HELENA — Voters still show strong support for a constitutional initiative seeking to ban gay marriage in Montana, a new Lee Newspapers poll shows.
Likely voters favor Constitutional Initiative 96 by a 59 to 34 percent margin, with 7 percent undecided. Support for the ban remains similar from a similar Lee poll last month that showed voters favoring it 61 to 32 percent, with 7 percent undecided.
CI-96, which would limit Montana marriages to unions between one man and one woman, garnered slightly more support from men — 60 percent — compared with 58 percent from women.
The telephone poll, which surveyed 625 registered Montana voters, was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc., of Washington, D.C., for Lee Newspapers of Montana. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Support for another initiative, which would allow the medical use of marijuana, jumped somewhat from the September poll. The October poll results show likely voters favoring Initiative 148 by a 63 to 28 percent margin, with 9 percent undecided. In September, voters favored I-148 by 58 to 29 percent, with 13 percent undecided.
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Support for the medical use of marijuana is equal among men and woman, at 63 percent.
Finally, support for Initiative 149, the proposed 140 percent tobacco tax increase, has jumped in the recent Lee poll. Likely voters favor the proposal by a 66 to 28 percent margin, with 6 percent undecided, the October poll showed. In the September poll, the margin was 59 percent for to 30 percent against, with 11 percent undecided.
Under I-149, cigarette taxes would jump $1 per pack, from 70 cents to $1.70 per pack. The tax on snuff would increase from 35 cents to 85 cents an ounce and taxes on other tobacco products would increase from 25 percent to 50 percent of wholesale price. The overall price of tobacco would jump 25 percent.
Support for the initiative remains even between the genders at 66 percent.