In the US, the balance of support on gay marriage continues to shift, and rapidly. Not only is total support increasing, so is the intensity of that support. In a new NBC / Washington Post poll, those “strongly” in favour increased from just 18% in 2004, to 32% in 2012. Conversely, the proportion “strongly” opposed collapsed from 51% to 31% over the same period.
Commentary at Seattlepi illustrates how this is an almost exact flip from the time when Republicans used gay marriage as a wedge issue to weaken the Democrats. This time around, the wedge issue will be setting Republicans against each other. (In all the recent wins for equality over the past year, victories have come with the help of GOP senators and politicians. In Colorado, where the state House is facing a bill to introduce civil unions, the Republicans are said to be evenly divided in a 3 – way split: for, against, don’t care).
Support for same-sex marriage is up sharply in a dramatic public opinion shift from as recently as three years ago, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday morning.The national poll showed 49 percent of Americans favoring marriage equality with 40 percent opposed. Support among younger voters approaches 60 percent. Only two groups among those surveyed — voters over 65 and Tea Party supporters — werein opposition.The figures are an almost precise flip on the issue from an NBC/Journal poll in October of 2009. At that time, 41 percent favored same-sex marriage while 49 percent were opposed.In 2004, Republicans used more than 20 statewide ballot measures, defining marriage as between a man and a woman, to get evangelical voters to turn out at the polls for President Bush’s reelection.Same-sex marriage was opposed by a 30-62 percent margin in an NBC/Journal survey taken at the time.“Progress is happening: The Republican Party, in what its presidential candidates are saying, is out of step with the mainstream,” said State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, sponsor of Washington’s marriage equality legislation.via seattlepi.com.
These results are also bad news for NOM and the other opponents of gay marriage. After the victory in New York last year, they pledged to raise money to campaign against any Republicans who voted in favour, a pledge they have repeated wherever gay marriage has advanced. In doing so, they may help their targeted officials, more then they hurt them. More voters say that they are more likely to vote for a supporter of marriage, than for an opponent.