Americans approve Supreme Court marriage decisions, split on Voting Rights Act ruling

by on July 3, 2013  •  In Culture, DoMA, Supreme Court
ABC Post poll
Source: Washington Post

In two polls conducted last week, more Americans approved of the Supreme Court’s marriage decisions than disapproved, while results were split on attitudes toward the voting rights decision. On the marriage issues, opinion followed the familiar divisions based on age, political party, and gender.

In an ABC-Washington Post poll, 56 per cent of respondents agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor striking down DoMA; 51 per cent agreed with the ruling that effectively invalidated Prop 8; but only 33 per cent approved of the Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder that eliminated a key protection against racially discriminatory election laws, while 51 per cent disapproved.

A similar poll by the Pew Foundation found that 45 per cent agreed and 40 per cent disagreed with the marriage decisions. In the Pew poll, views on the Voting Rights Act case were split, with 43 per cent not knowing how the Court ruled and 33 per cent and 25 per cent approved and disapproved, respectively. Both surveys found that many more Americans were aware of the marriage decisions than of the voting rights decision.

From the Washington Post:

In the Post-ABC poll, the gay marriage decisions drew strikingly different partisan reactions, while the decision on voting rights showed a deep racial disparity.

On the question about DOMA, support for the court’s decision is defined heavily by ideology, partisanship and age. The poll showed that 79 percent of self-described liberals and 68 percent of Democrats approve of the decision, while 62 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of conservatives are opposed. More than six in 10 independents and moderates approve of the decision.

The age difference was also pronounced: two-thirds of 18-29 year-olds approve, while 56 percent of those over 65 take the opposite view.

The decision was supported in every region of the country except the South, where people were pretty evenly split.

More than two-thirds of Americans feel intensely about California gay marriage case, and equal portions are strongly supportive of the same-sex marriage decision and strongly opposed.

Among those who had an opinion about the voting rights decision — a sizable 15 percent said they did not — less than half of any racial or partisan group approved. More than seven in 10 African Americans said they disapproved of the decision, compared to less than half of whites.

The telephone poll was conducted June 26 through June 30 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.



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