylvania - to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Support              84%    84%    88%
Oppose               14     15     10
DK/NA                 2      1      2
 
 
44. If marijuana were legalized for recreational use in - (FL) Florida / (OH) Ohio / (PA) Pennsylvania - would you definitely use it, probably use it, probably not use it, or definitely not use it?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Definitely use        6%     5%     5%
Probably use         11      9     10
Probably not use     16     17     15
Definitely not use   65     67     68
DK/NA                 1      1      2
 
 
Additional info by state:
Florida: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
Ohio: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail
Pennsylvania: Trends and Crosstabs Sample and Methodology detail