The Rundown

New poll finds Roe v. Wade, same-sex marriage at top of voters minds going into November election

By: - October 18, 2022 4:45 am

Getty Images photo of voters in line.

A new poll from Baldwin Wallace University shows a largely favorable opinion of Gov. Mike DeWine, U.S. Senate candidate Tim Ryan and former President Donald Trump among Ohio voters.

Found to be unfavorable by likely Ohio voters is a lack of gun control in the state and a lack of action on climate change.

“On issue after issue, we see a disconnect between many positions Ohio voters hold and the views and policy proposals of the candidates and lawmakers they elect,” said Chris Chang, a political science major at Baldwin Wallace, who helped come up with questions for the survey.50.8

The “pulse” survey took the temperature of 856 likely Ohio voters ahead of the November elections, and found 85% favor expanded background checks for 18 to 21 year old gun purchasers, 79% support for raising the minimum age to buy “AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles” to age 21, and 75% want to see “red flag laws,” which would allow law enforcement to remove guns from owners who deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

A majority (59%) of those surveyed said they would support an amendment to the Ohio Constitution to make “access to abortion a fundamental right,” and 60% approved of a federal law to legalize same-sex marriage.

When asked whether voters agreed or disagreed that “restricting access to abortion is a form of discrimination against women,” 44.5% of voters in the poll strongly agreed.

Researchers found that two out of three Ohioans taking the survey believe “global climate change is caused, at least in part, by human activity,” and a majority would support mitigation tactics.

Legalization of recreational marijuana was also approved by those who participated in the survey, with 58% expressing support.

As debates within the education circles of the state swirl around whether or not so-called “critical race theory,” the concept of how race impacts American history, should be taught, 75% of Ohioans taking the Baldwin Wallace survey said they support teaching the issues to public school students.

In the area of transgender rights, a majority said they disapprove of “medical care for minors to make gender transitions,” according to the survey, with 50.8% strongly opposed to allowing medical professionals to provide children younger than 18 with gender transition care, and another 14.8% “somewhat” opposed.

Though some may disapprove of gender-affirming care, 57% of the voters in the poll supported the teaching of sexual orientation in middle and high schools.

In terms of political favorability, 56% of those polled thought favorably of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and 39% thought unfavorably, while 28% thought favorably of his Democratic opponent former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley and 39% thought unfavorably.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Ryan was found to be favorable by 41% of participants and unfavorable by 39% , whereas Republican candidate J.D. Vance was found favorable by 35%  of respondents and unfavorable by 47%.

The Ohio Legislature received mixed reviews when voters were asked to rate the job it does at “representing your views.” The majority, 38%, gave the General Assembly a “fair” rating, and 24.1% deemed it “good.” The GA was given a “poor” rating by 19.7% of those surveyed.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.