Watch previous reporting on Ohio’s Issue 1 in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A majority of Ohio voters in a new poll strongly favor proposals to constitutionally protect abortion access and legalize recreational marijuana.
A Baldwin Wallace University Ohio Pulse Poll of 850 registered voters released Wednesday found broad support for both statewide issues on voters’ ballots on Nov. 7. A proposal to enshrine the right to abortion and other reproductive health care earned more than 58% support, and an initiated statute to legalize cannabis was supported by more than 57% of respondents.
The overall results mirror those of a Suffolk University/USA Today poll in July that found similarly high levels of support for both abortion access and recreational cannabis. With a 4.5% margin of error, the Baldwin Wallace poll suggests Ohioans’ support for both statewide issues is firm.
Ohioans’ views on abortion run along deep partisan divide
About 58% of voters would vote for Issue 1, a constitutional amendment to protect access to abortion. The amendment would outlaw restrictions on the procedure before viability and protect the right to make other reproductive decisions, including about miscarriage care, infertility and contraception. A third of voters would reject the amendment and about 8% are undecided.
Lauren Blauvelt, co-chair of the campaign for Issue 1, said the group is encouraged by the poll’s results, but she acknowledged that ensuring that voters take their support to the voting booths will be key to securing the amendment’s success.
“We recognize that this election is still very close. Our opposition is spending millions of dollars on misinformation,” Blauvelt said. “And it’s so important that every ‘yes’ voter turned out to vote.”
Mike Gonidakis, president of the Ohio Right to Life, said he didn’t put much stock in the poll.
“We spend a tremendous amount of money on polling ourselves — as I’m sure Planned Parenthood does — and I guarantee you, their polling is similar to ours,” he said. “It’s a very tight race, anyone could win this.”
Both men and women support the amendment, with more than 61% of women approving it. Voters generally support the amendment regardless of whether they live in a city, suburb or rural town, although rural support for Issue 1 fell within the margin of error.
Democrats in the poll overwhelmingly approve Issue 1 at a rate of nearly 90%. About 52% of Republicans would reject the abortion amendment while nearly 40% would approve it – a rejection still within the margin of error but by a significantly smaller margin than Democrats’ support.
Voters were similarly split about Issue 1 along ideological lines. More than 90% of self-identified liberal voters and 68% of moderate voters would vote for the amendment, while 59% of conservative voters would reject it.
About 64% of parents in the poll support the abortion amendment. Both sides of the issue have appealed to parental interests.
Supporters have highlighted the other reproductive health care, including fertility treatments and contraception, that is protected under the amendment.
“it ensures that Ohio families are able to make their own personal decisions and stop government interference,” said Blauvelt.
The campaign against Issue 1, meanwhile, has claimed the amendment would eliminate parental consent laws for abortion and other health decisions. Gonidakis called it a “dangerous amendment.”
“This is about stopping a radical agenda that goes too far,” he said. “It takes away parental rights, parental notification.”
Among those most undecided about the abortion amendment are independent voters, at 12%, rural voters, at 13%, and 10.1% of voters without a college degree. The undecided rate for all other measured categories was less than 10%.
When asked about attitudes toward abortion generally, more than 54% of Ohio voters believe it should be legal in all cases or with some limitations, including 78% of Democrats, more than a third of Republicans, and more than half of independent voters. Nearly a third of voters said they believe abortion should be legal except in cases of rape or to save the life of the pregnant person.
Nearly 12.5% of voters in the poll believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, including a fifth of Republicans. Less than 3% of voters are undecided about abortion access.
Most voters approve legalizing marijuana
More than 57% of surveyed voters would approve Issue 2, a proposal to legalize the use of cannabis for those 21 and over. About 35% would reject the issue and 7.5% are undecided.
Two-thirds of Democrats favor Issue 2 in the poll, while just over half of registered Republicans and 58% of independent voters reported the same. Just over half of self-identified conservative voters rejected the proposal, compared to nearly 62% of moderates and 73% of liberals supporting the initiated statute.
Voters approved the proposal regardless of race or ethnicity, with three-quarters of Black voters, about 55% of white voters and 63% of voters of other races saying they would vote for cannabis legalization. Approval was similarly strong and outside the margin of error among urban, suburban and rural voters.
More than 70% of parents supported legalization of adult-use marijuana as opponents of the measure have claimed that use among children and teenagers would proliferate upon Issue 2’s passage. Self-reported gun owners similarly approved the measure by a wide margin.
If Issue 2 passes, Ohio would become the 24th state to legalize recreational cannabis.
View the full Ohio Pulse Poll survey questions and results below.