HPU Poll: How NC, CO and NH feel about spanking, marijuana and other issues

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 14, 2014 – The High Point University Poll surveyed three states – North Carolina, Colorado and New Hampshire – to gain a snapshot of how likely voters feel about several issues in different parts of the country. While the states are very similar on their stances for issues like voter identification and guns, their views vary on other issues such as spanking children.

In North Carolina, 75 percent of likely voters approve of spanking children as a form of discipline, whereas 50 percent of likely voters in Colorado approve and just 37 percent of voters in New Hampshire approve.

In Colorado, 43 percent of likely voters believe marijuana should be legal for personal use, whereas 36 percent of New Hampshire and 31 percent of North Carolina voters believe it should be legal for personal use. Likewise, 34 percent of Colorado voters believe it should be legal for medicinal use, and 45 and 40 percent of North Carolina and New Hampshire voters, respectively, believe it should be legal for medicinal use.

On gun rights, the states similarly say that more law-abiding citizens having guns would lead to less violent crime (61 percent in North Carolina, 56 percent in Colorado, and 52 percent in New Hampshire) than if guns were banned (24 percent in North Carolina, 27 percent in Colorado, and 30 percent in New Hampshire).

The states were also similar on their approval of the healthcare reform law with majorities of their populations having unfavorable opinions of the law. Majorities of the states also overwhelmingly believe voters should be required to show a photo ID before they are allowed to vote on Election Day.

Comparative results for these three surveys, including the issues mentioned here are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2014/10/32memoC.pdf.

Likely voters – Discipline and corporal punishment of children

Do you approve or disapprove of spanking children?

Likely N.C. Voters Likely Colo. Voters Likely N.H. Voters
Approve 75 percent 50 percent 37 percent
Disapprove 21 percent 35 percent 46 percent
(Don’t know/refused) 4 percent 16 percent 17 percent

Likely voters – Marijuana legalization

Which comes closer to your view about the use of marijuana by adults?

Likely N.C. Voters Likely Colo. Voters Likely N.H. Voters
Personal use 31 percent 43 percent 36 percent
Medicinal use 45 percent 34 percent 40 percent
Should not be legal 22 percent 19 percent 21 percent
(Don’t know/refused) 2 percent 4 percent 2 percent

Likely voters – Gun rights

Which of these would lead to less violent crime in the United States: If guns were banned or more law-abiding people had guns?

Likely N.C. Voters Likely Colo. Voters Likely N.H. Voters
Guns were banned 24 percent 27 percent 30 percent
More people had guns 61 percent 56 percent 52 percent
(Don’t know/refused) 15 percent 17 percent 18 percent

Likely voters – Healthcare reform law

As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?

Likely N.C. Voters Likely Colo. Voters Likely N.H. Voters
Favorable 34 percent 38 percent 40 percent
Unfavorable 55 percent 55 percent 52 percent
(Don’t know/refused) 11 percent 6 percent 8 percent

 Likely voters – Voter identification laws

Do you think voters should or should not be required to show an official photo identification before they are allowed to vote on Election Day?

Likely N.C. Voters Likely Colo. Voters Likely N.H. Voters
Should 74 percent 73 percent 71 percent
Should not 25 percent 22 percent 25 percent
(Don’t know/refused) 2 percent 5 percent 4 percent

The High Point University Survey Research Center fielded the North Carolina version of this survey with live interviewers calling between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9, 2014. The responses came from 584 likely voters with landline (277 interviews) or cellular (307 interviews) telephones. First, the HPU Poll identified registered voters using a Registration Based Sampling (Voter List Sample) system that selected possible respondents from a statewide, North Carolina list of registered voters that had landline and cell phone numbers appended by a contractor. Likely voters were estimated by asking a screening question: “On November 4, North Carolina will hold its general election for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and other offices. How certain are you that you will vote in this election? Are you almost certain to vote, you probably will vote, your chances of voting are 50/50, or you will not vote in the November 2014 general election?” The only registered voters who passed the screen were those who responded “almost certain” or “probably” to the screening question AND voted in the 2010 general election in North Carolina, registered in North Carolina after 2010 and voted in the 2012 general election, or registered in North Carolina since 2012. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International to acquire this sample, which was originally compiled by Aristotle (Washington, D.C.). The survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 4.1 percentage points for this population of respondents. The data are weighted toward estimated turn out figures for age, gender and race based on North Carolina Board of Elections data and exit polls from past campaigns. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

For the Colorado version of this study,SurveyUSA interviewed 876 state of Colorado registered voters Oct. 4 through Oct. 8, 2014, using Registration Based Sample (aka Voter List Sample) purchased from Aristotle in Washington, D.C. To be included in the sample, a voter needed to have voted in both 2010 and 2012, or needed to have newly registered to vote thereafter. Of the 876 registered voters, 800 were determined to be likely to vote on or before Nov. 4, 2014. This research was conducted 100 percent by telephone. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (72 percent of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28 percent of likely voters) were contacted by live operators, who hand-dialed the telephone, secured the respondent’s cooperation, qualified the respondent, conducted the interview, and remained on the phone until the call was completed. Crosstabs of this study are available at http://goo.gl/niYXCq.

For the New Hampshire version of this study, SurveyUSA interviewed 850 state of New Hampshire registered voters Oct. 4 through Oct. 8, 2014, using Registration Based Sample (aka Voter List Sample) purchased from Aristotle in Washington, D.C. To be included in the sample, a voter needed to have voted in both 2010 and 2012, or needed to have newly registered to vote thereafter. Of the 850 registered voters, 824 were determined to be likely to vote on or before Nov. 4, 2014. This research was conducted 100 percent by telephone. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (72 percent of likely voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28 percent of likely voters) were contacted by live operators, who hand-dialed the telephone, secured the respondent’s cooperation, qualified the respondent, conducted the interview, and remained on the phone until the call was completed. Crosstabs of this study are available at http://goo.gl/Z4YmYX.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SurveyResearchCenter and Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald serves as the assistant director of the HPU Poll.

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