Jul 29, 2014

Marriage Amendment a Toss-Up According to Recent Polls

Poll conducted from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25

Marriage Amendment a Toss-Up According to Recent Polls

According to a new poll commissioned by the Star-Tribune, support and opposition to the marriage amendment is essentially tied.

The amendment would write a prohibition on legal recognition of same-sex marriages into the state constitution, reflecting current law.

Some 48 percent of a poll of 800 likely Minnesota voters told the Minnesota Poll's questioners that they would be voting to pass the amendment. About 47 percent said they opposed the measure, and 5 percent said they were still undecided. Respondents were reached using both cell phones and landlines. The poll's margin of error was 3.5 percent, plus or minus.

September's Minnesota Poll also showed a deadlock between the two sides. As the October Minnesota poll was conducted from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25, it suggests that accusations from fired GOP strategist Michael Brodkorb had little impact on voters' opinions. On Oct. 15 in interviews with  several news outlets, Brodkorb alleged that Republican legislators only put the marriage amendment on the ballot in order to bring more conservative voters to the polls in an important election year. Every member of the state legislature is up for re-election this year.

Poll Date Support Oppose Undecided Number Surveyed Margin of Error Star-Tribune5/5/11 39% 55% 7% 809 +/- 4.7% KSTP/SurveyUSA5/24/11 51% 40% 10% 552 Not reported Star-Tribune11/8/11 48% 43% 9% 807 +/- 4/4% Public Policy Polling1/21/12 48% 44% 8% 1,236 +/- 2.8% KSTP/SurveyUSA2/2/12 47% 39% 4% 542 +/- 4.3% Public Policy Polling6/3/12 43% 49% 8% 937 +/- 3.1% KSTP/SurveyUSA7/19/12 52% 37% 6% 552 +/- 4.3% KSTP/SurveyUSA9/11/12 50% 43% 8% 551

+/- 4.3%

Star-Tribune9/17 to 9/19, 2012 49% 47% 4% 800

+/- 3.5

Star-Tribune10/23 to 10/25, 2012 48% 47% 5% 800

+/- 3.5%

Supporters of the amendment told the Star-Tribune that "our side has been historically under-represented" in polls on the issue. Opponents said they were placing their faith in Minnesotans' "values of freedom and treating others as you would want to be treated" when voters go to the polls.

Of the respondents,  56 percent said their faith leaders' positions on the amendment didn't strongly influence their votes. Perhaps surprisingly, more than two-thirds of those voters told pollsters they planned on voting "No."

Folks who had a friend or family member who was gay or lesbian were dramatically more likely to vote against the amendment, supporting a amendment opponent's key strategy of encouraging supporters to have conversations with potential amendment supporters describing how their LGBT friends would be impacted by the amendment.

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