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Politico poll: Majority in ‘highly competitive midterm contests’ oppose gay marriage

Monday, May 19, 2014
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Supporters of traditional marriage and gay marriage demonstrate outside the Federal Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 13, 2014.Steve Helber, AP

Supporters of traditional marriage and gay marriage demonstrate outside the Federal Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

A new poll conducted for Politico.com finds that overall, 52 percent of those “surveyed” oppose same-sex marriage, the only national poll in more than a year to suggest that Americans still oppose marriage equality.

The poll reflects “likely voters” in mostly Republican, or Republican-leaning states with competitive U.S. Senate races, including: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.

Less GOP-leaning states of Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Oregon, among the poll’s 867 respondents.

According to Politico, “clear generational divides exist” on the issue of same-sex marriage, which is supported by only 48 percent of those surveyed overall.

“But that number skyrockets to 61 percent among people between the ages of 18-34. Slightly more than half of those between ages 35 and 49 support gay marriage; the figure drops to 48 percent among those aged 50-64 and tapers off to 35 percent among those 65 and older,” according to the poll results.

The poll, designed by SocialSphere and conducted by the research firm GfK, surveyed likely voters between May 2 and 13, in places with highly competitive midterm contests. The poll, conducted with GfK’s online KnowledgePanel methodology, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.1 percentage points (which could actually flip the results to 48 percent opposed to 52 percent in support).

More than a dozen national polls conducted over the past year, with respondents from across the country, however, find that a majority of Americans have evolved on the issued of marriage equality. Among them:

  • A Washington Post/ABC News poll from February–March 2014 found a record high of 59 percent of Americans approve of same-sex marriage, with only 34 percent opposed and 7 percent with no opinion.
  • A November/December 2013 Public Religion Research Institute poll sponsored by the Ford Foundation found that 53 percent all Americans supported same-sex marriage, while 41 percent were opposed and 6 percent unsure.

  • A Bloomberg National Poll conducted by Selzer & Company taken during September 20–23, 2013 found that 55 percent supported same-sex marriage, while 36 percent opposed and 9 percent unsure.

  • A September 2013 Quinnipiac University poll found that 56% of American adults and 57% of registered voters supported same-sex marriage. Only 36% of both groups were opposed.

  • A July 10–14, 2013 poll by Gallup found support for same-sex marriage at 54 percent, a record high, and double the support of 27 percent Gallup first measured when the question was asked in 1996.

  • A July 2013 poll by USA Today found that 55 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage while 40 percent did not.

  • A May 9, 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 55 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage while 40 percent did not.

  • Days earlier, a Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans supported legalizing same-sex marriage, the third consecutive reading of 50 percent or above in Gallup polling in over a year.

  • A March 20–24 CBS News Poll found that 53% of Americans supported same-sex marriage, 39 percent opposed it, and 8 percent were undecided. The same poll also found that 33 percent of Americans who thought same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry said they once held the opposite view and had changed their opinion.

  • A March 7–10 Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 58 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage while 36 percent were opposed. The poll indicated that 52 percent of GOP-leaning independents under 50 years old supported same-sex marriage.

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