Leading Republican and Democratic pollsters on Wednesday released a new analysis of polling data spanning more than a decade that reveals a dramatic shift in public attitudes on the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
This surge reflects evolving positions among every group analyzed, including older Americans and Republicans, groups that historically have been the least supportive of same-sex marriage.
According to the study, support for marriage equality rose about 1% per year over a 13-year period between 1996 and 2009. But in 2010 and 2011, it jumped 5% per year.
Voters under 40 support marriage equality by almost 70 percent, and as young people reach voting age, this rise is expected to continue.
“America’s elected officials are lagging behind the American people, a majority of whom have opened their hearts and changed their minds and now support the freedom to marry with accelerating momentum,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry.
“This authoritative analysis by leading pollsters in both parties will strengthen Freedom to Marry’s federal campaign and help make the political case that supporting the freedom to marry is not only the right thing to do, but the right thing to do politically — on both sides of the aisle.”
The bipartisan analysis was written by Joel Benenson, President of Benenson Strategy Group and a leading Democratic pollster, and Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, President of Voter Consumer Research and a leading Republican pollster.
Freedom to Marry, the national campaign to end discrimination in marriage, commissioned the study and hosted the event as part of its new federal campaign to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and expand public and political support for the freedom to marry.
A copy of the report is here (PDF).