January 30, 2013 - Pennsylvania Voters Want Stricter Gun-Control, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Lean Slightly To Same-Sex Marriage

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Gun-control laws in the Keystone State and in the nation should be stricter, Pennsylvania voters say, with overwhelming 19-1 support for laws requiring background checks for all gun buyers, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Pennsylvania gun-control laws should be stricter, 57 percent of voters tell the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll, while 4 percent say less strict and 35 percent say keep state laws as they are. National gun-control laws should be stricter, 60 percent of statewide voters say, with 5 percent saying less strict and 32 percent saying keep current laws.

There is strong support in Pennsylvania for a number of measures at the national level:
  • 95 - 5 percent for requiring background checks for all gun purchases;
  • 60 - 37 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons;
  • 59 - 39 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds.
There is less support on most gun-control questions among voters in households where there is a gun, but 95 percent of voters in these gun households support stricter background checks.

"Pennsylvanians join voters in Virginia and New Jersey, states where Quinnipiac University has found overwhelming support for background checks for every gun purchase," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Keystone State voters, especially voters in urban areas, seem to have had enough of gun violence. By large margins, voters don't think assault weapons belong in the hands of any gun owner. Restrict the firepower of assault weapons or ban them entirely, Pennsylvanians say."

Gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, 49 percent of voters say, while 40 percent say gun ownership puts people at risk.

But 61 percent of Pennsylvania voters say allowing citizens to own assault rifles makes the country more dangerous, while 28 percent say assault weapon ownership makes the country safer. Voters in gun households say 46 - 38 percent that assault weapons make the U.S. safer.

Armed guards in schools would do more to reduce gun violence in schools than stricter gun laws, voters say 46 - 42 percent.

Gas Station Tax

Pennsylvania voters are divided with 45 percent supporting and 47 percent opposing a proposed $2 billion tax on gas stations to improve roads and bridges in the state. Support ranges from 54 - 38 percent in favor in southeast Pennsylvania to 65 - 24 percent opposed in the northwest corner of the state. A total of 82 percent of voters are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" that the cost of the new tax would be passed on to them, while 18 percent are "not too concerned" or "not concerned at all."

Same-Sex Marriage

Pennsylvania voters are divided on same-sex marriage, with 47 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed. Support is 50 - 40 percent among women, while men are divided, with 44 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed. Support is 65 - 27 percent among Democrats and 51 - 38 percent among independent voters. Republicans are opposed 67 - 23 percent.

White Catholics support same-sex marriage 50 - 40 percent while white Protestants are opposed 60 - 31 percent. Voters 18 to 34 years old support same-sex marriage 68 - 25 percent; voters 35 to 54 years old back it 48 - 41 percent. Voters over 55 are opposed 52 - 39 percent.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 37 percent of Pennsylvania voters list the economy as the most important problem facing the state. Another 10 percent list education and only 8 percent list taxes, followed by 7 percent each for the state budget and for politicians.

From January 22 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,221 registered 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 and the nation as a public service and for research.

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

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              51%    12%    90%    42%    44%    57%    45%    93%
Disapprove           46     86      9     52     53     40     52      6
DK/NA                 3      2      1      5      3      3      3      -
 
                     WHITE.................................
                     COLLEGE DEG
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Men    Wom
 
Approve              49%    43%    39%    46%    39%    51%
Disapprove           47     54     58     50     57     46
DK/NA                 4      3      3      4      3      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              53%    50%    55%    48%    45%    52%    46%    55%
Disapprove           44     47     43     50     51     44     51     42
DK/NA                 3      3      2      3      3      3      3      2
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 29  Nov 15  Jun 27  Jun 12  May 03  May 04  Apr 28
                     2013    2012    2012    2012    2012    2009    2011
 
Approve              51      52      45      46      50      66      42
Disapprove           46      45      49      49      46      29      53
DK/NA                 3       3       6       4       4       5       5
 
 
8. What do you think is the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today? (Trend information is available upon request back through June 2002)
                                      Tot
 
Economy Total                         37%
 Economy general                       7
 Unemployment/jobs                    28
 Business leaving/Outsourcing          1
 Cost of living                        1
 
