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September 07, 2011


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Very interesting indeed. As with Kentucky, southerners are resoundingly opposed to same-sex marriage. However, I think that your question regarding the same-sex marriage amendment isn't reflective over what will actually happen in the polling booth. While your wording may correctly reflect what the amendment entails, that's not the way voters are going to see it. Consider that just a couple years ago, Floridians ratified an almost identical amendment with a staggering 62% of the vote. Yet polling clearly showed they weren't opposed to civil unions or domestic partnerships. I think it's why polling is so conflicted on the marriage questions. Just my bit. That said, I think your marriage polling is some of the best in the businss right now.

I Am Iron Man

This is the civil rights issue of our times. Those who stand in the way of gay marriage will one day be looked upon in the future much in the same way that those who stood in the way of interracial marriage in the past are looked back now.

Bigotry is not OK.

And for anyone who claims that the Bible says that being gay is "abomination" it's very important to point out that just a few lines before that the Bible also says that eating shrimp is an "abomination."

You can't take one without the other.

Don't use the Bible as your excuse for bigotry, it's too easy for any educated person to poke holes in that insanity.

Linda Mastellone

All of a sudden.

Not "all the sudden."

Otherwise, thanks for the interesting data.


I'm afraid I have to agree with Steve. There is something not right about these results. They are out of whack with the region and the trendlines. I would have expected NC to be a bit less enthusiastic about an amendment than other states in the Deep South, but still to show majority support.

I agree with your asking the amendment question before the questions about support/opposition for the 3 relationship recognition options. That is good practice.

I think the problem may be that you are not using the actual wording that the voters will be reading in the voting booth. These amendments don't describe or acknowledge the people they are targeting. The NC amendment will only refer to the "definition of marriage being one man and one woman". Very abstract, and more conducive to a yes vote. Although I agree with your language when asking about respondents' views on gay marriage generally, I think that when asking about a ballot measure you need to use the actual wording. My guess: if you do that, you will find support for the amendment somewhere in the mid- to high-50 percent range. The best case scenario would have support teetering on the 50 percent point, which might come about if North Carolinians focus on the civil unions ban that is embedded in the amendment.

Dustin Ingalls

"I think the problem may be that you are not using the actual wording that the voters will be reading in the voting booth."

That wording hasn't been voted on yet.


"That wording hasn't been voted on yet."

Technically no, but the amendments have already been filed for months in both the house and senate and clearly spell out the language that will be on the ballot if passed.

If the senate version, which bans civil unions, is on the ballot, I think that it will pass with around 60%. If it just defines marriage as "one man and one woman" it could well get 65-70%.

Point blank, there is little chance this amendment fails at the polls, despite some polling to the contrary.



"it could well get 65-70%."

And monkeys "could well" take over the world.

I agree that the amendment is likely to win and that the PPP poll results are in error, but there is no basis for the claim that a marriage-only ban would yield support in the high 60s or 70 percent. The days of anti-gay votes with margins like these are past. Whereas once the anti-gay side could coast to an effortless 70% victory in Hawaii and an 80% victory in Mississippi, now they have to expend significant resources to secure victories above 50%.

FL will probably wind up being the last state to pass a marriage amendment with over 60% and a recent poll in that state shows that the amendment would now receive only 55%, down from 62% three years ago. I believe that today there are only a few states in the Deep South and Utah that would support an anti-SSM amendment by over 60%.


If I'm not mistaken, the threshold for a ballot initiative when Florida passed its amendment was 60% for passage, not 50% plus 1.

So the numbers from Florida are closer than they might seem -- only 2% away from failing -- and that was several years ago.

Mike P.

I respect PPP very much, but I think that polling on this issue from any polling outlet has major problems. If there is one thing that has been consistent about these polls, it is that they underestimate support for these amendments (see the work of NYU polisci prof Patrick Egan for more on this). It is not because, as some have suggested, people are 'embarrassed' to say that they support such measures when asked in a poll. It is because, so far at least, those who support the measures seem to come out in larger numbers to vote than those who oppose the measures. As everyone knows, the ultimate power a pollster has is deciding what the question should be, and how it should be asked. In my opinion, if the Senate version of the bill is passed, the question should be 'do you support an amendment to the NC Constitution to provide that marriage between a man and a woman shall be the only domestic legal union in the state?' The wording of the amendment may be vague, but that is what would appear on the ballot and so asking the question in that fashion would presumably yield the most accurate result.

Gerald- it is worth remembering that the Hawaii measure was actually procedural: it clarified that the power to define marriage in law was the legislature's alone. So the large figure that measure got may have been misleading. In Florida, in 2008, 43% of Obama voters supported the marriage amendment according to the CNN exit poll. Only about 24% of the Obama vote in Florida was African-American, compared to 45% in North Carolina. Given that, according to the same exit poll, African-Americans supported the marriage amendment 71-29, it is conceivable that a majority of Obama voters would support the amendment in NC. Predominately liberal, white Democrats who opposed the amendment in FL are being replaced with African-American Democrats who support the amendment. If that happens (let's say the amendment got 51% or 52% of Obama voters) then the measure as a whole could get 65%+ (although I doubt it would hit 70%).

