I vividly remember staying up til late on the Sunday before the 2009 Maine referendum on marriage to see the results of PPP’s poll. It showed us losing 51% – 47%. I had seen another poll earlier in the day showing our side winning. But, unfortunately, PPP was pretty much spot on. We lost 53% – 47%.
So, these latest numbers from PPP are encouraging:
It looks like Maine voters will reverse their 2009 decision and legalize gay marriage in the state this fall. 54% think that gay marriage should be legal to only 41% who think it should be illegal. And when we asked about the issue using the exact language voters will see on the ballot this fall, they say they’re inclined to support the referendum by a 47-32 margin.
There’s some indication that the exact ballot language is confusing people a little at this point. Only 67% of those who support gay marriage in general say they’ll vote yes while 12% say they’ll not and 21% are not sure. At the same time just 60% of those who oppose gay marriage generally say they’ll vote against the proposed referendum, while 24% say they’ll vote for it and 16% are not sure. My guess is at the end of the day voters will see this as a straight referendum on gay marriage regardless of what the language on the ballot says- and the 54/41 number bodes well for pro-equality voters.
Republicans’ opinions are pretty much the same as they were in 2009. But Democrats’ support for gay marriage has increased slightly, from 71% to 78%. And more importantly independents have gone from voting against gay marriage 52/46 three years ago to now supporting it by a 57/36 margin.
That latest number on independents is important. Given the recent spate of positive polls on marriage, one would think that the President might finally evolve and get on the right side of history. Clearly, the momentum is on our side.