Poll: Californians support gun control, marijuana legalization

California voters overwhelmingly support a sweeping gun control measure on the November ballot, including strong majorities of both parties and independent voters, according to a new poll released today by the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.

On another hot-button social issue that will be on the November ballot, voters also strongly support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, the survey found.

gun300The poll used online English-language questionnaires to survey 3,020 people from June 29 to July 18. All respondents were registered California voters, and the responses were weighted to reflect the statewide distribution of the California population by gender, race/ethnicity, education and age.

Gun control

Proposition 63 on the Nov. 8 ballot would require a background check for ammunition purchases, require ammunition sales to occur through licensed dealers and prohibit large-capacity magazines.

The measure was supported by 82.2 percent of those surveyed, including 92.8 percent of Democrats, 79.3 percent of independents, and 64.9 percent of Republicans. Strong majorities supported the measure across all ethnic groups, educational and income levels, and age groups. Women (88.5 percent) were more likely than men to support the measure, but even among men, 74.1 percent were in favor.

Marijuana legalization

Proposition 64 would legalize recreational marijuana use, with regulation by specified government agencies. Almost two in three respondents (63.8 percent) supported that idea, a level of support extremely similar to last year, when the IGS Poll asked the identical question.

Support included 73.8 percent of Democrats and 62.2 percent of independents. Republicans opposed legalization, 53 percent to 47 percent, but this was less GOP opposition than was registered when the same question was asked last year. Last year Republicans opposed legalization by 61.6 percent to 38.4 percent.

Support for legalization was highest among African Americans (71.9 percent) and Latinos (69.3 percent) and lowest among Asian-Americans (57.7 percent). Support for legalization was also highest among 18- to 24-year-olds, and lowest among those over 65.

Full poll results may be viewed on the IGS website at igs.berkeley.edu.