New PPP Survey on NC ‘Amendment One’ Gives it a Shrinking 14-Point Lead; Opponents Have Cash Advantage

Some new numbers out from Public Policy Polling on Amendment One in North Carolina, which appears on the ballot on May 8:

Nc4There has been no movement on North Carolina’s proposed marriage amendment since PPP last released a poll a week ago.  Likely primary voters are still planning to vote for the amendment by a 14-point margin, this time 55-41, rather than 54-40.

Opposition is rising slightly with Republicans, independents, and African Americans, from 17% to 21% with the GOP, from 43% to 46% with independents, and from 39% to 43% with black voters.  Democrats on the whole are opposed by a 54-42 spread.  Reports of strong youth turnout in parts of the state could be a good sign for opponents; voters under the age of 30 oppose the amendment by 26 points, while the elder age brackets all support it by spreads of nine to 24 points—though that is down from margins of 16 to 32 points last week.

The good news for the amendment’s opponents is that more voters are now aware of the amendment’s consequences, and if all voters were informed of those consequences, the amendment would fail by a 38-46 margin, the same as last week.  A 40% plurality now knows that the amendment would ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions, versus 36% in the previous survey.  Those who know what the amendment would do are against it by 22 points, but they are outweighed by the strong support from the uneducated.

As part of the overall 22-point shift, Democrats move 21 points, Republicans 24 points, and independents 16 points against the amendment when told it would ban both marriage and civil unions for gay couples.

Let's hope the momentum continues to push in the right direction.

Amendment One would establish marriage between a man and a woman as the only legal union in North Carolina, and bar legal recognition for civil unions, and domestic partnerships. It would also harm children by taking away some health insurance and jeopardy the safety of domestic violence victims.

Opponents have an almost 2-1 money lead:

The anti-amendment Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families reported raising nearly $2.3 million through April 23, with a little more than $2 million coming in since Jan. 1. Vote FOR Marriage NC reported raising almost $1.2 million since it was formed, with all but about $13,000 arriving since the first of the year.

The Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families said it's spent nearly $2 million and had $293,500 on hand entering the final two weeks of the campaign, according to its report. Vote FOR Marriage reported spending nearly $1.1 million and had $121,300 on hand. The money has been enough to hire staff and organize and run the all-important but expensive television ads. Both sides have been on the air for the past week.

ShotgunMeanwhile, the idiot who shot the Amendment One sign with his shotgun the other day got a visit from police:

Cabarrus County deputies spent more than an hour at the teen’s home after learning about the video. If Wiles was looking for attention, he got it. The video was spotted by opponents of the amendment who shared the link on Twitter. Then, dozens of sheriff’s deputies showed up at his home.

“Our biggest concern was public safety. We had to make sure this wasn’t someone who planned to go out and hurt someone,” said Sgt. Tessa Burchett.

Deputies said they don’t think Wiles intends to hurt anyone, but they do believe Wiles took the sign to shoot it.
At this point, he has been cited with injury to property.

To help expand the ad buy to defeat Amendment One, please click HERE.


  1. happyday says

    I applaud those who fought valiantly against this heinous amendment. It is clear now that it will indeed pass with a wide margin, regrettably.

  2. Javier says

    I think it was clear it would pass by a wide margin from the start, since such measures have passed in every state they have been on the ballot. I just think the anti-Amendment One forces have had to put on a good public face that there is a chance to defeat it so that they don’t deflate turnout and seem to wave the white flag. But we all know it will easily pass.

  3. bobbyjoe says

    Never underestimate a significant portion of the American public’s bitter, sociopathic need to do something mean, no matter what the issue.

    When same-sex marriage is finally over as a controversial “issue of the day,” they’ll move on to something else, where they can be equally petty and awful.

    I really don’t think the vast majority of them really, deep-down give two sh*ts about same-sex marriage one way or the other, they’re just like sadistic creeps pulling the wings off flies.

  4. TampaZeke says

    The sad fact of the matter is the Pro Amendment side wouldn’t have had to spend one dime and the Anti Amendment side could have TEN times the money and the amendment would still pass with 60%+ of the vote. We are wasting our time and money fighting these things in states like North Carolina. We should focus all of our attention on states where our money and time will not be completely wasted like in Maine, Maryland and Washington where we STILL face great odds, no matter what the polls say.

