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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 16 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

Poll: Majority In Ohio Favor Legal Marijuana; Senate Race Too Close To Call

Wikimedia Commons

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday morning shows a majority of Ohio voters support legalizing the personal use of marijuana, but nearly two-thirds said they would “definitely not” use it if legalized.

And the same poll showed that in the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, former governor Ted Strickland, leads incumbent Republican Rob Portman by three percentage points.

Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld, who is challenging Strickland for the Democratic nomination, trails Portman  by 22 percentage points.

The poll was conducted in three key swing states in the 2016 presidential election – Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Majorities of voters supported the legalization of marijuana for personal use in Ohio and Florida, while Pennsylvania voters were split on the question.

The poll did not directly address Issue 3, the Ohio constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would legalize marijuana and create 10 marijuana farms that would sell their products to retailers licensed by the state.

In Ohio, the poll had 53 percent supporting the idea of legalized personal marijuana use, while 47 percent opposed it. There was a marked difference between the opinions of Ohio’s men and women on the subject – 59 percent of men supported it, with 38 percent opposed, while 47 percent of the women polled supported it with 49 percent opposed.

Age was a factor too – 70 percent of the Ohio voters between the ages of 18 to 34 were in support, while only 33 percent of those over the age of 65 supported legalized marijuana.

Nine out of 10 Ohio voters polled said they support the legalized use of medical marijuana.

The Quinnipiac Poll interviewed 1,180 Ohio voters from Sept. 25 through Oct. 5. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.9  percentage points.

In the Senate race, the poll had Strickland with 46 percent to Portman’s 43 percent – which pollsters considered too close to call. According to the poll, Portman’s approval rating is at 50 percent. In an August Quinnipiac Poll, Strickland led Portman with 44 percent to 41 percent. 

“Conventional wisdom says Sen. Rob Portman’s 50-27 percent job approval rating should make him a safe bet for re-election,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll in a release accompanying the poll. “But a second term is far from a sure thing.”

The poll also showed that 42 percent of Ohioans approve of the job President Obama is doing, while 54 percent disapprove. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a candidate for president, remains popular in his own state – he had a 62 percent job approval rating. Only 29 percent said they do not approve of the job Kasich is doing.

You can read the entire poll here.