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May 11, 2016

Poll: Pa. backs recreational pot; McGinty, Toomey neck-and-neck in Senate race

A day after releasing a poll that showed presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump virtually tied among Pennsylvania voters, Quinnipiac University released another survey on residents' attitudes toward the current U.S. Senate race and recreational marijuana. Here are its findings:

• In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic candidate Katie McGinty is trailing incumbent Pat Toomey by just a hair: 45-44 percent. McGinty's campaign released a statement about the poll, again trying to tie Toomey to presumptive GOP nominee Trump. "Toomey has refused to listen to Pennsylvanians and continues to play politics with the Supreme Court in the hopes that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will fill the vacancy," the statement reads, referring to Toomey's position regarding President Barack Obama's Supreme Court Justice nominee Merrick Garland

Toomey, meanwhile, has been hitting McGinty on her not denouncing Philly's sanctuary city status. McGinty called Toomey's Monday press conference on the matter "misleading."

• Pennsylvanians want pot! Well, sort of; state residents were more lax on legalizing small amounts of the drug for personal use than Ohio and Florida, the other states included in the poll, with 57 percent supporting it and 39 percent opposing. "The most liberal of the three big swing states on the issue, Pennsylvanians give a big thumbs up to small amounts of marijuana in the hands of adults," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll. 

Last month, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Philadelphia, announced plans to introduce legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana, using state-owned liquor stores to save money on distribution and facility costs. Also in April, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana for patients suffering from a number of qualifying conditions.

 The poll surveyed 1,077 self-identified registered Pennsylvania voters from April 27 to May 8. It had a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.