Why are there different results on same-sex marriage ban amendment?

Isn’t interesting that when likely voters are read the amendment about same-sex marriage that will be on the North Carolina ballot they voice one opinion. Yet, when North Carolinians are asked specifically about same-sex marriage, they respond another way.

What gives?

WRAL reported that a SurveyUSA poll asked this question:  North Carolina voters will vote on a constitutional amendment that says, quote, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” If you were filling out your ballot today, would you vote for? Or against? This amendment?

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they would vote for the amendment, and 36% said they would oppose it.

Meanwhile, Elon University Poll asked residents: Would you (support or oppose) an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would prevent any same-sex marriages? 54% said they would oppose it ; 38% said they would support it.

One difference between the two polls is that SurveyUSA polled likely voters; Elon polled residents. (Elon purposely does not break out likely voters. We believe that the opinions of all North Carolinians should be heard when public policy discussions are held.)

Another difference is that the Elon University Poll first asked people to say which of three statements comes closest to their positions on the same-sex marriage issue.

1. I oppose any legal recognition for same-sex couples. (33%)

2. I support civil unions or partnerships for same sex couples, but not full marriage rights. (28%)

3. I support full marriage rights for same sex couples. (39%)

Is the amendment on the ballot confusing because it doesn’t mention what would be excluded as a result of a “yes” vote? Or is there that much of a difference of opinion between residents and “likely voters”?

Either way proponents have an educational campaign ahead of them.

— John Robinson

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3 responses to “Why are there different results on same-sex marriage ban amendment?

  1. Jay DeLancy

    Elon’s methodology has the effect of shaping voter opinion by fooling likely voters about who is in the minority on this (or any other) issue and who is not. It is the application of “Spiral of Silence” theory. This trick is often used in Presidential politics when “likely voters” have an opinion that differs from that of the uninformed and easily (mis)led. The bottom line is that Democracy by opinion polling will lead to chaos.

  2. Pingback: Which state has the most religious residents? | Elon University Poll

  3. Pingback: Confusion over the marriage amendment | Elon University Poll

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