Poll: North Carolinians support anti-gay marriage amendment
A new poll shows a majority of voters in North Carolina support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships, but that support depends on the wording of the poll.
The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that 61 percent of voters support an amendment “defining marriage as between a man and a woman.” Only 34 percent said they were against the amendment.
The issue will be on the ballot during the primary in May.
The poll, released Wednesday, also found that 51 percent voters support legal recognition for same-sex couples. Only 22 percent support marriage rights for same-sex couples, while 29 percent supported civil unions. The amendment would ban both marriage and civil unions.
PPP noted that it was the wording of the ballot question that influenced voters:
This is really a classic example of how small differences in poll question wording can lead to huge differences in how people respond. Last month we asked the following question “State legislators have proposed an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would prohibit the recognition of marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. If the election was held today,would you vote for or against this amendment?” When you ask it that way only 30% of voters are supportive and 55% are opposed. Voters are against ‘prohibiting’ recognition for gay couples. But if you word it in such a way that all you’re doing is defining marriage as between one man and one woman, voters are ok with that. You’re asking about the same thing in both cases, but the semantics make a huge difference and Republicans clearly know what they’re doing with the language that’s on the ballot.