The VPR Poll: The Races, The Issues And The Full Results

Feb 22, 2016

What do Vermonters think about the coming election? What about renewable energy? Guns? Marijuana? School consolidation? The VPR Poll has some answers.

From Feb. 3 through Feb. 17, 2016, VPR and The Castleton Polling Institute put these questions – and quite a few more – to 895 people living in all of Vermont's 14 counties. In case you're wondering: Yes, Castleton called cell phones, too, not just land lines.

You can download the full results at the bottom of this page, and check VPR Poll's methodology, as well as the appendices & survey, to to learn more about the poll questions, methods and margins of error. And if you want the quick takeaways, look no further: 8 Things The VPR Poll Says About Vermonters

The VPR Poll was made possible by the VPR Journalism Fund.

THE VPR POLL: THE OVERALL RESULTS

Note about Margins of Error: Please note that for questions with the full sample size, 895 respondents, the sampling error is 3.27%. However, where the sample size is smaller, e.g. for demographics like gender, party, region, age, the sampling error is larger. For more information about the samples, margins and methodology see the documentation below.

Are you likely to choose the ballot for the Democratic primary or for the Republican primary?
Democratic   64.7%
Republican   20.2%
Other/Progressive   1.7%
Not sure   11.1%
Refused   2.2%
Total   100.0%
Total respondents   749

If the Republican primary for president were being held today, which one of the following candidates would you favor ...
Jeb Bush   7.7%
Chris Christie  2.4%
Marco Rubio   16.9%
John Kasich   10.0%
Ted Cruz   10.5%
Ben Carson   3.1%
Donald Trump   32.4%
Carly Fiorina   1.0%
Rick Santorum   0.6%
Someone else   3.3%
Not sure/Don't know 12.1%
Total   100.0%
Total respondents   151

If the Democratic Primary for president were being held today, which one of the following candidates would you favor...
Hilary Clinton 9.0%
Bernie Sanders   83.1%
Someone else   0.5%
Not sure/Don't know 7.4%
Total   100.0%
Total respondents   485

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
Approve   52%
Disapprove   34%
Not sure/No opinion   13%
Refuse   1%
Total respondents   895

Note: The above results about the presidential candidates are based on responses from the entire survey, representing the general population. For results from those identifying as likely voters, download the full poll results and details below.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Peter Shumlin is handling his job as Governor of Vermont?
Approve   37%
Disapprove   40%
Not sure/No opinion   22%
Refuse   1%
Total respondents   895

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Patrick Leahy is handling his job as one of Vermont's U.S. senators?
Approve   65%
Disapprove   14%
Not sure/No opinion   20%
Refuse   0%
Total respondents   895

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Peter Welch is handling his job representing Vermont in the U.S. House of Representatives?
Approve   59%
Disapprove   11%
Not sure/No opinion   29%
Refuse   1%
Total respondents   895

How closely have you followed news about the 2016 presidential election?
Very closely   37%
Somewhat closely   45%
Not too closely   13%
Not at all   4%
Total respondents   895

How likely are you to vote in the Vermont presidential primary election that will take place on March 1, Town Meeting Day?
Very likely   71%
Somewhat likely   13%
Not too likely 6%
Not likely at all   10%
Not sure/No opinion   1%
Total respondents   895

Are you likely to choose the ballot for the Democratic primary or for the Republican primary?
Democratic   65%
Republican   20%
Other/Progressive   2%
Not sure   11%
Refused   2%
Total respondents   767

Is your mind made up about who you will vote for in the presidential primary, or is it possible you might change your mind?
Mind made up   61%
Might change mind   36%
Don't know/Refused   3%
Total respondents   649

Looking ahead one year, do you expect your personal financial situation to get much better, get somewhat better, stay about the same, get somewhat worse, or get much worse?
Get much better   6%
Get somewhat better   27%
Stay about the same 55%
Get somewhat worse 8%
Get much worse   1%
Not sure/No opinion   2%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

How closely have you followed news about the 2016 Vermont governor's race?
Very closely   9%
Somewhat closely   25%
Not too closely   40%
Not at all   26%
Not sure/Don't know 0%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

Of the two candidates running for the Democratic nomination for governor, which do you prefer?
Sue Minter   11%
Matt Dunne   19%
Someone else (specify)   0%
Neither   18%
Not sure/Don't know 51%
Refused   1%
Total respondents   895