Education Total                       10%
 Education general                     4
 Funding education                     4
 Education other                       2
 
Taxes Total                            8%
 Taxes general                         4
 Property tax                          2
 Taxes other                           2
 
Budget Total                           7%
 Budget general                        2
 Gov too big/Gov spending              1
 Budget deficits                       1
 Budget priorities                     1
 Budget other                          2
 
Politicians Total                      7%
 Politicians/Campaigns general         1
 Governor/State leadership/Legislature 2
 Obama administration                  1
 Election/Voting reform                1
 Political corruption                  1
 Politicians/Campaigns other           1
 
Crime Total                            4%
 Crime/Violence general                3
 Crime other                           1
 
Healthcare Total                       3%
 Healthcare/Costs/Ins/HMO's            2
 Healthcare other                      1
 
Gun control                            3%
 
Mass Transit Total                     2%
 Poor conditions roads/highways        1
 Mass transit other                    1
 
Hydrofracking/Natural Gas Drilling     2%
 
Environment/Pollution                  2%
 
Welfare                                1%
 
Senior issues                          1%
 
Handicapped/Disability issues          1%
 
Poverty/Homeless                       1%
 
Energy crisis/Gas prices Total         1%
 
Other                                  5%
 
DK/NA                                  5%
 
 
9. Is your opinion of the Republican Party favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            29%    66%     6%    24%    32%    27%    34%     5%
Unfavorable          55     21     79     57     55     55     52     69
Hvn't hrd enough     13      9     14     14      9     15     10     26
REFUSED               3      3      2      5      3      3      3      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of the Republican Party favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Jan 30  May 03  Mar 28  Dec 08  Nov 10  Jul 14  Apr 8
                     2013    2012    2012    2011    2011    2010    2010
 
Favorable            29      35      41      33      34      39      41
Unfavorable          55      51      48      53      52      43      41
Hvn't hrd enough     13      10       8      10      11      14      13
REFUSED               3       5       2       4       3       3       5
 
 
10. Is your opinion of the Democratic Party favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            43%     8%    81%    33%    38%    49%    39%    83%
Unfavorable          42     80      7     47     47     37     47     10
Hvn't hrd enough     11     11     10     14     10     13     11      6
REFUSED               3      2      2      7      5      2      3      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of the Democratic Party favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Jan 30  May 03  Mar 28  Dec 08  Nov 10  Jul 14  Apr 8
                     2013    2012    2012    2011    2011    2010    2010
 
Favorable            43      45      45      42      39      41      41
Unfavorable          42      41      46      46      47      45      46
Hvn't hrd enough     11       9       8       9      10      11       9
REFUSED               3       5       2       3       4       3       4
 
 
11. In general, do you support or oppose same-sex marriage?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              47%    23%    65%    51%    44%    50%    46%    53%
Oppose               43     67     27     38     46     40     44     36
DK/NA                 9     10      7     11     10      9      9     11
 
                     WHITE......
                     Prot   Cath
 
Support              31%    50%
Oppose               60     40
DK/NA                10     10
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              62%    41%    45%    47%    62%    68%    48%    39%
Oppose               32     48     46     43     29     25     41     52
DK/NA                 7     11     10     10      8      6     11      9
 
 
12. Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about gun laws, the Republicans in Congress or President Obama?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Reps in Congress     38%    79%     5%    39%    45%    32%    43%     6%
Obama                47     11     85     38     39     55     42     83
DK/NA                14     10     10     23     16     13     15     11
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Reps in Congress     37%    39%    34%    44%    44%    36%    44%    34%
Obama                53     45     48     47     49     50     44     51
DK/NA                10     16     17      9      7     14     12     15
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Reps in Congress     27%    38%    47%    56%    23%    41%    44%
Obama                63     50     34     28     65     48     44
DK/NA                11     12     19     15     12     12     12
 
