Pollsters: Support for Same-Sex Marriage ‘Accelerating’, Issue is Increasingly Safe Politically


Ben Smith at Politico makes note of announcement from two major pollsters calling same-sex marriage "increasingly safe political ground" for politicians:

The pollsters, Republican Jan van Lohuizen and Democrat Joel Benenson, argue in their memo, which can be read in full here, that support for marriage is increasing at an accelerating rate, and that the shift is driven by a politically crucial group, independents. They are expected to unveil the memo, which was commissioned by the group Freedom to Marry and shared exclusively with POLITICO, at a press conference at the National Press Club today.

The memo comes at a moment when politicians are weighing the impact of their choices on the issue. An increasing number of ambitious executives in liberal states, led by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, have seen support for same-sex marriage boost their standing within the Democratic Party. But while polls have long shown increasing support for same-sex marriage, the issue has failed at the polls even in Democratic leaning states including California and Maine, giving pause political figures considering "evolving" on the issue, and encouragement to activists who favor limiting marriage to being between a man and a woman.


  1. Bruno says

    Meanwhile, we see polls done in states that are close to legalizing marriage equality…48% favorable in Oregon, 48% favorable in Maine, 46% favorable in Maryland. When will these accelerating numbers actually bear fruit on the ground, in the most liberal of states? There’s something strange when these states are still under 50% and below the national averages of these polls.

  2. Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com says

    Yeh, when his hacks assure him it’s safe to come out of his underground bunker, then MAYBE Mr. O will suddenly decide God doesn’t give a camel’s ass about which consenting adults marry whomever they wish. Ya know, kinda like when the Mormorons suddenly had a NEW revelation about blacks, tho that wasn’t political safety but political pressure. And, NO I do NOT believe he’s always secretly been for marriage equality. I think the “secret” is that he’s actually more viscerally homophobic than most good people want to believe.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    “Yeh, when his hacks assure him it’s safe to come out of his underground bunker, then MAYBE Mr. O will suddenly decide God doesn’t give a camel’s ass about which consenting adults marry whomever they wish.”

    Hello, mon petit chou.

    President O will feel safe when you convince him that the majority of the voters of North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio say it’s ok for men to marry men and women to marry women. Otey?

    It’s better to have the Rick Warrens keep their fanatical mouths shut about your re-election than to have them out there actively and aggressively organizing against you. President O is a very smart man.

  4. MiloTock says

    Unfortunately, these polls don’t correlate in any meaningful way to the reality of most political races, especially not in the current environment. Relatively few races are going to be decided by independents for whom the primary motivating factor is a candidate’s position on marriage equality.
    For one thing, most Republican candidates who should be looking for independent support seem more concerned about the risk to them from candidates farther to the right, rather than about losing the independents. Most Democratic candidates who would need to rely on independents to win are not going to find numbers that are just barely above 50% to be enough to risk the brutal and vicious attack ads (courtesy of NOM and their ilk) that result from support of same-sex marriage, or the influx of far right money in support of their opponents that often results.
    To really make any difference, you are going to need to see numbers more in the range of support for DADT repeal (over 70%), or hope that more Democratic and Republican candidates will have the courage shown by the four NY Republican State Senators to do what they knew was right, notwithstanding the clear political risks.

  5. says

    In general, the right is better at messaging and fundraising. This means we’re usually in a weaker position when it comes to elections. That means we need to support our effective organizations with our $$$. Give till it hurts to orgs. Like Family Equality Council (who show the world that our families are nothing to be scared of) and Lambda Legal.

    We’ve got to fit fire with fire.

  6. Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com says

    Derrick, Sweet Lips! Have missed you. So your point is that the “Barack Obama” in the White House is one apparently body-switched from the one who said in 2008:

    “Equality is a moral imperative. I WILL NEVER COMPROMISE ON MY COMMITMENT TO EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL LGBT AMERICANS. Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. JOIN WITH ME, AND I WILL PROVIDE THAT LEADERSHIP.” – Barack Obama, Job Application, February 28, 2008.

    We DO hope THAT Obama is still alive somewhere and his captors aren’t mistreating him.

    :- )

  7. Derrick from Philly says

    Mister Bedwell, I am not going to argue with you. Anyone who risks going to jail by chaining himself to the White House gates has too much passion for me…but I’ll take on anybody else to defend my President.

    I’ll tell you one damn thing–if your beloved Eartha Kitt were still here she’d be for marriage equality and for the re-election of President Barack Obama (I won’t call him “President SlimJim” again until after November 2012 when he’s safely won a second term).

  8. anon says

    To be safe the threshold in most states should be 55-60%. You also need an election cycle or two for the effects of the shift to show up. That puts us 5-10 years away in many states.

  9. MDK says

    California and Maine both lost the issue at the polls back before this recent big upswing in support … Maine was in 2009 and California was 2008, I think?

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