New Pew poll: Independents surge, opinion on gay marriage shows jagged line

by on May 24, 2009  •  In Marriage, Social science

A new Pew Research Center report on political values and core attitudes – which Pew has been monitoring for 22 years – shows that more people now self-identify as Independents than as Democrats or Republicans. Over the last six years, most of the new Independents have been refugees from the Republican Party, but in the last five months, both the Dems and the Repubs have dropped by roughly equal amounts, while the number of persons identifying as Independent has surged by almost one-third.


On gay marriage, although there is endless media commentary about the steady upward march in public support for marriage equality, the Pew numbers tell a story of much greater volatility:

517-61 The opposition is broadly trending downward, although Pew's numbers show that a smaller percentage of Americans opposed gay marriage last year and even in 2006 than do today.

The same jagged up and down line, though trending generally upward, characterizes the percentage who favor marriage equality. Again, the number in support this year is not the highest in the last 13 years, and in fact shows a small drop from last year. According to Pew, the same percentage of Americans supported gay marriage in 2001 as do today.

Although these are national data and not specific to California, they at least hint at why going back to the ballot box for a repeal of Prop 8 in 2010 – if it happens – is going to be dicey.  Maybe the numbers trend in California is completely different – that's possible, although I doubt it – but there is no sign of voters' remorse in these data.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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