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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 8, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 23
Minnesota shifts against marriage ban, new poll says
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Minnesota shifts against marriage ban, new poll says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A new PPP poll released June 5 shows public opinion in Minnesota shifting away from a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The latest poll shows only 43% of voters supporting the amendment, with 49% opposed. A similar poll done in February found the public in support of the amendment by a 48%-44% margin.

The shift can be attributed largely to a change of heart among self-described independent voters. In February they supported the amendment by a ten-point spread, 50% to 40%. Now they oppose it by 17 points, 54% to 37%.

Republicans continue to favor the anti-Gay amendment, 74% to 21%, while Democrats continue to oppose it by a similar margin, 71% to 22%.

'Independents coming a lot closer to Democrats than Republicans on Gay rights is becoming something of a constant in our polling,' said Public Policy Polling when it released the new numbers.

'The GOP seriously risks antagonizing voters in the middle if it continues to pursue a far right social agenda.'

Minnesota voters show the same massive generational gap on marriage equality that appears in other states, pollsters noted.

Voters over 45 support the proposed amendment by a 50%-42% spread. But those under 45 oppose it by an even greater 60%-34% margin.

Same-sex marriage is already illegal under Minnesota law, and one of the arguments against the proposed amendment is that it is unnecessary, even if voters do not approve of same-sex marriage. But the PPP poll found a majority of Minnesota voters actually saying same-sex marriage should be legal.

Forty-seven percent of voters thought same-sex marriage should be legal and 42% said it should be illegal, the poll said - a split that almost mirrors the numbers on the amendment.

Seventy-five percent of Minnesota voters said they support some form of legal recognition for Gay couples, against only 21% who think there should be none.

Even 55% of Republicans agreed with some kind of relationship recognition.

The poll also found that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who has spoken out against the amendment, maintains a solid 49%-36% approval rating.

Meanwhile, the Republicans who control the state legislature have just a 21% approval rating, with 61% of voters disapproving of them. That includes a 12%-66% spread with independents.

Democrats are strongly positioned to make major gains in legislative seats this fall, PPP said, because they now lead the generic ballot 48% to 36% - thanks in large part to a 13-point advantage with independents.

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