-3 states voted to legalize same sex marriage last month, and our new polls in New Jersey and Illinois find those states could be next in line. New Jersey voters think same sex marriage should be allowed in their state by a 53/36 margin, and Illinois voters believe it should be permitted by a 47/42 spread.
A few things stand out on the New Jersey numbers. There are more Republicans (21%) who support same sex marriage than Democrats (19%) who oppose it. There's also 54/36 favor for it among independents. 72% of voters in the state think they should be allowed to vote on the issue.
In Illinois even though there's only narrow overall support for same sex marriage the numbers are 58% for and 37% against among voters under 45, another sign that it's just a matter of time given the big generational divide on the issue. Black voters, perhaps following the lead of President Obama, think it should be legal by a 60/16 spread. That's a much wider margin than we see with them nationally.
Other notes from Illinois:
-President Obama's home state approval rating is 57% with 41% of voters disapproving- those are solid numbers but he can't match Michelle's popularity.
-63% of Illinois voters say their favorite NFL team is the Bears with 10% picking the Packers and 4% the Steelers. No one else registers above 2%. Jay Cutler has a 41/15 statewide favorability rating, good numbers but not exactly comparable to Aaron Rodgers' 87/3 in the state of Wisconsin.
Other notes from New Jersey:
-Former Governor Jon Corzine's popularity has really cratered since he left office and now just 18% of voters see him favorably to 62% with a negative opinion. Even among Democrats he's at a 30/46 spread.
-President Obama's approval in the state is 59%, with just 38% of voters disapproving of him. He gets a 74/21 spread for his handling of Hurricane Sandy, although even on that specific issue just 38% of Republicans are willing to give him any credit to 51% who express disapproval.
-In the wake of the hurricane 52% of New Jersey voters say they're 'very concerned' about global warming, 28% say they're 'somewhat concerned,' and 20% say they're 'not concerned.'
-Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot 49/36.
-37% of voters say the Giants are their favorite team in the NFL to 16% for the Eagles and 10% for the Jets. No one else registers over 5%.
-There seems to be a fair amount of ill will toward the Nets for ditching the state. They now rank as only the third most popular NBA team in the state at 9%, well behind the Knicks (20%) and 76ers (15%), and only slightly ahead of the Celtics and Bulls (both at 7%) and Lakers (6%).
-New Jersey voters overall support Rutgers' move to the Big Ten by a 39/18 margin and among respondents identifying themselves as Rutgers fans the spread is 62/14.
Full results here