Mary Waterton

1st paragraph: North Carolinians strongly think that same sex marriage should be illegal. They also strongly oppose the proposed amendment to write that into the state's constitution.

If what Public Policy Polling says is true, then the Marriage Amendment will fail. So why are the homosexual activists and the liberal news journalists and the liberal democrats in the legislature fighting this tooth and nail? Could it be because the polls are fake and they all know it?

John O

RE: Florida 2008 results.
"Mike P" and "Steve" both drew some erronious conclusions from the FL '08 results. Here are the 3 main reasons.

1: Florida Democrats, moreso than any other "battleground" southern state, are more likely to be functionally Republicans. Exit poll results including party-ID are going to be skewed by that fact. In the Florida panhandle it is not uncommon in some areas for the majority of Democrats to have voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 4 out of 5 of the last elections. These are Strom Thurmond pre-civil rights Democrats, which for strange reasons have maintained their historic party ID across the decades more in Florida and Georgia than anywhere else in the country.

2: Florida voters skew much older than the rest of the country (for obvious reasons). Gay-marriage issues have a huge generational demographic difference, with young people vastly more likely to support them.

3: The larger African American vote in NC will be partially offset by the much larger conservative hispanic vote in FL, especially the cuban vote.


the issue is that if they ban gay marriage that is a civil violation of rights...which will be overturned by an upper court very quickly. by stating they want to define marriage as only between a man and a woman and that is the only relationship that will be acknowledged in this state it clearly sends a message to the LBGT community. You can work here, pay taxes here, spend your money here, be a part of the community at large, but you will not be allowed to take the simple liberty of filing income taxes together. It doesn't matter how inner-twined your finances are with your partner. when it gets down to what the LBGT community wants, it is that acknowledgment. You are couple, and have lived together in the same dwelling for so many years and you want that acknowledgment for tax purposes. We don't have to have our relationship labeled as a "marriage" it is a union of two people who want to the same simple rights that a "married" couple has. why is that so hard to understand?


Forget these "polls." How the people vote will be the real indicator of the people's will.

Mike P.

John O-
1. Okay, we won't look at party ID. We can look at Presidential vote. 43% of Obama voters, according to the CNN exit poll, voted 'yes' on the marriage amendment. That is less than 47%, obviously, but not much less.

2. Even if you control for age by replacing, say, the turnout figures for the age groups in NC with the yes/no breakdowns from FL, you still get almost exactly the same figure (61.74% voting 'yes').

3. You are right that there is a much larger Hispanic vote in FL than in NC, but I fail to see the effect of this. First of all, Hispanics voted at a lower rate (64%) for the FL amendment than did African-Americans. So it would still be an increase in North Carolina. Also, the Hispanic and African-American vote, when added up, are nearly the same in NC (26%) as in FL (25%).


It is saddening to see that this is even an issue. Should all lifestyles just be accepted because it is politically correct to do so? This is a no brainer. Protect marriage and family structure by voting no to same sex marriage and in favor of the amendment. What's next? The Bible is clear on this. Marriage is between a man and woman. Anything other is a sin. I'm sick of having to be closed lip in hoping not to affend anyone of their lifestyle choice. I'm offended by it. My children are offended. Love the sinner, hate the sin. I don't hate people who make this choice. I try to show them the love of God and pray for them. However, I do not accept this as normal or appropriate. It's a choice!


Don't pray for me with your self-righteous ego. I am not a sinner... Judge not that yee be judged.
It is amazing how many hetero people who have had affairs are quick to throw stones at monogamous people.


Kari.....you said it all. You are so right. We love all people, but we don't always love what they do. We are all sinners, all of us, but we need to ask for forgiveness....we don't need to embrace sin and celebrate it.


I am confused. This is a primary vote but I am a registered Democrat, so I can't vote, right? How can this be on the ballot then?


I guess you can vote for the Amendment without actually having to vote in the primaries

A Facebook User

I'm confused also. I've heard several different versions of this amendment. I can't seem to find a website that explains the entire amendment. If anyone knows where I can go to find one please let me know. John O states "two people who want to the same simple rights that a "married" couple has. why is that so hard to understand?" My husband and I lived together for 14 yrs prior to getting married. We basically decided to get married in order to put him on my medical insurance because even though the company I worked for allowed benefits for same sex partners it did not allow benefits for opposite sex partners. I actually feel if you can't allow for one you shouldn't allow for the other. Like I said not exactly sure what is included in the amendment. Heard a few, can we say, horror stories about this amendment.


Kari - if by stating that "the Bible is very clear on this" you are referring to Leviticus, then I hope you are not eating shellfish, which is also an abomination. NOWHERE in the Bible does Christ speak out against homosexuality. The only references to homosexuality in the NT are made by Paul. Jesus tells us it is most important to love God and love one another. My conscience tells me that causing the loss of benefits to children of same sex partners is not showing my love for others. The words of Christ himself supercedes anything said in the OT or by Paul.

Ted Lee

So, either PPP totally made up their #'s last Sept, or the electorate swung 10 pts. in the opposite direction when they voted yes on Amendment 1. So, which is it?

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