December 5, 2012 - American Voters Back Legalized Marijuana, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Voters Split On Gay Marriage, But Catholics Back It

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American voters favor the legalization of marijuana, 51 - 44 percent, with a substantial gender and age gap, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters today are divided 48 - 46 percent on the issue of same-sex marriage, reversing the 55 - 36 percent opposition to same-sex marriage in a July, 2008, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. White Catholics support it 49 - 43 percent.

Climate change did not cause Superstorm Sandy, voters say 53 - 37 percent.

On another issue, voters say 47 - 41 percent that David Petraeus was right to resign as director of the Central Intelligence Agency after admitting to an extramarital affair.

On the controversy over the killing of the U.S/ ambassador to Libya, 47 percent of voters believe the Obama administration shared the facts with the American people as they became available while 41 percent think the administration deliberately misled the public.

"With the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes legal in about 20 states, and Washington and Colorado voting this November to legalize the drug for recreational use, American voters seem to have a more favorable opinion about this once-dreaded drug," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "There are large differences on this question among the American people.

"Men support legalization 59 - 36 percent, but women are opposed 52 - 44 percent. The racial split evident throughout American politics on many matters is barely noticeable on this question with 50 percent of white voters and 57 percent of black voters backing legalization."

"Not surprisingly, voters 18 to 29 years old support legalization 67 - 29 percent while voters over age 65 are opposed 56 - 35 percent," Brown added. "Voters 30 to 44 years old like the idea 58 - 39 percent, while voters 45 to 64 years old are divided 48 - 47 percent."

"This is the first time Quinnipiac University asked this question in its national poll so there is no comparison from earlier years. It seems likely, however, that given the better than 2-1 majority among younger voters, legalization is just a matter of time."

On same-sex marriage, the biggest change over the past four years has been among men. In 2008, they oppose gay marriage 61 - 31 percent. Now they oppose it 50 - 43 percent, a 23- point shift over the past four years. Women, who had opposed it 51 - 40 percent in 2008, now back it 52 - 42 percent, a shift of 21 points. White Protestants are opposed 63 - 32 percent.

"It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly. While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years," said Brown. "Since voters 18 to 29 years old support same-sex marriage 63 - 35 percent, once again we see it's just a matter of time."

On whether climate change caused Superstorm Sandy, there are also wide splits in the country. Only 14 percent of Republicans, but 37 percent of independent voters and 55 percent of Democrats think climate change caused the storm. Men say no 57 - 35 percent, while women say no 49 - 39 percent.

American voters support 70 - 26 percent Obama's "Dream" policy to allow young immigrants to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship, 57 percent of voters say, while 11 percent say they should be allowed to stay with no path to citizenship and 26 percent say they should be deported.

From November 28 - December 3, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,949 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 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 and the nation as a public service and for research.

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

26. Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are currently living in the United States? A) They should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for US citizenship. B) They should be allowed to remain in the United States, but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship. C) They should be required to leave the U.S.
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
A)Stay/Citizenship   57%    41%    74%    53%    51%    63%    53%    74%    69%
B)Stay/Not citizen   11     12      9     12     13      9     11     11     10
C)Not stay           26     40     14     30     31     23     31     11     15
DK/NA                 5      7      3      5      5      5      5      4      6
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
A)Stay/Citizenship   59%    49%    49%    49%    46%    59%    45%    53%
B)Stay/Not citizen   14      9      9     14     14      8     11     11
C)Not stay           21     36     37     32     35     28     39     32
DK/NA                 6      5      5      5      6      5      5      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INC AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
A)Stay/Citizenship   63%    55%    60%    54%    58%    71%    54%    57%    53%
B)Stay/Not citizen   14     10      9     13     14     11     12     11     11
C)Not stay           18     30     26     29     23     16     27     28     30
DK/NA                 5      5      5      4      5      3      7      4      6
 
 
27. As you may know, the Obama administration has announced a new policy in which young illegal immigrants who came to the country as children will be able to obtain work permits and will not face deportation. Do you support or oppose this new policy?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Support              70%    52%    87%    67%    68%    73%    65%    86%    81%
Oppose               26     43     11     28     29     23     31     12     13
DK/NA                 4      5      2      5      3      5      4      2      6
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              74%    61%    59%    65%    62%    68%    53%    67%
Oppose               23     34     36     32     34     28     43     29
DK/NA                 3      4      5      3      4      4      5      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INC AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Support              76%    68%    71%    70%    71%    79%    74%    69%    63%
Oppose               21     28     25     27     26     17     24     28     31
DK/NA                 3      4      4      3      3      5      2      4      6
 
TREND: As you may know, the Obama administration has announced a new policy in which young illegal immigrants who came to the country as children will be able to obtain work permits and will not face deportation. Do you support or oppose this new policy?
                     Dec 05  Jul 12
                     2012    2012
 
Support              70      55
Oppose               26      39
DK/NA                 4       6
 
