Last year pollsters Jan van Lohuizen, top pollster for former President George W. Bush, and Joel Benenson, who headed President Obama’s campaign polling apparatus in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, teamed up with Freedom to Marry to release an analysis of polling data that indicated a dramatic, sustained surge in public support for marriage equality beginning in 2009.
This week, those same pollsters are releasing a follow-up analysis of exit polls and other data from the 2012 elections. And as the Washington Post reports, the data suggests that
…resistance to same-sex marriage is shrinking and mainly concentrated among certain segments of the population: older people, white evangelical Christians and non-college-educated whites.
Voters at or above the age of 65 oppose marriage equality by 21 points, while those under 65 favor it by 8 points. Only 40 percent of respondents without a college degree said they support same-sex marriage, but 56 percent of white college graduates and 58 percent of non-white college graduates believe gay and lesbian couples should have the freedom to marry.
The Post‘s report continues:
The disparity was even greater among religious groups, broken down along racial lines. White evangelical Christians opposed same-sex marriage by nearly 3 to 1. But every non-evangelical group — other white Protestants, white Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, African American non-evangelicals and Jewish voters — expressed support for such unions by double-digit margins.
Meanwhile, African American voters who described themselves as evangelical or born again were narrowly divided, with 45 percent saying their state should recognize same-sex marriage and 47 percent saying it should not.
Summarizing the results, Benenson writes, “Significant opposition to the freedom to marry is increasingly isolated within narrow demographic groups while a much broader and more diverse majority are ready to let same-sex couples marry.”
However, van Lohuizen points out that the demographics only tell part of the story. “Demographics is a big part of it,” he told the Post, “but I also think there is a lot of rethinking going on.”
Head over to the Washington Post website to read the rest of the story.
Cross-posted at my blog, johnmbecker.com.