Of the two candidates running for the Republican nomination for governor, which do you prefer?
Phil Scott   42%
Bruce Lisman  4%
Someone else (specify)   0%
Neither   13%
Not sure/Don't know 40%
Refused   1%
Total respondents   895

Do you know who you hope to see elected as Vermont's governor in November 2016?
Yes   29%
No   51%
Not sure/No opinion   20%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

Who do you hope to see elected Vermont's governor in November 2016?
Sue Minter   12%
Matt Dunne   15%
Phil Scott   66%
Bruce Lisman  3%
Someone else (specify)   2%
Not sure/Don't know 1%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   292

What do you think should be done to address healthcare in Vermont? Should we...
Improve and continue with the Vermont Health Connect, the state health care system   20%
Move toward a single payer system like Medicare for all   33%
Discard the Vermont state exchange (Vermont Health Connect) and adopt the federal exchange   8%
Or something else (specify):   19%
Not sure/Don't know 19%
Refused   1%
Total respondents   895

Should Doctor Dynasaur – the low-cost or free health care coverage for children under 19 and pregnant women who qualify – be expanded to include everyone under age 27?

Yes   45%
No   40%
Not sure/No opinion   15%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

Do you support or oppose passing a law in Vermont to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use?
Support legalization   55%
Oppose legalization  32%
Not sure/No opinion   13%
Refused   1%
Total respondents   895

How strongly do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Vermont?
Very strongly  47%
Somewhat strongly   42%
Not too strongly   10%
Not at all strongly   1%
Not sure/No opinion   0%
Total respondents   458

How strongly do you oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Vermont?
Very strongly  54%
Somewhat strongly   30%
Not too strongly   10%
Not at all strongly   4%
Not sure/No opinion   1%
Total respondents   316

Do you approve or disapprove of plans to develop underground power lines to bring electricity from Canada through Vermont?
Approve   42%
Disapprove   25%
Not sure/No opinion   33%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

How closely do you follow news about how solar fields and wind turbine locations are determined?
Very closely   12%
Closely   30%
Not very closely   41%
Not at all   17%
Don't know/Unsure   0%
Total respondents   895

Would you support the development of a large solar array in your community?
Yes   70%
No   18%
Not sure/Don't know 11%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

Would you support the development of large wind-power turbines in your community?
Yes   56%
No   33%
Not sure/Don't know 11%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   894

Do you support, oppose, or have no opinion about the current method Vermont uses to approve the location of renewable energy sites?
Support   17%
Oppose   27%
Not sure/No opinion   57%
Total respondents   894

Would you support or oppose investing state tax revenue into developing more passenger rail service throughout Vermont?
Support   61%
Oppose   24%
It depends 3%
Not sure/No opinion   11%
Total respondents   895

In your opinion, is Vermont state government doing all it can to address climate change, is it doing too much, or is it not doing enough?
Doing all it can do   35%
Doing too much   9%
Not doing enough   39%
Not sure/No opinion   17%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

How familiar are you with Act 46? Are you...
Very familiar   13%
Somewhat familiar   44%
Not at all familiar   42%
Not sure/No opinion   0%
Total respondents   895

Do you generally support or oppose the state's efforts to encourage consolidation of Vermont's school districts?
Support   51%
Oppose   29%
It depends 6%
Not sure/No opinion   14%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

Do you support or oppose limiting where someone is allowed to carry a firearm?
Support   58%
Oppose   32%
It Depends 5%
Not sure/No opinion   5%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

Do you support or oppose requiring a waiting period on gun sales, meaning that the purchaser would have to wait a number of days from the time they purchase a gun until they are allowed to take it home?
Support   83%
Oppose   13%
It depends 3%
Not sure/No opinion   2%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales and sales at gun shows?
Support   89%
Oppose   9%
It depends 1%
Not sure/No opinion   1%
Refused   0%
Total respondents   895

FILES, APPENDICES & METHODOLOGY

We encourage you to download the data, do your own analysis and share your observations, too. If you have any questions or feedback about The VPR Poll please send us a message.

Correction 11:34 a.m.​ An earlier version of this post misstated the sample size for the first three questions in the poll. The above text has been corrected.