A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times reveals a massive shift in public attitudes toward same-sex marriage in California, the L.A. Times reports:
The poll found that 58% of the state's registered voters believe same-sex marriage should be legal, compared with 36% against, a margin of 22 points. When the same pollsters asked that question three years ago, 52% favored gay marriage and 40% opposed it, a 12-point spread.
Most national polls this year have found majority support, but only one of those surveys reported it as high as 58%. The average was roughly 51% in favor of gay marriage. As in the rest of the country, more women (63%) than men (52%) in California favor same-sex marriage.
Younger California voters also support gay marriage by larger margins than older voters, the poll found. Whereas 76% of voters ages 18 to 29 support legalizing the unions, only 52% of those ages 50 to 64 agree.
Still, the shifts among older voters are dramatic. Voters 65 and older are now almost evenly divided — 46% in favor, 47% against — compared with just three years ago, when seniors opposed gay marriage by 19 percentage points.
Says USC's Dan Schnur: "I have never seen a matter of public policy, in all my years in politics and government and academia, I have never seen an issue on which public opinion has shifted so quickly and so dramatically, as public opinions on the subject of same-sex marriage."
Watch Schnur talk about the results, AFTER THE JUMP...