 
13. Do you think the laws covering the sale of guns in the United States should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More strict          60%    34%    87%    56%    50%    70%    57%    84%
Less strict           5      7      1      6      8      2      5      -
Kept the same        32     55     10     35     39     25     35     13
DK/NA                 3      3      2      3      3      3      3      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
More strict          64%    59%    62%    55%    63%    57%    56%    67%
Less strict           3      5      6      3      5      6      5      3
Kept the same        30     32     29     37     31     34     36     27
DK/NA                 3      3      3      4      1      3      3      3
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
More strict          73%    63%    49%    41%    78%    59%    55%
Less strict           1      5      8      8      2      5      6
Kept the same        22     30     41     49     16     33     36
DK/NA                 4      3      3      2      4      3      3
 
 
14. Do you think the laws covering the sale of guns in Pennsylvania should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More strict          57%    35%    82%    50%    47%    67%    53%    80%
Less strict           4      6      1      6      7      2      4      -
Kept the same        35     57     14     37     43     27     38     16
DK/NA                 4      2      2      7      3      5      4      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
More strict          62%    55%    59%    53%    62%    55%    52%    63%
Less strict           3      5      5      3      4      6      5      2
Kept the same        31     36     34     39     31     35     39     30
DK/NA                 4      4      3      5      2      3      3      4
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
More strict          70%    58%    46%    39%    74%    57%    53%
Less strict           1      4      7      7      2      5      7
Kept the same        25     34     43     52     18     34     37
DK/NA                 4      4      3      2      5      4      4
 
 
15. Do you support or oppose a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              60%    41%    82%    51%    48%    70%    58%    69%
Oppose               37     53     16     46     49     25     38     27
DK/NA                 4      6      2      3      3      4      4      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              68%    56%    61%    57%    65%    54%    54%    68%
Oppose               30     40     35     41     31     43     42     29
DK/NA                 2      4      4      3      5      3      5      3
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Support              67%    64%    49%    45%    74%    56%    55%
Oppose               31     34     45     51     24     40     42
DK/NA                 3      2      6      4      2      4      3
 
 
16. Do you support or oppose a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              59%    38%    80%    53%    51%    66%    58%    67%
Oppose               39     59     18     45     47     31     39     31
DK/NA                 2      3      1      2      2      3      3      2
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              67%    55%    57%    57%    67%    54%    52%    66%
Oppose               31     42     40     41     30     43     45     32
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      2      3      3      2
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Support              64%    63%    50%    41%    74%    54%    53%
Oppose               33     35     48     57     24     45     46
DK/NA                 3      2      2      2      2      2      1
 
 
17. Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              95%    94%    96%    94%    94%    96%    96%    90%
Oppose                5      5      3      5      6      3      4     10
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      -      1      1      -
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              97%    94%    94%    95%    98%    97%    95%    94%
Oppose                3      5      5      5      2      3      5      5
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      -      -      -      1
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Support              93%    96%    94%    95%    94%    95%    94%
Oppose                6      4      5      4      5      4      6
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      1      -      -
 
 
18. Do you think that gun ownership in the United States does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, or does more to put people's safety at risk?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Protects people      49%    70%    26%    56%    59%    40%    52%    35%
Puts people at risk  40     19     62     33     31     47     37     54
DK/NA                11     11     12     11      9     13     11     10
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Protects people      44%    51%    46%    54%    47%    50%    53%    45%
Puts people at risk  47     37     40     39     45     40     40     40
DK/NA                 9     12     13      7      8     10      7     14
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Protects people      32%    51%    60%    66%    34%    52%    57%
Puts people at risk  55     40     27     23     55     39     36
DK/NA                13      9     12     11     11      9      7
 
 
19. Do you think allowing citizens to own assault weapons makes the country safer or more dangerous?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Safer                28%    47%    10%    31%    37%    19%    30%    15%
More dangerous       61     37     86     53     50     71     58     80
DK/NA                11     16      5     16     12     10     12      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Safer                23%    30%    24%    32%    30%    34%    36%    20%
More dangerous       68     58     64     57     61     55     53     70
DK/NA                 9     12     12     11      9     11     11     11
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Safer                19%    27%    35%    46%    12%    36%    41%
More dangerous       72     64     48     38     81     55     51
DK/NA                 9      9     17     15      7      9      8
 