    We will never win our rights at the ballot box. At least not in my lifetime. We’re gonna have to accept the fact that our only chance of achieving civil equality in the next decade or two is through the courts.

  5. ratbastard says

    Good. Glad this kid with the shotgun got a visit from the police and his name is outed.


    The most interesting figures presented here are the independent and to a lesser degree Republican. The rest are fairly predictable.

  6. ratbastard says

    And those figures do show that black Democratic North Carolinians are significantly more conservative on gay rights issues than their white counterparts. This is due of course to black evangelical churches, even though progress is being made.

  7. Chitown Kev says


    The stop the black Democrats from putting anti-gay amendments on the ballot in the first place

    …oh, wait…

  8. ken says

    Take what money is left and send it to Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota and regroup for November. Still beleive we will win a couple of these. A redneck/hillbilly state like NC was a lost cause from the start.

  9. TC says

    I have not been very impressed with the ads by the opponents of the amendment. The same approach was used in Ohio in 2004 and it failed miserably.

  10. Peter M. says

    …”The good news for the amendment’s opponents is that more voters are now aware of the amendment’s consequences, and if all voters were informed of those consequences, the amendment would fail by a 38-46 margin, the same as last week.”

    How is that good news?!! We’ve been told that for months now. 6 out of 10 people in North Carolina still don’t know what this Amendment is all about and that 6 days before the voting. That’s depressing and a good argument for not putting civil rights up for a popular vote.

  11. Roger says

    Past performance is a leading indication of future action. Therefore it’s my opinion this fellow needs to be under police surveillance after voting day. If the ballot measure passes his anti-gay point of view becomes validated and he could act out against gay folks. If the ballot measure fails the shame he experiences for contributing to its failure could motivate him to harm to himself or others.

  12. Francis says

    We have a good shot at both Maine and Washington, but the reality is outside of the Northeast and West Coast, the US has not progressed far enough on this issue for us to win many ballot initiatives, or to have widespread acceptance. With that being said, around 75-80% of college students in North Carolina are against the initiative. Things are improving. But there will be a lot of hard knocks and major reality checks that we’ll have to face to get to a point where we can safely say the United States isn’t a homophobic country overall.

  13. Javier says

    Yep, 2012 is gonna be another rough year at the ballot box. While I am optimistic about Washington state, the safe bet, is that Washington voters too will say no to same-sex marriage. We will not win in Maryland, a state with so many huge conservative megachurches. Trust me, I know the state well. In fact, the anti-gay voters will really flex their muscles in Maryland and use it as fresh evidence of how very unpopular gay marriage is with American voters. Minnesota is increasingly conservative, so no real chance there either. Maine is theoretically possible but the reality is that the state has one of the longest histories of eradicating gay rights at the ballot box in the nation. Moreover, Maine is not only overwhelmingly rural, but has one of the oldest populations. Maine is not a good state to place this on the ballot.

  14. Supporter says

    Gee, I wonder why. I’m a supporter, and have donated hundreds of dollars.
    I honestly don’t understand the strategy for our tv ads. Both polls that came out show clearly that around 60% of voters support either marriage or civil unions/DP, and yet we don’t even MENTION that in our ads.
    The PPP poll even shows clearly that when voters know about it, they switch from supporting to opposing.
    I don’t get it. Why aren’t we hammering on this fact? Instead of beating on this potential domestic violence, which MIGHT affect some people, why don’t we have people on camera saying “I don’t support gay marriage, but this amendment goes too far”, and explain why.
    Our ads don’t even have a voice over in the end saying “On May 8th, vote against the amendment” … it’s like we’re so afraid of the “gay thing” that we can’t even ask voters to vote with us. Our website doesn’t MENTION the words gay or lesbian.
    I don’t understand … we should take a clue from the personhood amendment in Mississippi, where they had people saying “I’m pro-life, but this amendment goes too far” … instead, we have tentative, vague, almost intellectual ads that you really have to be paying attention, and using a theme that you don’t usually connect with (domestic violence).
    I’m sure the folks running the campaign are doing their best, but I don’t get it. Maybe they’ve focus grouped different ads, and if we say the words “gay/lesbian” people get turned off immediately. I see no other explanation. We’ve done this again and again, and lost every single time
    Why not try something different?

  15. Molc says

    Just take it to the courts after it passes-unconstitutional, which it is as are all the other marriage amendments and DOMA

  16. jim says

    Ach, these comments are just too depressing (not saying they’re not likely accurate!)…brings back too many memories of what we went thru here (Ohio) in 04.

