April 12, 2017 - 94% Of Virginians Back Universal Background Checks Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Support Expanding Medicaid 2-1 Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Virginia voters support 94 - 5 percent, including 90 - 8 percent among Republicans, background checks for all gun buyers, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters also support 62 - 32 percent a Virginia law, repealed in 2012, which limited a person to buying only one handgun per month, as opposed to current law which has no limit on handgun purchases, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

Republicans oppose the limit 57 - 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 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.

"They want adults to be able to use marijuana on a recreational basis, and they also favor enlarging the government by increasing the number of folks who are covered by Medicaid, the federal/state healthcare program for the poor."

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

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

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

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.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

24. Do you approve or disapprove of President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              47%    89%    15%    51%    55%    39%    55%    57%
Disapprove           41      2     74     33     35     45     36     27
DK/NA                13      9     11     16     10     15      9     17
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              34%    43%    53%    54%    63%    49%    56%    27%
Disapprove           47     45     38     33     28     35     32     61
DK/NA                18     11      9     13      9     16     13     12
 
 
25. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Virginia today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Very satisfied       10%     6%    15%     8%    11%     9%     8%    10%
Smwht satisfied      56     52     63     57     55     57     62     53
Smwht dissatisfied   26     33     17     28     25     26     26     28
Very dissatisfied     7      7      5      5      7      7      3      8
DK/NA                 1      1      -      2      1      1      -      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Very satisfied       13%     7%    10%    10%    11%     8%     9%    11%
Smwht satisfied      50     55     61     60     54     61     58     55
Smwht dissatisfied   28     30     23     23     27     26     27     24
Very dissatisfied     7      7      6      6      7      5      6      8
DK/NA                 3      1      -      1      1      1      1      2
 
 
26. As you may know Medicaid is a government program that pays for health care for low-income people and others with certain disabilities. Do you think that increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid coverage in Virginia is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Good idea            59%    25%    86%    57%    55%    63%    58%    51%
Bad idea             30     64      6     32     35     26     35     35
DK/NA                11     11      7     10     10     12      7     14
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Good idea            63%    57%    61%    59%    51%    58%    55%    71%
Bad idea             27     31     30     31     40     31     35     19
DK/NA                 9     12      9     11      9     11     10     10
 
 
27. What if you knew that the federal government would pay for 90 percent of the costs of this Medicaid increase, while the state would only need to pay 10 percent; would you think that increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid coverage in Virginia is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Good idea            57%    21%    86%    55%    54%    60%    58%    48%
Bad idea             33     69      7     36     38     28     38     38
DK/NA                10     10      7      9      8     11      4     13
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Good idea            61%    59%    57%    57%    51%    55%    53%    69%
Bad idea             32     31     33     34     43     34     38     20
DK/NA                 8     10     10      9      6     11      9     11
 
 
28. Do you support or oppose allowing adults in Virginia to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              59%    34%    69%    64%    62%    56%    60%    56%
Oppose               35     61     25     30     32     38     34     39
DK/NA                 6      5      5      6      6      5      6      5
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Support              78%    71%    58%    33%    61%    54%    58%    62%
Oppose               20     24     36     60     33     40     36     33
DK/NA                 2      5      6      7      6      6      6      5
 
 
29. Do you support or oppose allowing adults in Virginia to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              92%    83%    97%    96%    91%    93%    92%    91%
Oppose                6     13      2      4      8      5      6      8
DK/NA                 2      4      1      1      2      2      2      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Support              97%    96%    94%    84%    91%    92%    91%    95%
Oppose                3      3      5     11      7      6      7      4
DK/NA                 -      1      1      5      2      2      2      1
 
 
30. Do you support or oppose stricter gun laws in Virginia?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              54%    19%    84%    50%    42%    64%    53%    43%
Oppose               41     76     12     46     53     32     43     52
DK/NA                 5      5      4      4      5      4      4      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Support              54%    50%    57%    53%    38%    59%    49%    64%
Oppose               41     47     39     41     58     37     47     31
DK/NA                 5      3      4      5      4      4      4      5
 
 
31. Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              94%    90%    99%    94%    91%    96%    94%    94%
Oppose                5      8      1      6      7      3      6      3
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      2      1      -      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Support              95%    90%    95%    96%    91%    97%    94%    93%
Oppose                5      5      4      3      7      2      5      6
DK/NA                 -      5      1      1      2      1      1      2
 
 
32. Until 2012, individuals could only buy one handgun a month in Virginia. The law was changed so there is now no limit on handgun purchases. Which do you prefer, the old law that limited people to buying one handgun per month, or the current law which does not limit purchases of handguns?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
One gun per month    62%    39%    85%    59%    49%    73%    63%    51%
No limits            32     57      9     37     45     21     31     45
DK/NA                 6      4      5      5      6      6      6      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
One gun per month    53%    60%    68%    68%    46%    69%    58%    72%
No limits            40     35     28     28     50     25     37     21
DK/NA                 7      5      4      5      4      6      5      7
 
 
33. Do you think it is too easy to buy a gun in Virginia today, too difficult to buy a gun in Virginia today, or about right?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Too easy             49%    25%    78%    40%    37%    60%    49%    36%
Too difficult         2      3      -      2      3      1      2      2
About right          38     61     14     45     52     26     39     51
DK/NA                11     10      9     13      8     13     10     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Too easy             48%    51%    50%    51%    34%    52%    43%    63%
Too difficult         -      4      2      -      3      1      2      2
About right          39     41     36     38     57     33     45     25
DK/NA                13      4     12     11      6     14     10     10
 
 
34. Do you think any new gun laws will interfere with the right to own guns, or do you think it's possible to make new gun laws without interfering with gun rights?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Will interfere       23%    38%    12%    24%    29%    17%    23%    28%
Won't interfere      66     55     79     68     63     69     70     62
NO RIGHT TO OWN(VOL)  1      -      2      -      -      1      1      -
DK/NA                10      8      7      8      8     12      7     10
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Will interfere       20%    22%    24%    25%    33%    18%    25%    18%
Won't interfere      72     71     69     58     61     71     66     68
NO RIGHT TO OWN(VOL)  -      -      1      1      -      1      -      1
DK/NA                 8      7      5     16      6     10      8     13
 
 
35. If more people carried guns, do you think Virginia would be safer or less safe?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Safer                35%    69%     9%    38%    48%    23%    35%    46%
Less safe            53     19     85     48     40     65     56     43
DK/NA                12     12      6     14     12     12     10     12
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....           Non-
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Safer                36%    40%    34%    31%    52%    28%    40%    25%
Less safe            48     51     56     59     38     61     50     64
DK/NA                16      9     10     10     10     11     11     1