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Two Recent Polls Reveal Less Support for Amendment One Ban on Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions

By Bernadette Cahill

April 26, 2012. Two polls released this week reveal less support today than last month for North Carolina’s Marriage Protection Amendment, but voters are still unclear what the amendment does. If they understand its impact, a majority oppose the amendment.

In the poll that Public Policy Polling (PPP) released on Tuesday, April 24, 54% of voters in the state are planning to support it, while 40% oppose.

In the Civitas Institute March Poll posted on its web site also on Tuesday, 54% strongly support the amendment, while 25% strongly oppose it.  An additional 7% “somewhat support” the amendment, and 7% “somewhat oppose” it.  

The support for the amendment from the PPP is the lowest the poll has found in monthly polling of the amendment since last October. When PPP first polled on the issue six months ago,

61% supported it and only 34% opposed.

The Civitas Poll also reveals a 3% decline from 57% in February in strong support for the amendment  – a figure that had held steady since October, 2011. There was an increase over February of 1% in those who “somewhat support” the amendment.

In the same poll, those who “strongly oppose” have increased from 24% to 25%, while those who “somewhat oppose” it have increased from 5% to 7%.

According to the PPP poll, 53% of voters in North Carolina support either same-sex marriage or civil unions, with 44% opposed to any recognition for same sex couples. The proposed amendment would ban both gay marriage and civil unions.

The PPP poll found 36% of voters understand that the amendment would ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions while 26% think it bans only same-sex marriages. An additional 10% think it legalizes same-sex marriage, and 27% say they don’t know what the amendment does.

When voters realize what the amendment would do, according to the PPP poll, only 38% continue to support it while 46% oppose it.

The main change over the last month, according to the PPP poll has been with Democratic voters. Previously, they were almost evenly divided on the amendment but now they are moving against it with only 38% still in support and 56% opposed.

PPP surveyed 1,139 likely primary voters from April 20th to 22nd. The margin of error

for the survey is +/-2.9%. The Civitas Institute poll respondents were 33% Republican, 45% Democrat and 22% Independent or with no affiliation.

For the Civitas Institute March poll, posted Tuesday, click to http://www.nccivitas.org/2012/march-2012-poll-results/ ; for the Public Policy Polling results, click to: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/north-carolina/