Poll: Strong Support for Gay Marriage Now Exceeds Strong Opposition

Obama's endorsement may have shifted some opinions.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll:

MarriageOverall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, steady the past year but up from 36 percent in just 2006. Thirty-nine percent “strongly” support it, while 32 percent are strongly opposed – the first time strong sentiment has tilted positive. Six years ago, by contrast, strong views on the issue were negative by a broad 27-point margin.

Further, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that support for gay marriage has reached a new high among African-Americans in ABC/Post polls, up from four in 10 in recent surveys to 59 percent now.

Another result shows increasing exposure: Seventy-one percent of Americans now say they have a friend, family member or acquaintance who’s gay, up from 59 percent in 1998. People who know someone who’s gay are 20 points more likely than others to support gay marriage.

Regardless of that shift, Obama’s May 9 announcement of his support for gay marriage shows no measurable impact on political preferences.

Here's the poll (PDF).


  1. Brian says

    Since there are so many racist posters on this blog, I really think the results by race need to be emphasized here. I’ve posted many times that I think it’s not helpful to view things by race, but the racists do anyway, and constantly say they hate blacks because blacks hate us, pointing to negligible support for gay marriage. Well, this poll shows 59% of African Americans support gay marriage, vs just 50% of whites. Certainly this is just one poll, and I know other, older polls show a different breakdown, but all of them show growing support among African Americans, and I think it may just be time for the racists to drop this particular line of attack and think of another reason to hate.

  2. Francis says

    Well, I think this poll basically backs what other polls have stated. About 40% of people truly do support us, and around 30% of people truly do not. It’s all about getting the 1/4 of people who may casually support, or are casually against us, or who simply are on the fence, to come to our side.

    It also is, obviously, necessary to get these people out the vote. The problem has always been demographics, that young people are the most solid in support and they’re the least likely to vote, especially regarding something that doesn’t directly affect their lives. Hopefully that’s beginning to change, but we’ll see.

  3. melvin says

    Good luck with that Brian. The racist infestation here won’t stop as long as they can find one black, somewhere, who failed their purity test.

  4. UFFDA says

    BRIAN – that was useful, and don’t despair. The new pole numbers for black Americans shifts my opinion, as it should, about their support. Heretofore I have only noticed that many blacks do not support marriage equality (if we’re talking about the same thing). I don’t care what color people are -the subject bores me- only what kind of people they are. Whatever poles show sways me right along with facts at hand.

  5. Lucas says

    Polls are great fodder for discussion, but really matters is how many people can you get to vote for gay marriage. We have a perfect failure record. Until we win at the ballot, these polls lack significance.

  6. TampaZeke says

    71% of people have a friend, family member or acquaintance who is gay and 29% of people are too blind, too stupid, too clueless or too in denial to realize that they have a friend, family member or acquaintance who is gay.

  7. TampaZeke says

    Brian, I agree with you that this point should be showcased, particularly if subsequent polls back these findings up.

    Please keep in mind that a lot of the “racists” who comment here are trolls who aren’t regulars and may not be gay. Their entire purpose is to sew strife between the black and gay communities. I would also like to point out that their are people in BOTH communities invested in sewing this strife and troll comments here could be made by people from both communities in their common purpose.

  8. Michaelandfred says

    The important numbers here are the strong favorable to dis favorable ones. The vast majority of people are straight, so our struggles are for the most part a side note for them. This is why we have been screwed at the polls so often when the polling numbers actually show a large support. Those in the middle who support us in theory but it’s not a major concern to them. In all fairness I can understand. I’ve done the same thing in some special elections. N. Carolina proved that point. Low voter turn out (33%), but a 60-40 split of those for and against. Almost 70% of registered voters were apathetic to the subject. Good news in itself…although with disastrous results since the haters still outnumber the support.

    The problem has always been that those who hate us have always outnumbered those who really support us, and ourselves, and these haters always VOTE. If these numbers, and others like them, are true, we may finally have reached the tipping point in most areas. That is great news.

  9. Josh says

    The racist trolls on here are the log cabin and goproud Republican gays.

    Every gay republican I’ve ever met has been a racist (thats why their Republicans.

  10. TampaZeke says

    The more I think about this poll the more it just doesn’t add up. If this poll shows the same 53% support that their last poll did but the poll showed a whopping 19% increase in support among African-Americans then some other demographic must have lost considerable support. Are we to believe that a considerable number of people who supported us in the last poll now don’t support us, even as the number of “strong support” has gone up so markedly? Where did we lose the support that the 19% jump in African American support made up for?

    With such a jump in support from African Americans and such a high level of strong support overall it seems only natural that their should have been a very noticeable increase in overall support from the last poll.

    Like I said; something doesn’t add up.

  11. Mike C. says

    Yesterday you posted a piece that Obama’s poll numbers were unmoved since his marriage equality announcement and that he remained ahead of Romney. However, my issue was that there had been no battleground state polls since the May 9 announcement. Yesterday, Quinnipiac released their new Florida poll numbers, Romney now leads by 7 percentage points in the state, and 23% of independent voters say they will no longer vote for Obama because of gay marriage.

    National polls are largely irrelevant in a race like this folks, and that right there is enough to throw the 2012 election.

  12. James says

    Mike C, you are either an idiot or a liar. You can’t even report the actual numbers. Romney is up 6, not 7. Quinnipiac attributes Romney’s improved performance to the end of the primaries and to the fact that Romney does better than Obama on the economy by 10 points.

    No respondents said that they would or wouldn’t vote for Obama or Romney based on marriage. That question wasn’t asked. What was asked was a more likely/less likely question. That is a completely different animal.

    SSM consistently ranks at the bottom of voter priorities. It is low salience for everyone except a few percent of voters who are gay or are deeply involved in gay issues and for a few percent of religious voters who are deeply opposed. 95% of voters would never cast their vote based on this issue and the 5% who would do so are not independents or fence-sitters.

  13. andrew says

    This is good news. However it may indicate that Obama’s majorites in blue states like California, New York, Mass etc will increase but I still think that his support of marriage equality will hurt him in the swing states where the election will be decided. I hope not.

  14. andrew says

    @Ladislav: You need not worry about “the ignorant religious black vote”.You can rest assured the African Americans will vote for Obama in higher percentages than any other demographic or ethnic group.I remember how strongly my Irish immigrant Catholic grandmother supported JFK even though he was way more liberal on social issues than her. The same way religious African Americans will vote for Obama even though he is way more liberal on social issues than they are. Blood is thicker than social issues and politics.

Leave A Reply