Two of the hottest issues facing people and politicians today are gay marriage and abortion. North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment last summer mandating that marriage is between a man and a woman. North Carolina politicians passed abortion legislation this summer.
The Elon University Poll took a quick temperature check on both last week. In both cases, one side had an edge, but a small, small one.
On gay marriage, 46.5 percent of respondents opposed it and 42.6 percent supported it. This is similar to the findings in our April poll.
Digging into the numbers:
Perhaps the most interesting number in the results is 63. That is the percentage of Catholics who said they supported gay marriage. It is probably unfair to make much of it, though, because the sample size is so small.
Political party: 58 percent of Democrats, 47 percent of Independents and 21 percent of Republicans support gay marriage.
Gender: 43 percent of men and 42 percent of women support it.
Age: 68 percent of 18-30-year olds support it. Support then slides through the age groups to a low of 24 percent for 65+.
Race: 51 percent of blacks and 40 percent of whites support it,
On abortion, 44.5 percent supported making access more difficult and 41.4 percent support making access less difficult. These opinions are tightening. In our April poll, 42 percent supported making access more difficult and 37 percent said less.
The major demographic difference comes — no big shocker — among political affiliation. 67 percent of Republicans support more restrictions, 43 percent of Independents do, but only 27 percent of Democrats support them.
Women support more restrictions, 48-40 percent. Men move in the opposite direction slightly, making access to abortion less difficult, 43-40 percent.
In the case of both issues, public opinion is one thing; law is something else.
— John Robinson