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Poll: Virginians are happy, want background checks for guns and legal weed

VIRGINIA – A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that Virginia voters support overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun buyers.

The poll found that 94 to 5 percent, of voters, including 90 to 8 percent among Republicans, want the background checks.

Voters also support 62 to 32 percent a Virginia law, repealed in 2012, which limited a person to buying only one handgun per month, as opposed to current law which has no limit on handgun purchases.

Republicans oppose the limit 57 to 39 percent.

White men are divided, with 46 percent supporting the limit and 50 percent opposed. Every other listed party, gender, educational, age and racial group supports the limit on handgun purchases.

Virginia voter attitudes on other gun issues, according to the poll, are:

  • Support 54 – 41 percent stricter gun laws in the state;
  • 49 percent say it’s too easy to buy a gun in Virginia, while 2 percent say it’s too difficult and 38 percent say it’s “about right;”
  • Voters say 66 – 23 percent that new gun laws will not interfere with the right to own guns;
  • If more people carried guns, Virginia would be less safe, 53 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say it would be safer.

“Many observers have commented about how much Virginia has changed politically from its deep red history to a leaning Democratic hue in little more than a decade,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“They generally cite the Democrats’ ability to carry the state in the most recent presidential, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. But what also seems to be lining up in the Democratic column is Virginia voters’ values on some hot-button issues.”

“Virginians, in this latest Quinnipiac University poll, say they favor stricter gun control in general and specifically Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proposal to limit handgun purchases,” Brown added.

Marijuana questions

Virginia voters support 59 to 35 percent allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Opposition is 61 to 34 percent among Republicans and 60 to 33 percent among voters over 65 years old. All other listed groups support legalized marijuana.

By an overwhelming 92 to 6 percent, voters support allowing adults to use marijuana for medical use if a doctor prescribes it.

Virginia voters also say 59 to 30 percent that increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid coverage is a “good idea.” Republicans say 64 to 25 percent that it’s a “bad idea,” the only listed group opposed to expanding Medicaid.

Overall

A total of 66 percent of Virginia voters are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the way things are going in the state today, while 33 percent are “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.”

“Virginians are a happy bunch. Two out of three voters say they are satisfied with the way things are going in their state, a good deal higher than in many of the other 49 states. For instance, a Quinnipiac University Poll in New Jersey last month found only 36 percent were satisfied,” Brown said.

From April 6 – 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,115 Virginia voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines 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.