COLUMBUS, Ohio — Voting has already begun for this upcoming fall’s election, and two issues will be decided that could have a monumental effect on life in Ohio. A recent poll conducted by Baldwin Wallace University sheds some light on the support behind State Issue 1, which would enshrine abortion rights in the Ohio Constitution, and State Issue 2, which would legalize recreational marijuana.

What You Need To Know

  • A recent poll conducted by Baldwin Wallace University sheds light on important political issues statewide

  • The poll surveyed people on State Issues 1 and 2 

  • The data found that 58% of respondents would vote yes on State Issue 1, and 57% would vote yes on State Issue 2

Fifty-eight percent of the respondents of the poll supported State Issue 1, while 57% said they would vote yes on State Issue 2. The data also found, only 8% of participants were undecided on Issue 1, and 7% on Issue 2. 

Tom Sutton, the director of the Baldwin Wallace Community Research Institute, said such low levels of undecided voters bodes well for supporters of both issues. The poll had a margin of error of about +/- 4.5%.

"When you're at 58% and this is a fairly conservative number for Issue 1 versus the percentage that are voting against it," Sutton said."That 8%, even when you add them together, the 58% is still going to carry the day. And then same thing with Issue 2, which is party where and that's really outside the margin of error for the survey. So I think in both cases you're going to see the likelihood is pretty high that these issues are both going to pass." 

Meanwhile, more than a third of respondents who identified as Republicans said they would vote yes on reproductive rights, and women were more likely than men to also support reproductive rights. 

"I think what you see is in part the difference between male and female responses to passage of issue one," Sutton said. "The women generally are more in favor than men. I think also that we see other demographics, particularly among folks on the basis of age that younger people who identify as republican are much more likely to support issue one than older." 

The poll also shows that nearly two-thirds of parents support the reproductive rights measure. 

"I think for parents, they see the language in this amendment related to the protection of access to contraception and fertility treatments. Now that fertility treatments would be an adult issue, contraception is an issue for teens as well as for adults," Sutton said. 

If the results on election day mirror the polling, it would emphasize the importance of August's ballot initiative failing that would have raised the threshold to pass a constitutional amendment to 60%.

"I think that's exactly why Issue 1 in August was on the ballot in the first place," Sutton said. "There were a number of its supporters, including Secretary of State Frank LaRose, and Senate President Matt Huffman who explicitly said, 'we are trying to use this as a way to stop passage of an abortion rights amendment to the state constitution.'" 

Meanwhile, the poll also looked into the legalization of recreational marijuana with 57% of participants planning to vote yes.

"We've already made it legal for medicinal purposes," Sutton said. "Because our neighbors to the north and Michigan have made it accessible for recreational purposes, there's a pretty steady stream of traffic going back and forth from Ohio to purchase and bring back the use for recreational purposes." 

Nearly 47% of respondents who identified as Evangelicals said they supported Issue 2, and an equal percentage of people age 50 and older said they supported the recreational marijuana initiative. Sutton states a little more than half the people surveyed plan to vote this upcoming Election Day.  

"We wanted to make sure that we got folks who actually are going to be voting," Sutton said. "Not the ones that say, 'oh yeah, this is my position on the issue. I don't vote.' And then our results don't really match what happens in the elections. That's why the timing in terms of just the overall polling, the big surprises for me were the higher levels of support than one would have expected for both of these issues."