Monday, November 7, 2011

Survey: Slight Drop in Support for NC Marriage Amendment

A new survey released Friday by Public Policy Polling shows that support among likely voters in North Carolina for what's being called Amendment One, the voter initiative that would define marriage as between only one man and one woman, is falling, depending on how the question is asked. But the question remains, "Are attitudes changing fast enough to defeat the measure in May?" According to PPP, probably not.
"The prospects are still dim for defeating the marriage amendment on North Carolina’s 2012 May primary ballot, but those who say they will probably vote then have moved slightly against it since last month. In early October, 61% said they would vote for the amendment which would make marriage between one man and one woman the only valid domestic legal union in the state, and 34% said they would vote against it. In PPP’s latest poll, that has dropped a bit to 59-35. Democrats have moved 11 points against it, from 49-44 for the amendment to 42-48 against. Balancing that, though, is independents, who are now for it, 58-37, down 12 points from 52-43."
However, when it comes to support for some kind of legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships, there is more support among likely voters, depending on how the questions are asked:
While 59% of probable primary voters want same-sex marriage to be illegal, that is down from 63% a month ago. And the level of those who say they support at least civil unions with the same legal rights as marriage is up to 60% from 51%. Support for full marriage equality is at 26% from 22% and civil unions at 34% from 29%. Since the amendment would ban civil unions as well as marriage for gay couples, there is hope that Democrats and independents can be persuaded to vote against it. 71% of Democrats and 64% of  independents who say they will vote next May support at least civil unions, up from 60% and 59%.
This data could be the key to fighting what could be best described as an uphill battle.
The same PPP survey showed that former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory's lead over Gov. Bev Perdue continues to increase. In October, Perdue had pulled within five points of McCrory, but is now down nine (48-39), her worst showing since April, when she trailed by 11. Her approval rating is virtually unchanged since last month, with 38% approving and 50% disapproving, versus 37-51. That still puts her in a tie for the fifth least popular governor on which PPP has polled this year. Her weakness remains her own party. 28% of Democrats disapprove, and 20% are pledging for McCrory, roughly the same as last month. According to 2008 exit polls, she lost only 9% of her own party in beating McCrory by three points.  

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