© 2024 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
You Count on Us, We Count on You: Donate to WUSF to support free, accessible journalism for yourself and the community.

A Florida poll finds support for amendments on marijuana and abortion rights

 An estimated 2,000 people attended an abortion rights rally in front of the Duval County Courthouse on May 4, 2022.
Will Brown
/
Jacksonville Today
An estimated 2,000 people attended an abortion rights rally in front of the Duval County Courthouse on May 4, 2022.

The University of North Florida poll sampled voters across the state from Nov. 6- 26. Of the 716 registered voters who participated, 277 were completed via telephone and 439 online.

Florida voters largely support proposed constitutional amendments to legalize recreational marijuana and to protect abortion rights if the issues make it to the ballot, a new poll from the University of North Florida suggests.

Sixty-two percent of people surveyed said they would vote for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit any law banning abortion before viability or to protect the life of the patient, according to the poll released Thursday by the UNF Public Opinion Research Lab.

Twenty-nine percent said they would vote no, and 9 percent said they don’t know or refused to answer.

“If this amendment does make it on the ballot, initiatives like this one need a supermajority of 60% in order to pass, and it looks like the proposed abortion amendment is right at that threshold among these respondents,” Michael Binder, the lab’s faculty director and a professor of political science, said in a news release.

Even among registered Republicans, 53% would vote to protect abortion rights in Florida, with just 39% voting no, Binder noted.

A political committee known as Floridians Protecting Freedom is trying to put the abortion amendment on the ballot in November 2024. The Florida Supreme Court still must approve the wording, and the group continues to collect the required number of signatures.

Attorney General Ashley Moody has raised a series of objections to the proposal’s wording, including contending that the word “viability” can have multiple meanings.

In the poll, 67% of respondents said they would vote yes on a proposed constitutional amendment allowing adults in Florida to buy and possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Twenty-eight percent indicated they would vote no.

“Yet again, it looks like it has a good chance of passing, if the measure makes it through the courts, and that is a very big ‘if,’” Binder said.

The group Smart & Safe Florida still needs Florida Supreme Court approval to get the amendment on the ballot in November 2024. Moody again is fighting the proposal.

Smart & Safe Florida, which is backed by Trulieve, the state’s largest medical marijuana operator, has submitted enough valid petition signatures to get the question on the ballot.

Moody is again fighting the proposal, with arguments that include the ballot summary “misleads” voters in a way to benefit Trulieve.

The poll sampled voters across the state from Nov. 6- 26. Of the 716 registered voters who completed surveys, 277 were completed via telephone and 439 online. The overall margin of error is +/- 4.37 percentage points, UNF said.

On other topics, the survey found:

FLORIDA BIGGEST PROBLEM: Twenty-six percent of respondents said housing costs are the biggest problem facing Florida. In a very close second is the economy, jobs and inflation, with 25%. Education and immigration are tied for the third most important problem, with 9% each.

PROPERTY INSURANCE: Thirty percent said insurance companies bear the greatest responsibility for the state of property insurance in Florida. Fifteen percent identified lawyers defrauding or exploiting insurance companies. Gov. Ron DeSantis and an increase in natural disasters each garnered 13%. Twelve percent indicated the Florida Legislature is to blame.

POLITICAL SUPPORT: Just 34% reported a favorable opinion of President Joe Biden (either very favorable or somewhat favorable), with 62% reporting an unfavorable opinion. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of DeSantis, and another 48% said unfavorable. Former President Donald Trump received similar responses, with 48% favorable and 49% unfavorable.

Copyright 2023 Health News Florida

Randy Roguski