A poll released by Public Policy Polling on Friday shows that both sides of the anti-gay marriage amendment are under 50 percent. 48 percent of voters said they support the amendment and 44 percent say they are opposed. The margin of error is 2.8 percent. 8 percent said they weren’t sure, a considerable number given Minnesota quirky ballot measure laws.
The poll, conducted last Saturday and Sunday shows that 58 percent of those older than those age 65 would vote for the measure, 23 percent of Democrats intend to vote for it, as well as 50 percent of independents and 74 percent of Republicans. Minority voters are more likely to vote for the amendment at 51 percent to 48 percent of white voters.
54 percent of voters under age 29 intend to vote against it, compared to 43 percent who intend to vote for it. Women were more likely to vote against the amendment at 49 percent to 41 percent (men support it 56 percent to 39 percent). Democrats oppose the amendment at 70 percent.
While the poll shows that those in support of the amendment appear to have a slight lead, a ballot measure must pass with 50 percent of the voters as those who don’t vote either way on the amendment but otherwise vote for a candidate in 2012 are counted as a “no” vote.
8 percent said they were not sure which way they will vote, and if they remain undecided and skip the question, those votes count as “no.”
While the vote may be close on the amendment, equal rights for same-sex couples is something 3 in 4 Minnesotans support.
37 percent said same-sex couples should be “allowed to legally marry” and 34percent said “gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not marry.” That means 71 percent support some form of equal rights for same-sex couples. Only 27 percent of Minnesotans thought that gay couples should have no relationship rights at all.
As an aside, 62 percent of Minnesota voters disapprove of the Republicans in the Legislature, the elected officials who put the issue on the ballot. Only 23 percent thought the GOP was doing a good job. DFL legislators fared better with 49 percent disapproving and 31 percent approving.
Gov. Mark Dayton has a high approval rating. 53 percent said he was doing a good job with only 34 percent disapproving.