This statistic came from PPP. The state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions was struck down by the courts in October. On the marriage question, 30% of North Carolinians say its legalization has had a negative impact on their lives; 14% say it has had a positive impact. The majority – 56% – say it hasn’t made an impact at all.
Unfortunately, PPP did not ask a straight up-or-down, yes-or-no, question on support of gay marriage, but a poll released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute found North Carolina split on the issue, with 44% in favor of gay marriage and 49% against it. Historically, the way to determine the ‘real’ number is to allocate all the undecided people to the against side. If Amendment 1 was on the ballot today, it would probably pass by something like 56/44 – still a rejection of gay marriage but down from the 61/39 margin the amendment received in May 2012.
Considering North Carolina is one of the most religious states in the nation, its lagging behind the rest of the country in support of gay marriage is not much of a surprise, but interesting results might lurk in the crosstabs of the PPP poll. Men are more likely than women to say same sex marriage legalization has had a negative impact on their lives – with women it’s 15/25 negative, with men it’s 13/36.
Interestingly, Democrats just barely (22/20) say gay marriage has been a positive for them, personally. Presumably, those who answered ‘no impact’ would probably skew in favor of the institution if pressed to choose. There is, as expected, a generational gap. The millennial crowd is more likely to say the gay marriage experience has been positive. As age group goes up, so does the negative over positive spread. Just 9% of respondents over the age of 65 say gay marriage has been a good thing, 32% a bad thing. But a plurality in all age categories say it hasn’t made an impact at all.
Other fun tidbits from the poll: Thom Tillis has a 32/38 approval rating. That’s actually better than his favorability numbers for most of the Senate campaign. Renee Ellmers has an approval of 14/27. The age group with whom she fares worst? Millennials, at 10/34.
Voters disapprove of the General Assembly, 23/51. Legislative Democrats have a worse favorability (34/48) with voters than their Republican counterparts (37/46). The result is the GOP has a 2-point lead on the generic legislative ballot.
People are fairly split on the decision to remove Tom Ross as UNC President. 18% of voters support it; 23% oppose it. The takeaway here is that most people aren’t paying attention. But more have an opinion on this matter than they do about Art Pope, who is at 11/22 in terms of favorability, voters respond about a potential Art Pope UNC presidency along the same lines (12% support, 24% oppose). Pope’s favorability numbers are actually strongest with African Americans, and with the younger crowd. That means after four years of attacks from liberal groups, Tar Heels still have a better view of Art Pope than they do Democrats in the General Assembly.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.