DURHAM, NH – The latest Granite State Poll results show Gov. Chris Sununu has bipartisan approval of his job performance as well as increasing personal favorability among NH adults. A strong majority of New Hampshire residents continue to believe overall that the state is “headed in the right direction,” but for the first time, a majority of Granite Staters believe drug misuse is the most serious problem facing the state (formerly education was the hot topic). Support for more permissive marijuana legislation remains high, particularly among young people and democrats.
Findings are based on the latest Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, and included 518 randomly selected New Hampshire adults were interviewed by landline and cell phone between April 24 and May 4, 2017. Margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.3 percent.
In the second Granite State Poll since Gov. Sununu’s inauguration, 57 percent of Granite Staters say they approve of the job he is doing as Governor, 17 percent disapprove, and 26 percent are neutral or don’t know enough to say. Sununu’s approval rating has increased significantly since February (42 percent). Three-quarters (75 percent) of Republicans, 56 percent of Independents, and 43 percent of Democrats approve of Sununu’s performance. Frequent conservative radio listeners (81 percent), self-described conservatives (77 percent), Donald Trump voters (74 percent), and those who attend religious services once or twice a month (71 percent) are most likely to approve of the job Sununu is doing as governor. Boston Globe readers (37 percent), union members (32 percent), self-described liberals (31 percent), and Hillary Clinton voters (28 percent) are most likely to disapprove.
The New Hampshire State Legislature recently passed a bill that partially funds full-day kindergarten at New Hampshire public schools. New Hampshire adults emphatically favor such a measure: 83 percent of Granite Staters strongly or somewhat support the proposed law, 3 percent are neutral, 13 percent somewhat or strongly oppose, and 1 percent don’t know or are unsure. Support for full-day kindergarten funding breaks down along largely partisan lines; self-identified Democrats (94 percent approve) and self-described liberals (93 percent) are most likely to support the measure. Union Leader readers (28 percent disapprove), frequent conservative radio listeners (27 percent), self-described conservatives (27 percent), self-identified Republicans (23 percent),those aged 50 to 64 (23 percent), and those who voted for Donald Trump in the last presidential election (23 percent) are most likely to oppose this measure , but majorities of these groups favor full-day kindergarten.
The New Hampshire State Legislature is considering legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use similar to what some other states have recently done. Currently, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of New Hampshire adults strongly (49 percent) or somewhat (19 percent) support such legislation, while only 27 percent strongly (19 percent) or somewhat (8 percent) oppose it; 4 percent are neutral and 1 percent don’t know or are unsure. This represents a substantial shift in public opinion since the question was first asked in February 2013, when 49 percent supported such a measure and 45 percent opposed. The proportion who strongly support legalization (49 percent) has increased significantly since 2013 (31 percent), while the proportion who strongly oppose it (19 percent) has decreased (37 percent). Self-described liberals (90 percent support) and those who never attend religious services (80 percent) are most likely to support legislation legalizing marijuana forrecreational use. Those who attend religious services once a week or more often (53 percent oppose), self-described conservatives (51 percent), frequent conservative radio listeners (50 percent), self-identified Republicans (44 percent), and Donald Trump voters (42 percent) are most likely to oppose such legislation.
Support for legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use is strongly tied with age, and differences between age groups on the issue are increasing over time. In early 2013, there was only a 20 percent gap in support between those 18 to 34 and those 65 and older. Now, those 18 to 34 (89 percent support) are more than twice as likely as those 65 and older (36 percent) to support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Those 65 and older are the only age group to oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use.