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PPP Poll: Washington State Voters Support Marriage Equality

Talking Points Memo looks at a new Public Policy Polling poll on marriage equality in Washington state, and finds good news:

WAThe results of the latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows 51 percent of Washington voters believe same-sex marriage should be legal, compared with 42 percent who believe it should be illegal. A state law legalizing same-sex marriage was passed earlier this year but is facing a November referendum.

PPP pressed deeper on the issue, asking voters whether gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, form civil unions or be given no legal recognition at all. The overwhelming majority said that same-sex couples should be given at least some legal recognition, with 47 percent saying they should be allowed to marry and 30 percent saying they should be legally permitted to form civil unions but not marry. Twenty-one percent said same-sex couples should receive no legal recognition.

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  1. This poll is not good news. Washington State has had 'all but marriage' for a few years (they are 'domestic partnerships', which the law says has ALL of the same rights and obligations as marriage, but not the title -- hence, 'all but marriage'). The legislature adopted marriage equality mostly with Democratic votes, but a few key Republicans were necessary to get the majority vote. Despite all of this, marriage leads with only 51% of the vote??

    We already know that the pro-marriage numbers go down in every single referendum when the actual vote occurs. Unless things change here, 51% is more like 48% -- not enough to win at the polls.

    For those who constantly complain that marriage equality shouldn't be put up for a vote, please get over it. The reality is that there is going to be a vote, whether you like it or not. Every single ounce of energy should be put into winning this vote, and snapping the string of 30+ losses during referendum votes.

    Washington State is definitely winnable (completely unlike North Carolina). I hope everyone gets behind this vote in a positive way, contributes money and time, and helps bring a victory.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Jun 19, 2012 9:21:22 PM


  2. So from this, we can say we have a true base number in the mid to upper 40s in support. Because the ones who say they support marriage equality but would chose civil unions if that were an option are unreliable, likely lying to pollsters or simply don't care enough to vote on this. Also there are seven percent of voters who aren't in either the "yes" or "no" camp-----we can expect almost all of those to either not vote, or vote against Ref. 74. So it's still basically extremely 50-50, and it's likely going to come down to how big of a margin we win in the Seattle area.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 19, 2012 9:25:56 PM


  3. Most of the polls on the Everything But Marriage Law were below 50%. We still won :)

    Posted by: AJ | Jun 19, 2012 9:25:57 PM


  4. for the millionth time. demanding someone's opinion is a million miles from registering a vote from a person. these polls mean almost nothing as long as the lawmakers keep putting civil rights issues to public votes. and we all know that's wrong. i'm sorry but i'm pretty sure we'll lose this

    Posted by: DanSwon | Jun 19, 2012 9:36:44 PM


  5. 51 percent is not "good news". Gay orgs are constantly trying to get people's hopes up with these phoney polls, and it always ends the same: defeat.

    Posted by: niles | Jun 19, 2012 9:46:20 PM


  6. OK, so this is not terrifically good news, but let's remember our history. Think about the Briggs Initiative and the uphill battle that we faced in California -- and we won that battle! The lessons from our history still hold: 1. the most powerful weapon we have is coming out of the closet, 2. we can educate voters and educated voters vote for equality and fairness, and 3. it will take WORK -- from all of us, together, out on the streets, face-to-face. Make the connections to our neighbors and we win -- sit at home and whine and we lose.

    Posted by: kit | Jun 19, 2012 10:21:13 PM


  7. And NOM hasn't even begun its media blitz of lies and distortions about "think of the children" and "how dare they redefine marriage." They also have that potentially lethal phony Regnerus study "showing" that children of LGBTs are at greater risk. The study was financed by NOM founder Robbie George's other group, the Witherspoon Institute for this very purpose--to provide a devasting sound bite to be used in the upcoming elections. Princeton's Robbie George is the epitome of an "evil genius" and a very dangerous man. Our advocates look like bumbling high school students running a campaign for class officer.

    Posted by: candide001 | Jun 19, 2012 10:52:51 PM


  8. 1) It is early days.

    2) While there Christian nuts here, there are also a lot of nonreligious and free thinkers.

    3) The Dem candidate for governor, Jay Inslee, endorsed equality a long time ago and is actually doing volunteer work in support of Ref 74 to endorse marriage equality.

    4) The Dems could, I say could, get their goddamned act together and present a unified front. The GOP candidate for the US senate is a clown. There is no reason for Maria Cantwell or the Dem party to spend five minutes or five cents defending her seat, she will win anyway.

    Posted by: melvin | Jun 20, 2012 1:53:30 AM


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  10. This is awful news. 51 percent is meager considering that the campaign has not begun, and we know, how good the anti-gay side is at ramping up its vote. Moreover, we know that polls always overestimate support for the pro-gay sides and underestimate support for the anti-gay side. Polls in MN, MD, and ME also look bleak for us. Looks like we will keep our perfect losing record this year.

    Posted by: Luke | Jun 20, 2012 10:09:27 AM


  11. The last poll out of Washington from the PPP had our side at 50 to 46. This is good news.

    Posted by: Stefan | Jun 20, 2012 10:43:31 AM


  12. Shame the Supremes are unlikely to hear and rule on J. Walker's Prop 8 decision before the Washington referendum comes to vote. My instinct suggests that the S.Ct. ruling will provide over-the-top momentum to gay marriage. I think it will be difficult for those opposed to gay marriage to motivate all but completely closed-minded ppl to give money and to vote. One reported poll number that did git my attention was that only some 20% admitted to being completely closed off to the rights of gay couples.

    I also think it is good that this issue is not tied to the fortunes of the Democrat politicians Inslee, Cantwell, etc. Note that at this point the statements of politicians seeking votes and donations are legally gratuitous.

    Posted by: eyes4guys | Jun 20, 2012 11:32:54 AM


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