WaPo-ABC News Poll Shows Substantial Age Gap on Gay Marriage, Marijuana, and Immigration


A Washingon Post/ABC News Poll offers a revealing look at the generational shift taking place today on same-sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and immigration.

The WaPo takes a closer look at the numbers:

Picking apart support within sub-groups in the polls reveals the ranging dynamics at play. Women are 18 percentage points more supportive of gay marriage than men (59 to 41 percent), but men are seven points more apt to support legalizing marijuana. And racial diversity explains much of the generational gap on immigration: Support for a “path to citizenship” is at 52 percent among whites under age 50 and 49 percent among those who are older. But two-thirds of both older and younger non-whites support a route to citizenship.

A bare 51 percent majority of African Americans oppose gay marriage while a similarly slim 54 percent support marijuana. Hispanics tilt the other way with 53 percent in support of gay marriage and a much wider 65 percent in opposition to marijuana.

They add: "This poll was conducted Nov. 7 to 11 among a random national sample of 1,023 adults, using conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Error margins are larger for subgroups."


  1. Jack M says

    I’ve always thought that, unfortunately, the older generations have to die out before we come closer to realizing true tolerance in American society. The younger generations will change things just by the power of their attitudes.

  2. AJ says

    All kidding aside, there really is hope. Both of my parents are in that last age bracket and they have both gone from being strict conservative Republican to voting Democrat in the last two elections. People can change. They are both definitely on my side in gay rights, I think my mom supports legalization of Mary Jane and they are probably both against the “path to citizenship” question. 10 years ago I think things would have been different.

  3. snowisfun says

    Gay marriage to me is minor topic. If it becomes law then so be it. But homosexual and lesbian sexual behaviors are comparable to drug junkyism and most who support homo/lesbian conduct also support marijuana smoking so drugs are Gay. METHEW Wayne Shepard was a drug junky. It’s truth that gay/lesbian sexual behaviors are comparable to drug junkyism just as it’s truth Black Crack lesbian Pam Spaulding farts and shits like all else do.

  4. snowisfun says

    1 other thing, I’m not a Christian but even I know that childhood sex abuse especially homosexual rape in youth is a major cause of adult homosexual conduct. Any1 who denies this is dishonest. OK, there possibly are other reasons why people do gay/lesbian behavior such as birth defect-same as why people get heart attacks. But gay/lesbian behaviors are result of bad things be it childhood sex abuse and if it’s proven to be genes, then bad genes. Gay/lesbian conduct is comparable to drug junkyism such as marijuana. DRUGS ARE GAY. Finally abolish sex change maimings.

  5. Rob says

    OK, SNOW may BE FUN (debatable in this case) – but there is pretty ample evidence that SNOWISDUMB. Seriously, saying things again & again and calling them truth does not hide the flaws in your logic. I should be angry, but I’m only sad for you. Seriously, SNOW. Is lurking on a website you clearly don’t agree with the only thing you have to fill your time? Go raise some money for the Red Cross – or something useful.

  6. andrew says

    When you consider that those 65+ were born in 1947 and earlier it is surprising that close to 1/3 support gay marriage and legal pot and close to 1/2 support “Path to Citizenship. It seems like you can teach some old dogs new tricks.

  7. Francis says

    That Snow troll is one weird dude. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a gay man trolling. Just too insane, and the constant repeating the same thing over and over.

    Anyway, these numbers are unsurprising. Progress is a slow process but it’s undeniable in the case of marriage equality and other liberal (or at least issues that have been declared as such) issues.

  8. ratbastard says

    This is silly and easily explainable. Those 65 and up grew up mostly in the post war 1950s and early 60s, when this country reached it’s peak economically as far as pay and employment opportunities for all, including plenty of well paying ‘blue’ collar jobs. It was also a much more traditional era than what came after the mid to late 1960s, then into the 70s and 80s, when ‘alternative’ lifestyles became commonplace, drug use exploded and became commonplace among all socioeconomic groups, traditional society changed into far more single parent homes, children out of wedlock, our great society welfare state, an economy [especially for working class/blue collar] decimated by globalization, and an explosion of violent crime, none of which really existed prior to the late 60s-70s like it did from this point inwards and basically still does today. The difference between 1950-1960 was very marginal; the difference culturally and economically between 1960-1970 was profound. Things had drastically changed over a single generation.