 
20. Which of these do you think would do more to reduce gun violence in schools, having stricter gun laws or armed guards in schools?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Stricter gun laws    42%    19%    66%    36%    36%    48%    40%    58%
Armed guards         46     69     27     52     53     40     49     28
DK/NA                12     12      7     13     11     12     11     14
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Stricter gun laws    52%    38%    41%    40%    50%    36%    39%    48%
Armed guards         38     50     49     46     45     53     50     41
DK/NA                11     12     10     14      5     11     11     11
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Stricter gun laws    51%    47%    29%    24%    58%    37%    37%
Armed guards         38     42     58     64     32     55     53
DK/NA                11     11     12     12     11      8     10
 
 
21. If a member of Congress who represents your district were to vote for a ban on the sale of assault weapons, would you be more likely to vote for that person, less likely to vote for that person, or wouldn't it make a difference?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More likely          44%    22%    67%    35%    34%    53%    42%    56%
Less likely          28     47      8     34     40     18     29     12
No difference        26     28     23     28     25     27     27     29
DK/NA                 2      3      2      3      2      3      2      2
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
More likely          52%    40%    44%    40%    47%    35%    38%    52%
Less likely          23     30     27     33     23     33     35     21
No difference        22     27     27     24     29     31     26     24
DK/NA                 2      2      2      3      1      2      1      3
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
More likely          49%    48%    34%    24%    61%    42%    39%
Less likely          22     25     37     45     13     33     37
No difference        23     27     27     30     23     24     23
DK/NA                 5      1      2      2      2      1      1
 
 
22. Is your opinion of the leadership of the National Rifle Association favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            31%    53%    14%    33%    39%    25%    35%    12%
Unfavorable          35     12     55     35     33     37     33     43
Hvn't hrd enough     32     34     31     30     27     36     30     46
REFUSED               2      1      1      2      2      2      2      -
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Favorable            25%    35%    31%    36%    26%    24%    38%    30%
Unfavorable          51     28     29     37     50     29     33     39
Hvn't hrd enough     23     36     39     24     23     47     28     29
REFUSED               1      2      1      2      1      -      2      2
 
                     AREA...............  GUN HSHOLD    HAVE KIDS......
                     Urban  Suburb Rural  Yes    No     <18    InPubSch
 
Favorable            19%    29%    45%    49%    16%    34%    39%
Unfavorable          42     42     20     20     49     35     34
Hvn't hrd enough     37     28     33     30     34     30     26
REFUSED               1      1      3      2      1      -      1
 
 
23. Would you support or oppose a transportation plan to improve roads and bridges in Pennsylvania that is funded primarily by nearly $2 billion a year in new taxes on gas stations?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              45%    29%    57%    49%    48%    42%    45%    48%
Oppose               47     63     34     46     46     48     47     42
DK/NA                 8      8      9      5      6     10      8     10
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              50%    43%    42%    48%    53%    61%    42%    40%
Oppose               42     49     48     48     42     34     51     50
DK/NA                 8      8     10      4      5      5      7     10
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Support              47%    50%    49%    54%    24%    35%    42%
Oppose               44     45     43     38     65     58     49
DK/NA                 9      4      7      7     11      7     10
 
 
24. How concerned are you that the costs of this tax increase would be passed on to you; very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very concerned       54%    64%    43%    54%    53%    54%    52%    59%
Smwht concerned      28     24     33     27     25     30     30     19
Not too concerned    11      7     15     10     11     11     10     15
Not concerned         7      4      9      8     10      5      7      6
DK/NA                 1      -      1      2      1      1      1      -
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HSHOLD INC    AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     <50K   50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very concerned       47%    56%    53%    57%    44%    44%    60%    52%
Smwht concerned      29     27     31     24     26     38     23     28
Not too concerned    13     10     10     12     17     14     12      9
Not concerned        10      6      5      8     11      4      6      9
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      -      -      2
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Very concerned       46%    54%    53%    48%    67%    63%    54%
Smwht concerned      36     24     32     25     18     21     31
Not too concerned    10     13     11     15      6      7      9
Not concerned         8      7      4     11      8      6      5
DK/NA                 -      2      -      1      1      2      -
 

Demographic Summary