Lansing, Michigan (February 28, 2013) – In the face of recent nationwide attention on gun violence, Michigan citizens remain divided over who should be allowed to carry guns in schools, with only 20 percent agreeing that teachers should be allowed to have firearms in the classroom, according to a statewide poll released Thursday by Lambert), Michigan’s largest bipartisan public relations firm.
The Feb. 23-24 poll of 600 likely voters asked participants to identify which groups should be allowed to carry weapons in schools, with the opportunity to choose more than one group. Forty-three percent of all respondents said security guards should be allowed to carry weapons, while 20 percent wanted to give that ability to teachers and 3 percent to parents. More than a third — 34 percent — said no one should be allowed to carry guns in school. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
“Similar to the national debate, this poll indicates that Michigan citizens are still sharply divided on guns in their schools,” said Jeff Lambert, president and managing partner of Lambert “No group we tested polled over 50 percent, which tells us that the idea of putting guns in schools is certainly not a popular one. Certainly, the public’s desire to change Michigan’s gun laws as they relate to schools just isn’t that strong yet.”
Forty-two percent of respondents who identified themselves as Republicans favored allowing security guards to carry guns in schools, compared to 38 percent of self-identified Democrats. Forty-one percent of Democrats said no one should carry guns in schools, versus only 16 percent of Republicans, Lambert said. Thirty-five percent of females said no one should carry a gun in school while only 25 percent of males agreed.
Lambert and Denno Research also asked questions about road funding in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder is urging lawmakers to increase the state’s investment in transportation infrastructure by potentially raising taxes and fees.
When asked if more money should be spent on Michigan’s roads, 79 percent of likely Michigan voters said yes. When that 79 percent were asked, “Would you be willing to pay more in taxes and fees to fix Michigan’s roads?” 59 percent said they were willing to pay more in taxes and fees to support the investment.
“Politically, everyone agrees that Michigan needs to spend more on roads, with 82 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents and 75 percent of Republicans agreeing,” said Dennis Denno, president of Denno Research.
“When respondents who were in favor of more spending on roads were asked if they would pay more in taxes and fees, there was little difference between Democrats and Republicans, with 61 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents and 56 percent of Republicans saying yes,” Denno said. “What was surprising to us what they a majority of people who identified themselves as Republicans support paying more in taxes and fees to fix Michigan’s roads, which is markedly different than what is currently occurring in the state Legislature.”
Finally, when asked if they would support legalizing same-sex marriage, voters were almost equally divided, with 47 percent supporting the idea and 46 percent opposing it. While the numbers in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage are growing in Michigan, the majority of voters are still not there to overturn Michigan’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman, Lambert said.
Sixty-seven percent of Democrats support same-sex marriage compared to 23 percent of Republicans. Independents are at 50 percent in support, with 44 percent opposed. Legalizing same-sex marriage has more support with women, at 56 percent agreeing, while only 37 percent of men felt the same way.
Named the 2010 PRWeek Small Agency of the Year, Lambert (www.lambertweb.wpengine.com) is a top-10 Midwest-based PR firm and a top-20 investor relations firm nationally with clients based in 20 states and five countries. As Michigan’s only statewide PR firm – with offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit –Lambert serves middle-market companies and national brands in five practice areas: Automotive, Consumer, Financial Communications, Health Care and Public Affairs. Lambert has posted 13 years of growth, been named an Edward Lowe “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” and earned four Silver Anvil awards – the PR profession’s highest honor. Follow us on Twitter @LambertEdwards.
About Denno Research
The staff of Denno Research (www.dennoresearch.com) brings more than 20 years of experience in polling to their full-service public opinion company in Michigan. They offer experience in polling for political campaigns, corporations, associations and non-profit organizations, and have worked with clients in Michigan, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, and New Jersey. They have been in business since 2004 and have conducted quarterly, statewide surveys to measure voters’ opinions since 2006.