October 8, 2015 - Florida, Ohio Back Personal Pot; Pennsylvania Split, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds; Keystone State Voters Say Attorney General Must Go Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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With noticeable gender gaps, voters in Florida and Ohio back legalization of marijuana for personal use - so-called "recreational marijuana" - while Pennsylvania voters are divided, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today.

In each state, men support legalized marijuana for personal use more than women, 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.

By overwhelming margins, voters in each state support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. On this question, there is no gender gap.

Also in each state, most voters say they would not use marijuana if personal use were legalized.

Looking at 2016 U.S. Senate races, Democratic contenders are ahead in Florida, while Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is comfortably ahead in Pennsylvania and Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Rob Portman's reelection effort is too close to call.

President Barack Obama has a negative job approval rating in each state.

"If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then the Red Planet might be the more spacey place. That's because men are more likely than women to support legalization of marijuana for recreational use," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "Not surprisingly support for the change is linked to age, with younger voters more likely to see personal use of pot as a good thing."

"But despite the support for legalization, a majority of voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania say they would not use the drug if it were legal," Brown added.

"Only about one in 10 voters opposes legalizing marijuana for medical purposes."

"President Barack Obama's job approval scores are identical in Pennsylvania and Ohio and only 3 points off in Florida, all negative. Although he won all three of these swing states in his two presidential campaigns, the data indicate he might have a tough fight if he wanted to run again - and wasn't barred from doing so by the Constitution."

Florida

Florida voters support legalizing personal marijuana use 51 - 45 percent. Men support it 57 - 41 percent, with women narrowly opposed 49 - 46 percent. Support is 66 - 30 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 52 - 44 percent among voters 35 to 49 years old and 55 - 43 percent among voters 50 to 64 years old. Voters over 65 are opposed 56 - 39 percent. But 65 percent of voters say they would "definitely not" use marijuana if it were legalized.

Voters support legalizing medical marijuana 87 - 12 percent.

In Florida's 2016 U.S. Senate race, Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy leads Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera 37 - 29 percent and tops U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis 37 - 30 percent. Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson gets 35 percent to Lopez-Cantera's 32 percent and leads DeSantis 37 - 31 percent.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott gets a negative 41 - 47 percent job approval rating, down from 45 - 44 percent in an August 25 Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters approve 46 - 27 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is doing and give U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio a 52 - 36 percent job approval rating.

President Barack Obama gets a negative 45 - 51 percent job approval rating.

"The strong support among Floridians for legalizing medical marijuana may not be enough. In 2014, voters expressed overwhelming support for legalization, but at the ballot box they failed to meet the 60 percent threshold required by the State Constitution," Brown said.

Ohio

Ohio voters support legalizing personal marijuana use 53 - 44 percent. Men support it 59 - 38 percent. Women are divided, with 47 percent in favor and 49 percent opposed.

Support is 70 - 25 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 59 - 39 percent among voters 35 to 49 years old and 50 - 46 percent among voters 50 to 64 years old. Voters over 65 are opposed 64 - 33 percent. Again, 65 percent of voters say they would "definitely not" use marijuana if it were legalized.

Voters support legalized medical marijuana use 90 - 9 percent.

In the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, Democratic challenger Ted Strickland has 46 percent, with Republican incumbent Sen. Rob. Portman at 43 percent. Portman leads Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld 49 - 27 percent.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets a 62 - 29 percent job approval rating, his highest ever. The Republican presidential contender even gets 42 percent of Democrats, with 45 percent disapproving.

Voters approve 46 - 31 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is doing and give Portman a 50 - 27 percent job approval rating.

President Obama gets a negative 42 - 54 percent job approval rating in Ohio.

"Conventional wisdom says Sen. Rob Portman's 50 - 27 percent job approval rating should make him a safe bet for reelection. But a second term is far from a sure thing. In fact, Portman's 43 percent in a matchup against Ted Strickland falls slightly short of the former Democratic governor's 46 percent," Brown said.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania voters are divided on legalizing personal marijuana use, with 47 percent in favor and 49 percent opposed. Men support it 52 - 44 percent, with women opposed 53 - 43 percent.

Support is 66 - 33 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old and 51 - 45 percent among voters 35 to 49 years old. Voters 50 to 64 years old are divided 48 - 47 percent and voters over 65 are opposed 64 - 32 percent. Even if marijuana were legalized, 66 percent of voters say they would "definitely not" use it.

