According to a new Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana—the largest percentage ever in that survey. “Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans’ tolerance for marijuana legalization,” Gallup says. “Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating.”
Gallup’s survey asks, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” That leaves open the question of whether commercial production and distribution should be legal as well (as in Colorado and Washington). But other national polls that go beyond marijuana consumption also have found majority support for legalization. In a Reason-Rupe survey last January, for example, 53 percent of respondents said “the government should treat marijuana the same as alcohol.” And last month a Public Policy Polling survey in Texas found that 58 percent of respondents either “somewhat” or “strongly” supported “changing Texas law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, where stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older.” The latter finding was especially striking given the state’s conservative reputation.
The new Gallup tracking poll shows that the GOP convention and Mitt Romney’s speech really got the voters all lukewarmed up.
These results, based on Gallup Daily tracking conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 1, showed predictable partisan differences. Republicans overwhelmingly said the convention made them more likely to vote for Romney, although most would likely be voting for their nominee anyway. Democrats as predictably said the convention made them less likely to vote for Romney. Independents, a key group in any presidential election, were essentially split, with 36% saying the convention made them more likely to vote for Romney and 33% less likely — although 30% said they don’t know or that the convention made no difference.
Gallup has asked this question after selected conventions going back to 1984. Although the question was asked at differing time intervals after the conventions and in different survey contexts, the results give a rough approximation of the conventions’ relative impact.
This historical context shows that the 2012 GOP convention generated about the same impact as the two previous Republican conventions — in 2008, when John McCain was nominated for president, and in 2004, when George W. Bush was re-nominated.
Gallup polls on Americans’ attitudes toward the scientific theory of evolution haven’t changed much in 30 years, and their latest poll continues this depressing non-trend: In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins.
That’s right — according to Gallup, 46% of the American public are hard core young Earth creationists who believe the Earth was poofed into existence in its present form about 10,000 years ago.
And for Republicans, of course, the numbers are even worse; 58% of Republicans are young Earth creationists.
America, we have a problem.
Most Americans are not scientists, of course, and cannot be expected to understand all of the latest evidence and competing viewpoints on the development of the human species. Still, it would be hard to dispute that most scientists who study humans agree that the species evolved over millions of years, and that relatively few scientists believe that humans began in their current form only 10,000 years ago without the benefit of evolution. Thus, almost half of Americans today hold a belief, at least as measured by this question wording, that is at odds with the preponderance of the scientific literature.
The latest Gallup poll finds that 50% of Americans are in favor of legalizing gay marriage.
That number would be much higher, but the reactionary right wing is pulling down the curve.
PRINCETON, NJ — Fifty percent of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages — down slightly from 53% last year, but marking only the second time in Gallup’s history of tracking this question that at least half of Americans have supported legal same-sex marriage. Forty-eight percent say such marriages should not be legal. …
Last’s year’s Values and Beliefs survey marked the first time in Gallup’s history of tracking this issue that a majority favored legalization. Prior to last year, the highest level of support had been 46%, measured in 2007. In 1996, when Gallup first asked the question, 27% supported it, while 68% were opposed.
The issue of same-sex marriage sharply divides the American public along political and religious lines. Almost two-thirds of Democrats support legalizing it, compared with 57% of independents and 22% of Republicans.
These numbers tell the whole story; and this is the reason why Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign policy adviser Richard Grenell had to go.
It’s a good thing Barack Obama won’t be running against ‘Generic Republican Candidate’ in 2012.
For balance, they should also ask who wins if Barack Obama runs against “Whacked-Out Republican Candidate.”