 
28. How concerned are you about global warming or climate change; very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Very concerned       36%    10%    57%    33%    33%    38%    31%    49%    48%
Smwht concerned      30     28     32     31     28     32     30     35     26
Not too concerned    15     23      6     18     16     14     17      6     13
Not concerned        19     37      4     17     24     14     22      8     13
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      1      1      2      -
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Very concerned       40%    26%    21%    30%    27%    34%    16%    31%
Smwht concerned      24     33     32     30     29     31     28     32
Not too concerned    16     17     20     20     17     17     24     17
Not concerned        19     23     26     20     27     17     31     20
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      -      1      1      1
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INC AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Very concerned       43%    33%    39%    32%    33%    36%    35%    37%    35%
Smwht concerned      26     32     32     33     28     30     30     31     28
Not too concerned    14     15     13     17     15     14     15     15     15
Not concerned        17     19     16     18     24     20     19     17     19
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      -      -      -      -      2
 
TREND: How concerned are you about global warming or climate change; very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Dec 05  Dec 23
                     2012    2009
 
Very concerned       36      29
Smwht concerned      30      30
Not too concerned    15      17
Not concerned        19      23
DK/NA                 1       1
 
 
29. Do you think Hurricane Sandy was the result of climate change or don't you think so?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Climate change       37%    14%    55%    37%    35%    39%    31%    56%    43%
Don't think so       53     78     34     52     57     49     59     36     45
DK/NA                10      8     10     11      8     12     10      8     12
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Climate change       38%    28%    24%    30%    28%    34%    17%    32%
Don't think so       51     62     67     60     64     54     73     59
DK/NA                11     10      9     10      8     12      9      9
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INC AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Climate change       40%    36%    43%    33%    33%    44%    38%    36%    32%
Don't think so       49     55     47     59     59     52     55     55     48
DK/NA                11      9     10      8      8      4      7      9     20
 
 
30. In general, do you support or oppose same-sex marriage?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Support              48%    23%    65%    49%    43%    52%    47%    43%    61%
Oppose               46     73     29     43     50     42     47     45     36
DK/NA                 7      4      7      8      7      6      6     12      3
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              60%    41%    32%    49%    42%    51%    17%    52%
Oppose               37     52     63     43     52     43     77     42
DK/NA                 4      7      5      8      6      6      5      6
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INC AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Support              60%    42%    46%    46%    56%    63%    54%    44%    36%
Oppose               35     50     48     46     40     35     40     48     57
DK/NA                 5      7      6      8      4      2      6      8      8
 
TREND: In general, do you support or oppose same-sex marriage?
                     Dec 05  Jul 17
                     2012    2008
 
Support              48      36
Oppose               46      55
DK/NA                 7       9
 
 
31. Do you think that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States, or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  51%    31%    58%    58%    59%    44%    50%    57%    47%
No                   44     66     36     37     36     52     46     37     48
DK/NA                 5      3      6      5      5      5      5      6      5
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  54%    47%    39%    45%    57%    43%    33%    48%
No                   42     48     56     50     39     52     64     47
DK/NA                 5      4      5      4      4      5      3      5
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INC AGE IN YRS..............
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+
 
Yes                  54%    50%    52%    49%    56%    67%    58%    48%    35%
No                   41     45     43     47     41     29     39     47     56
DK/NA                 5      5      4      4      3      4      3      5      9
 
 
32. Do you think David Petraeus was right to resign because of admitted adultery or do you think he should have remained as the head of the CIA?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Right to resign      47%    50%    43%    48%    48%    45%    47%    41%    47%
Remained CIA head    41     37     43     42     40     41     40     48     42
DK/NA                13     13     14     10     11     14     13     10     11
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv   Mltry
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No   HsHld
 
Right to resign      51%    45%    48%    48%    49%    46%    48%    48%    48%
Remained CIA head    38     40     39     42     40     39     36     41     42
DK/NA                11     14     13     10     12     15     15     11     10
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K  50-100 100-250 >250K  18-44  45-64  65+
 
Right to resign      48%    46%    45%    48%    49%    42%    43%    49%    48%
Remained CIA head    39     41     43     41     40     48     42     40     39
DK/NA                13     13     12     11     10     10     15     10     1339
DK/NA                13     13     12     11     11     14     15     10     13
 
 
33. Do you think the Obama administration deliberately misled the American people about the events surrounding the death of the American ambassador to Libya, or do you believe the Obama administration shared the facts with the American people as they became available?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Deliberately misled  41%    79%    11%    42%    44%    39%    50%     8%    26%
Shared facts         47     12     76     45     44     49     39     78     59
DK/NA                12      9     13     13     12     12     11     14     15
 
                     WHITE..............................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                               BornAgnEv   Mltry
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom    Yes    No   HsHld
 
Deliberately misled  46%    53%    59%    53%    52%    49%    70%    48%    46%
Shared facts         46     35     31     37     37     40     23     41     43
DK/NA                 8     12     10     10     11     11      8     11     11
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K  50-100 100-250 >250K  18-44  45-64  65+
 
Deliberately misled  39%    42%    37%    44%    48%    40%    37%    44%    45%
Shared facts         51     45     50     44     45     52     49     47     42
DK/NA                10     13     13     12      7      8     15      9     13
 
 

Demographic Summary