Voters support legalizing medical marijuana 90 - 9 percent.

Pennsylvania voters disapprove 52 - 24 percent of the job State Attorney General Kathleen Kane is doing and say 46 - 32 percent that she should resign.

In the 2016 U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey leads Democratic challenger Joe Sestak 49 - 34 percent and tops Democrat Katie McGinty 51 - 31 percent.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has a negative 41 - 44 percent job approval rating, down from a positive 45 - 39 percent approval rating August 25.

U.S. Sen. Robert Casey Jr. gets a 45 - 28 percent approval rating, with a 51 - 27 percent approval rating for Toomey.

"All but stripped of her legal authority, Attorney General Kathleen Kane gets a thumbs down from the ultimate authority, the voters who voted her in, and now want her gone," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Legalize pot? Pennsylvania voters are divided. That is unless that voter is 34 or younger where support runs 2-1."

From September 25 - October 5 Quinnipiac University surveyed:
  • 1,173 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.
  • 1,180 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.
  • 1,049 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 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.

42a. 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?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               37%     -      -
Lopez-Cantera        29      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      -      -
DK/NA                30      -      -
 
 
42b. 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?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              35%     -      -
Lopez-Cantera        32      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      -      -
DK/NA                27      -      -
 
 
42c. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Patrick Murphy the Democrat and Ron DeSantis the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Murphy               37%     -      -
DeSantis             30      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      -      -
DK/NA                29      -      -
 
 
42d. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Alan Grayson the Democrat and Ron DeSantis the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Grayson              37%     -      -
DeSantis             31      -      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      -      -
DK/NA                26      -      -
 
 
42e. 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?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Strickland            -     46%     -
Portman               -     43      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      2      -
DK/NA                 -      8      -
 
 
42f. 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?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Sittenfeld            -     27%     -
Portman               -     49      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      4      -
DK/NA                 -     18      -
 
 
42g. Is your opinion of Ted Strickland favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -     44%     -
Unfavorable           -     35      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     21      -
REFUSED               -      1      -
 
 
42h. Is your opinion of Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -     43%     -
Unfavorable           -     18      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     38      -
REFUSED               -      1      -
 
 
42i. Is your opinion of P.G. Sittenfeld favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      8%     -
Unfavorable           -      6      -
Hvn't hrd enough      -     86      -
REFUSED               -      -      -
 
 
42j. 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?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Sestak                -      -     34%
Toomey                -      -     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      2
DK/NA                 -      -     13
 
 
42k. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Katie McGinty the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
McGinty               -      -     31%
Toomey                -      -     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      3
DK/NA                 -      -     15
 
 
42l. Is your opinion of Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     49%
Unfavorable           -      -     25
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     25
REFUSED               -      -      1
 
 
42m. Is your opinion of Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     27%
Unfavorable           -      -     14
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     59
REFUSED               -      -      -
 
 
42n. Is your opinion of Katie McGinty favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Favorable             -      -     16%
Unfavorable           -      -     11
Hvn't hrd enough      -      -     72
REFUSED               -      -      -
 
 
43. 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
                     Scott       Kasich      Wolf
 
Approve              41%         62%         41%
Disapprove           47          29          44
DK/NA                12           9          15
 
 
44-45. 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              46%         52%         46%         50%         45%         51%
Disapprove           27          36          31          27          28          27
DK/NA                27          12          23          22          26          22
 
 
45a. (PA only) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kathleen Kane is handling her job as State Attorney General?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve               -      -     24%
Disapprove            -      -     52
DK/NA                 -      -     24
 
 
45b. (PA only) Do you think Kathleen Kane should resign as State Attorney General or not?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Yes/Resign            -      -     46%
No                    -      -     32
DK/NA                 -      -     22
 
 
46. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     FL     OH     PA
 
Approve              45%    42%    42%
Disapprove           51     54     54
DK/NA                 4      4      4
 
 
87. 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              51%    53%    47%
Oppose               45     44     49
DK/NA                 4      3      4
 
 
88. 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              87%    90%    90%
Oppose               12      9      9
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
89. 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        7%     7%     4%
Probably use          9      9     11
Probably not use     18     19     18
Definitely not use   65     65     66
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
 
Additional info by state:
Florida: State Crosstabs Trend Tables Sample and Methodology detail
Ohio: State Crosstabs Trend Tables Sample and Methodology detail
Pennsylvania: State Crosstabs Trend Tables Sample and Methodology detail