    Anyone today who is in their mid 50s or younger grew up in a society very different from the one those 65 and older grew up in.

  9. ratbastard says

    Why should anyone go through the trouble and expense of legally immigrating to the U.S. if MILLIONS who entered illegally are getting a big pass? This has NOTHING to do with bullsh*t charges ‘Racism’. What do you think Mexico does to ‘illegals’? Why are so many people in the country such chumps? It’s hysterical. Enter the country illegally, depress wages for legal citizens, get expensive healthcare and social services that their home country wouldn’t provide [imagine going to Mexico {orry, I don’t mean to pick specifically on Mexico} illegally, not leaving, demanding special rights, heathcare, social services, a ‘path to citizenship’, etc.,] It’s hysterical.

    People naturally get more ‘conservative’ in many ways as they age and mature, for obvious reasons; they start to get p*ssed off at the B.S.. ‘Youth’ in our society are fairly coddled well into adulthood [20s] and don’t feel the full wrath of many economic and social policies until they hit their 30s. There’s a reason why cults, the military, marketers, etc., LOVE young people; it’s because they’re easier to mold and con.

  10. ratbastard says

    And LOL….the ‘younger generation’ of today will CHANGE and evolve their attitudes as they age. What is it that old scoundrel Winston Churchill said about there being something wrong with anyone who isn’t a liberal when young, and conservative when they get older?

  11. Anthony says

    @RATBASTARD, At least with the gay rights issue they won’t change. Because the older generation did not grow up with gay people and so they still feel threatened by it, whereas to the younger generation, they are exposed to it and accept it.

  12. Caliban says

    RatBastard, I believe that countries DO have the right to control their borders, including who comes in and stays.

    But the problem is, as with so many other issues, that eventually reality has to intrude on the rhetoric and Conservatives refuse to deal with reality. The question is NOT “Do we allow people to move into the US illegally?” We are ALREADY cracking down on illegal immigration. The REAL question is “What do we do about the illegal immigrants who are already here, many of them for decades, even generations?”

    There are basically TWO valid options:

    Set up a veritable army of immigration officials to round those people up and lock them up until we can send them back to their country of origin.


    Create a path to citizenship for those who are law abiding and contributing members of society.

    If you go with the first option there are other details to work out, like who is paying for all the people (soldiers) it would take to do that, who will pay for their travel, and what are you going to do with all their stuff, confiscate it? In practice it starts to look very ugly, storm-trooper type stuff.

    Conservatives are more interested in being punitive than actually dealing with the problem, which is why it’s STILL unresolved. I don’t think the American public would stand for the storm-trooper business but the GOP blocks every reasonable proposal to create a path to citizenship.

    Eventually something has to give.

  13. snowisfun says

    DRUGS ARE GAY and homo/lesbian sexual behaviors are comparable to drug junkyism. Also posters here on Towleroad are mean-why when I post here are most of you mean to
    me:( Is me writing truth about Methew Wayne Shepard why you mean:( Also Elton PortaToilet John is who he is. Your turn, but gay/lesbian sexual behaviors are comparable to crack junkyism and they should abolish sex change maimings because transexuals worse than homos.

  14. snowisfun says

    Mateom, my view are ignorant and ridiculous to homos and lesbians just as my views against drug junkyism is ignorant and ridiculousto drug junkies. Elton PortaToilet John is who that homosexual singer is. Transexuals are worse than homos and abolish sex changes.

  15. UFFDA says

    Every now and then a SNOWISFUN type shows up, an ignorant and pathetic lunatic who soon disappears because it can’t stand the heat it generates. It’s a strange and pitiable creature like a thalidamide baby grown up with just a mouth and a gut. How indescribably sad.

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