OHIO — Ohioans are almost equally divided on whether to arm teachers in schools, while a majority support background checks for guns and an assault-style weapons ban, an exclusive Spectrum News/Siena College Poll finds. The poll has a 4.4% margin-of-error.
Siena College asked 642 of Ohio’s likely voters to weigh in on a series of important issues including gun policies, abortion rights and recreational marijuana. The poll included queries about elections, redistricting and candidates voters will see on November ballots.
When it comes to arming educators, 49% of Ohioans polled either somewhat or strongly support the action, while 48% either somewhat or strongly oppose it.
Three-quarters of Republicans polled support guns in classrooms, while less than one quarter of Democrats support it. Of Independents, 45% want teachers to have guns in classrooms.
Support from men on arming teachers was much stronger than from women, at 69% versus 40%.
A majority of white voters polled approved of the idea of arming teachers, with 53% for it compared with far fewer Black voters on board at 26%. Support was strongest in the east and southeast portions of Ohio, where 58% were for arming educators, while 58% of respondents in the northeast oppose it.
Approval by 50%, or more of respondents, was consistent across all the brackets except those 65 or older of whom 43% supported arming teachers. Only 3% of those polled had no opinion or didn’t know whether teachers should have guns in school.
Universal background checks
Ohio showed strong support for universal background checks for gun owners totaling 86% of respondents in support, 73% of whom strongly support the idea.
Background checks are favorable across the board, with Democrats at 91%, followed by Independents at 72% and Republicans at 56%. Total women in favor of background checks, at 90%, with men at 83%.
Black and white Ohioans strongly support background checks at 87% and 86% respectively.
Ninety-one percent of those polled in the northeast are in favor while the checks have the least support is the east and southeast at 82%. Only 11% of respondents totally oppose the checks, breaking down to Democrats to 4%, Republicans to 17%, and Independents at 10%.
Assault-style weapons ban
Ohio adopting an assault-style weapons ban met with more resistance than background checks but still garnered a majority in support of the ban at 53%.
Forty-three percent of Ohioans totally oppose it, and a majority of Republicans totally oppose the ban at 62%.
A majority of Democrats favor the ban at 86%, followed by independents at 48% and Republicans at 33%. While 59% of men oppose it only 26% of women do. Women supporting the ban at 69%, were 30 points higher than men in favor.
The oldest Ohioans, 65 and older, agree with the ban, at 60%, while least supportive are the state’s youngest voters 18 to 34 at 43%.
Support was strongest in northeast Ohio, with 60% respondents for the ban, with the east and southeast portions of the state lowest, with 49% agreeing with an assault-weapons ban.