More Hoosiers favor legal pot than Pence’s tax cut, poll says

A new poll by Howey Politics Indiana says more Hoosiers are in favor of decriminalizing marijuana than they are a 10-percent state income-tax cut.

The poll, released Tuesday, shows 39-percent approval for Gov. Mike Pence’s proposed 10-percent tax cut. About 47 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats polled favor the Republican governor’s plan. Another 33 percent of those surveyed support the Senate's proposal for a 3-percent tax cut.

Meanwhile, 56 percent of those polled said they favor decriminalization of marijuana, while 38 percent oppose it. State lawmakers actually are on track to strengthen some pot-possession laws.

Howey’s poll of 600 registered voters was conducted April 18 through April 21 by Bellwether Research pollster Christine Matthews. It has a plus or minus error rate of 4 percent. Sixty-nine percent of respondents were contacted by land telephone lines and 31 percent on mobile phones.

White voters made up 87 percent of those polled, while 8 percent were African-American and 1 percent were Latino. On party affiliation, 33 percent identified as Republican, 24 percent as Democrat and 21 percent as independent.

Other findings:

— Hoosier voters gave Pence a 52-percent favorable rating. Twenty percent had an unfavorable impression and 23 percent had no hard opinion.

— 62 percent say Indiana should allow racetrack casinos to convert electronic games into those using human dealers. Only 19 percent opposed the proposal. Almost 55 percent of Republicans backed the measure, which faces a bleak future in the Legislature.

— 23 percent favor extending Medicaid as called for under the Affordable Care Act, while 48 percent back Pence’s position of extending coverage through the current Healthy Indiana Plan.

— 54 percent favor Indiana’s current course of using Common Core standards in schools, while 26 were opposed and 20 percent said they did not know.

— 50 percent favor a proposed constitutional amendment stating marriage is only between a man and a woman, while 46 percent were opposed. A poll by Howey last October showed 48 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed.

— 83 percent said they support the expanded gun background-check legislation that was recently defeated in the U.S. Senate.

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