Polls

NC against gay marriage but also marriage amendment

| Dustin Ingalls

Header-poll-results
Raleigh, N.C. –
61% of North Carolinians want same-sex marriage to remain illegal, as it is now by statutory law, and only 31% want it to be legal.  But 55% also would vote against the Republicans’ proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships for gay couples.  Only 30% would vote for the amendment.

63% of Democrats and 52% of independents would reject the amendment, and even a 47% plurality of Republicans would.  Only 37% of them would vote for it.  Mirroring an Elon University poll, 61% of African Americans would vote against the amendment.  They would be joined by 78% of those under the age of 30 and majorities of every age group, including those over 65, 71% of whom are against gay marriage.

Part of the reason for this opposition to both same-sex marriage and an amendment banning it could be that North Carolina voters are in favor of gay couples receiving the same legal rights as married couples do.  When given the option of civil unions, 29% want them, and a quarter still favor full marriage rights, for 54% in support of legal equality, similar to the 55% who oppose the amendment.  That includes 63% of independents and 68% of Democrats.

“It’s pretty simple: North Carolinians don’t support gay marriage but they also don’t think this constitutional amendment is necessary,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “And they also think this particular proposal goes too far by targeting civil unions, which many voters in the state support.”

Legislative Republicans remain far less popular than their Democratic counterparts.  Only a third see them favorably, and half unfavorably.  For Democrats, the spread is 12 points closer, but still negative, 38-43. The generic legislative ballot is virtually tied this month with 46% of voters leaning toward the GOP and 45% to the Democrats.

PPP surveyed 520 North Carolina voters from September 1st to 4th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.3%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews. PPP is a Democratic polling company, but polling expert Nate Silver of the New York Times found that its surveys in 2010 actually exhibited a slight bias toward Republican candidates.

Topline results are below.  Full results, including crosstabs, can be found here.

Q1 If there was an election for the state legislature
today, would you vote Democratic or
Republican?
Democratic……………………………………………… 45%
Republican……………………………………………… 46%
Undecided………………………………………………. 10%

Q2 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of the Democrats in the North Carolina
Legislature?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 38%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 43%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 19%

Q3 Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion
of the Republicans in the North Carolina
Legislature?
Favorable……………………………………………….. 33%
Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 50%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 17%

Q4 Do you have more faith in Governor Perdue or
Legislative Republicans to lead the state?
Governor Perdue …………………………………….. 42%
Legislative Republicans ……………………………. 40%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 18%

Q5 State legislators have proposed an amendment
to the North Carolina Constitution that would
prohibit the recognition of marriage, civil
unions, or domestic partnerships for gay and
lesbian couples. If the election was held today,
would you vote for or against this amendment?
Would vote for it………………………………………. 30%
Would vote against it ……………………………….. 55%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 15%

Q6 Do you think same-sex marriage should be
legal or illegal?
Legal……………………………………………………… 31%
Illegal …………………………………………………….. 61%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 8%

Q7 Which of the following best describes your
opinion on gay marriage: gay couples should
be allowed to legally marry, or gay couples
should be allowed to form civil unions but not
legally marry, or there should be no legal
recognition of a gay couple’s relationship?
Gay couples should be allowed to legally
marry ……………………………………………………..25%
Gay couples should be allowed to form civil
unions but not marry …………………………………29%
There should be no legal recognition of a gay
couple’s relationship …………………………………43%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 3%

Q8 Who did you vote for President in 2008?
John McCain…………………………………………… 47%
Barack Obama………………………………………… 48%
Someone else/Don’t remember …………………. 5%

Q9 Would you describe yourself as very liberal,
somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat
conservative, or very conservative?
Very liberal ……………………………………………… 11%
Somewhat liberal …………………………………….. 16%
Moderate………………………………………………… 28%
Somewhat conservative……………………………. 22%
Very conservative ……………………………………. 22%

Q10 If you are a woman, press 1. If a man, press 2.
Woman ………………………………………………….. 54%
Man……………………………………………………….. 46%

Q11 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a Republican,
press 2. If you are an independent or identify
with another party, press 3.
Democrat ……………………………………………….. 46%
Republican……………………………………………… 34%
Independent/Other…………………………………… 19%

Q12 If you are white, press 1. If African-American,
press 2. If other, press 3.
White …………………………………………………….. 75%
African-American …………………………………….. 21%
Other……………………………………………………… 4%

Q13 If you are 18 to 29 years old, press 1. If 30 to
45, press 2. If 46 to 65, press 3. If you are
older than 65, press 4.
18 to 29………………………………………………….. 10%
30 to 45………………………………………………….. 28%
46 to 65………………………………………………….. 42%
Older than 65………………………………………….. 20%

Q14
252………………………………………………………… 10%
336………………………………………………………… 19%
704………………………………………………………… 19%
828………………………………………………………… 12%
910………………………………………………………… 15%
919………………………………………………………… 23%

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