Poll: Support for Same-Sex Marriage Jumps in New Jersey, and Voters Also Support Referendum

Could New Jersey be the first state to approve marriage equality via voter referendum?

NjA new Quinnipiac poll shows strong support for both the referendum and marriage equality:

Support for same-sex marriage in New Jersey climbs to a new high, 57 – 37 percent, but voters split 48 – 47 percent on whether Gov. Christopher Christie did the right thing in vetoing same- sex marriage legislation, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters support 67 – 28 percent Gov. Christie's proposal to let them decide the same-sex marriage issue by placing it on the ballot for a November referendum, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

Support for same-sex marriage is 61 – 32 percent among women and 51 – 44 percent among men. White Catholics support the move 52 – 43 percent while white Protestants are opposed 50 – 42 percent. Voters who attend religious services weekly oppose same-sex marriage 54 – 39 percent while those who attend services less frequently support the measure 66 – 29 percent.

Andrew Sullivan wonders if Christie may have played his cards right:

"If marriage equality wins, he can say democracy worked, while touting his veto to the fundamentalist base should he run for president one day (as I hope he does). He could also use the vote to embrace marriage equality himself and tell his own party to get over their increasingly anachronistic obsession with keeping the gays in their second-class place. But I may be letting my hopes overwhelm reality here."


  1. Isa says

    Well, that’s all good, but the issue I have (many of us have) is that a minority’s civil rights should not be put to vote and therefore at the whim of a majority. However, is very good news that the bigotry is shrinking. Something to celebrate about.

  2. Mike says

    @Isa – my thoughts exactly, while it is good news that the majority of NJ residents support marriage equality, that doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t appropriate to put minority rights up to a majority vote, the fact that apparently the majority supports it notwithstanding. Also, for me personally, the fact that the “majority” also thinks that minority rights should be up to a vote disturbs me. That tells me that they don’t get it and believe in mob rule. I get visions of the scene from Frankenstein where the mob goes to kill the monster. Have we not learned anything? Apparently not!

  3. Matt says

    This is fantastic, it truly is, and we welcome all the support that New Jersey has to offer. However, the thing is, it’s not about them at all to Christie. He doesn’t care what they think, he just wants to get out of this without getting his hands dirty. He’s using his own people for political gain, and that should outrage them.

    The smell of desperation among Republicans vis a vis gay issues is starting to smell like a septic tank. How much more can you bend until your spines break? Don’t you get it yet? You’re letting your party go down the drain, all for your so-called “principles” (read: evangelical base).
    Your 9% (hardcore conservatives) base can’t do anything for you once you alienate the other 31% (moderate Republicans).

  4. Mike C. says

    I can’t stress enough that it does not matter what the polls say. Where and whenever marriage equality is put up for a vote, we will lose, because once NOM comes in with their millions of dollars in TV ads, they change the issue. They truck out that same Massachusetts family who says their kindergartner was forced to learn about anal sex in public school because of same sex marriage; it terrifies all the independent voters to the right. This issue is no longer about marriage equality, but becomes about homosexuals looking to usurp on the peace of straight families.

    In a world of perfect and fair information, yes we may win a referendum in New Jersey. But that world does not exist

  5. Tom says

    Remember the Bradley Effect. Also, there is something akin to mockery to think that the wisdom of the Bill of Rights would play second fiddle to a majority vote.

  6. jersey says

    Of course voters will respond “yes” to the question of whether they want to voteo n this issue. If Quinnipiac had asked a question about taxes, or affirmative action, or any other hot issue, they would say they want a chance to vote on it. It’s a meaningless question.

  7. KP says

    This just shows that polls really can’t be trusted. 57% of NJ residents favor same-sex marriage but 47% think Christie did the right thing by vetoing it? That doesn’t add up. So 4% of NJ residents are pro-same sex marriage but applaud a veto of a same-sex law? It was like that one poll in NC where more than half the respondents were in favor of the anti-marriage amendment and yet more than half were also in favor of civil unions, which would be outlawed by the amendment.

    Besides, even if 57% of people are in favor, there are some key facts to remember: a majority of young people are in favor of SSM but young people just don’t vote (I am 27 and it pisses me off royally that most of my friends can’t be bothered to vote). Older people are most resistant to SSM and overwhelminly go and out and vote. Add in NOM and their ads full of lies plus the “only read the headline” attitude of the average Joe and a marriage referundum is still a risky move.

  8. Gregoire says

    This is irrelevant. To me, it only makes Christie look more like a fool. With his state clearly in the plus column for gay marriage, he could have granted it with the scrawl of a pen, knowing he was serving the will of the people and saving his state millions of dollars of expense to pursue a referendum.

  9. MiloTock says

    @ KP – the numbers are not inconsistent if you consider the percentage of people who want it put to a vote. That is, there are some number of people who support marriage equality, and would vote for it, who believe that it should be put to a vote. Therefore, they agreed with the Christie veto. The bigger problem, as pointed out above, is that there are a not inconsequential percentage of people who are in favor who would not bother to vote, and people who say they are in favor but would actually vote against when it actually came time to cast a ballot

  10. Bob R says

    So, on another note, the pig Sullivan hopes the hog Christie will run for POTUS. Sullivan was and always will be a gay Kapo.

  11. anon says

    There are several “gay towns” in NJ, or towns with “gay areas”, like Trenton, Asbury Park and Plainfield. The state is also dominated by large high tech industries, like insurance and pharmaceutical companies, so it’s not surprising that the question polls well, but it’s more likely the question will be decided in the state supreme court.

  12. Ted says

    Oh the optimism! Pass the cannolis & get out the vot. I’m against the concept of the general public vtoing on my rights but if we win I will certainly be smiling.

  13. Randy says

    Christie is a profile in cowardice and deniability, and bigotry. This is not the stuff of which presidents should be made, Andrew Sullivan.

  14. Bob says

    TO COVER JERSEY — NY, CONN, DE, AND PA will get blasted with hate ads on TV, as I experienced, very painfully, in CA.
    THUS A REFERENDUM FAVORS THE BAD GUYS, whereas the override will pass if you elect a few more dems in Nov

  15. bostonian says

    I don’t get why we’re all for Maine voting for their rights and applaud them making it onto the ballot based off the comments from previous posts. But NJ, which looks like has a much better chance of passing it, can’t vote in marriage equality.

  16. Keith says

    I don’t agree with these polls for one minute. Most of the religious, far-right-wing zealots will not answer truthfully to these polls. They’re cowards who can’t even stand behind their own hateful beliefs. They also want the LGBT community to think it will pass a popular vote in the hope we will agree to a referendum on it. I have no doubt that it will not pass if it’s voted on, I would bet money on it. I never thought Californians would eliminate our marriage rights, and the polls showed us winning right up until election day. We were devastated to see our right stripped away. Like others have said here, our equal rights shouldn’t be voted on in the first place.