    I agree completely with Supporter–WHY are they still using the same old type of insipid ads? It’s painfully obvious that the drek NEVER works, and yet it’s always decided, by those running the game, that this is the type of ad to go with. It really makes you wonder about the abiitiy of those in charge. Focus group THIS, ya lame idiots!

  17. Tabitha says

    I agree with what Javier wrote above. The only states that we have a chance in this year are Maine and Washington, and probably a better one in WA. Maryland is NOT going to come through for us; the state is full of rural, conservative areas similar to West Virginia and also is 1/3 black. Those blacks are overwhelmingly opposed. Also, the ballot measure will be asking people to flat out legalize it, rather than ban it, which would have less support. I could see support not even reaching 40% there sadly…

  18. R says

    My fear is there isn’t enough time to wipe out this kind of voter deficit. If it were 5 points, it would be doable.

    All that said, it needs to be fought on until the bitter end. The bigots have been so blatantly bigoted on issues like this that every time they do it, they push more and more people to our side… so the next time the vote will get closer. Just look at how much the polls have changed!

    Still, though, it’s depressing that something this over the top bigoted would have a shot. It’s not just banning marriage equality… it’s banning any kind of equal rights, and uses such blunt language that it will even hurt heterosexual couples who aren’t married, up to and including putting battered women, trying to get out of their relationship, at risk.

    NC is so close to being a normal, sane state in this country… it’s kind of sad that the 60+ aged voters are still in control, spewing their bigotry to inflict damage on further generations.

  19. R says

    PS. Totally agree about the ads.

    You know, in some ways, I wish we could just TRY honest, unapologetic ads, like, “I’m gay and have a family. We are honest, hard-working, tax-paying citizens. This amendment goes so far beyond marriage, stripping our ability to share health insurance for our partners or kids. Please don’t take our rights away.”

    Is that really that Fing hard?

    And I also agree on having ads from people who may disagree with marriage, but think stripping away civil unions goes too far. Because people don’t know that and, especially in states like NC, there are plenty of people who have trouble with the word ‘marriage’ but think we should have equal rights… and we want those people voting for us in these kind of amendments. Not only does that help us win now, but it puts those people on our side going into the future — making it more and more likely they’ll fully ‘evolve’ beyond civil unions and into full equality.

  20. Supporter says

    I’m not a media person, but another thing I never understand is why we always have just a few ads. We’ve raised over $2 million, and the best we can do is to cut THREE ads? only THREE? How much can it possibly cost to put someone in front of a camera speaking for 30 secs? A thousand dollars? 5 thousand? We should have 10, 20 ads running in rotation.
    Also, why must we stick to one single message? Why can’t we have several messages at once. You want to stress the domestic violence issue, fine. Instead of running the domestic violence 1,000 times, why not air 3 messages at the same time:?
    – domestic violence/loss of health benefits
    – straight people saying “I’m against gay marriage, but this amendment goes too far”. This would provide cover to 40% of Republicans that actually are for some kind of recognition.
    – gay people/couples/mothers/parents saying “this amendment is unfair/unjust, etc”
    We behave as if it must be an “either this or that” proposition. It doesn’t have to be. People can understand multiple messages.
    What bothers me is that it feels like we’re hiding behind these supposed harms to straight people (whether real or not), instead of actually discussing the real goal of the amendment. Maybe they know something that we don’t.
    I would love to hear from someone who’ve run these campaigns to explain the thought process behind our strategy.

  21. Francis says

    Let’s be very real about things, though. This is North Carolina. Outside of a few places (Asheville, Chapel Hill) North Carolina is not receptive towards anything gay-related. I thought the same thing you did Supporter, but the tactics are probably intentional, thinking if the gay-aspect is somewhat hidden and that this Amendment and the reasons behind why it’s being proposed were put forth in a broader sense than just homophobia, that it would have a better chance of passing. Instead, what we’re seeing is most people in the state have zero idea what the amendment actually proposes. And our side is still losing.

    With that being said, it’s not over until it’s over. With how completely off-the-boil several anti-gays in North Carolina have become the past few days, I think this is a great opportunity to really highlight that Amendment One is truly all about HATE and why it’s wrong to support such hate as a North Carolinian citizen and as an American.

  22. Graydon Stephenson says

    It is a morally responsible position to oppose same sex marriage.