Nate Silver predicts majority support for gay marriage “at some point in the 2010′s”

by on April 9, 2009  •  In Marriage

At 538, Nate Silver is debating various conservatives over whether legalization of same-sex marriage is basically all over but for the shouting. Here's his analysis of 15 years of polls with data specifically on point:
…[G[ay marriage has gained about 8 points of support since November 2003, while civil unions have gained about 13 points of ground. Because of sampling variance and vagaries of question wording from survey to survey, the trend isn't always perfectly smooth. But the overall trend is fairly manifest; the rate of increase in support for gay marriage and civil unions has if anything accelerated since the Massachusetts decision.

This does not mean that gay marriage is "inevitable". The public's views on abortion have been stuck at more or less the same numbers — with a narrow majority/plurality taking the pro-choice position — for literally decades.

Support for gay marriage, however, is strongly generational. In a CBS news poll conducted last month, 64 percent of voters aged 18-45 supported either gay marriage or civil unions, but only 45 percent of voters aged 65 and up did. Civil unions have already achieved the support of an outright majority of Americans, and as those older voters are replaced by younger ones, the smart money is that gay marriage will reach majority status too at some point in the 2010's.


One Response to Nate Silver predicts majority support for gay marriage “at some point in the 2010′s”

  1. Stephen Clark April 23, 2009 at 8:16 AM

    Hi, Nan. I agree with your caution about “inevitability.” I don’t think abortion is a very good analogy, though. A same-sex marriage obviously doesn’t require the destruction of a fetus, and I suspect that makes an enormous difference wrt public opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *