Friday, February 08, 2013

February 2013 Public Policy Polling Survey Indicates 51 Percent Of Alaskans Still Oppose Gay Marriage

On February 8th, 2013, Northern Right discussed a recent survey of Alaskans conducted by Public Policy Polling. They basically blew off the survey as projecting impossible match-ups for the 2016 Presidential election, along with some other meaningless political information.

However, a further examination of the survey revealed a considerable amount of useful information about Alaskan opinion regarding gay marriage. For the most part, Alaskans, who passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriage in Alaska in 1998, remain opposed to gay marriage in the state as well as nationally. The survey of 1,129 Alaska voters, which includes crosstabs showing various demographic breakouts, was conducted from February 4-5, and was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. Here are the two questions asked regarding gay marriage, and the results:

Q5: Do you think same-sex marriage should be allowed in Alaska, or not?

-- Overall: Yes - 43 percent, No - 51 percent, Not Sure - 6 percent
-- Men: Yes - 36 percent, No - 57 percent, Not Sure - 7 percent
-- Women: Yes - 50 percent, No - 45 percent, Not Sure - 5 percent
-- White: Yes - 47 percent, No - 47 percent, Not Sure - 6 percent
-- Non-White: Yes - 29 percent, No - 63 percent, Not Sure - 8 percent
-- 18 to 45: Yes - 37 percent, No - 57 percent, Not Sure - 6 percent
-- 46 to 65: Yes - 51 percent, No - 43 percent, Not Sure - 6 percent
-- Over 65: Yes - 35 percent, No - 58 percent, Not Sure - 7 percent
-- Democratic: Yes - 76 percent, No - 20 percent, Not Sure - 5 percent
-- Republican: Yes - 12 percent, No - 86 percent, Not Sure - 2 percent
-- Independent/Other: Yes - 49 percent, No - 42 percent, Not Sure - 10 percent

Q6: Which of the following best describes your opinion on gay marriage: gay couples should be allowed to legally marry, or gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry, or there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship?

-- Overall: Marriage - 40 percent, Civil Unions - 27 percent, No Recognition - 30 percent, Not Sure - 3 percent
-- Men: Marriage - 33 percent, Civil Unions - 29 percent, No Recognition - 33 percent, Not Sure - 4 percent.
-- Women: Marriage - 46 percent, Civil Unions - 24 percent, No Recognition - 27 percent, Not Sure - 2 percent.
-- White: Marriage - 43 percent, Civil Unions - 26 percent, No Recognition - 28 percent, Not Sure - 3 percent
-- Non-White: Marriage - 29 percent, Civil Unions - 30 percent, No Recognition - 36 percent, Not Sure - 5 percent
-- 18 to 45: Marriage - 36 percent, Civil Unions - 24 percent, No Recognition - 34 percent, Not Sure - 5 percent
-- 46 to 65: Marriage - 47 percent, Civil Unions - 26 percent, No Recognition - 24 percent, Not Sure - 2 percent
-- Over 65: Marriage - 31 percent, Civil Unions - 32 percent, No Recognition - 35 percent, Not Sure - 2 percent
-- Democratic: Marriage - 74 percent, Civil Unions - 13 percent, No Recognition - 10 percent, Not Sure - 3 percent
-- Republican: Marriage - 10 percent, Civil Unions - 34 percent, No Recognition - 54 percent, Not Sure - 2 percent
-- Independent/Other: Marriage - 45 percent, Civil Unions - 28 percent, No Recognition - 23 percent, Not Sure - 4 percent

Analysis: To no one's surprise, there's a sharp division between Democrats and Republicans on the issue. But the second poll indicates that Democratic support for legal recognition of same-sex relationships is stronger than Republican opposition; too many Republicans are willing to compromise and accept civil unions. Perhaps this is one reason why two well-qualified Republican nominees could not defeat Barack Obama; the Republicans are trying to be right-wing Democrats rather than Republicans.

Non-white opposition to gay marriage is much stronger than white opposition. This may indicate non-white backlash against the gay strategy of comparing gay marriage to racial civil rights. Unlike blacks, gays have not been forced to sit in the back of a bus or to use separate public facilities, so non-whites may be insulted by the comparison.

Surprisingly, the youngest demographic is just as opposed to gay marriage as the oldest demographic, despite relentless pro-gay propaganda directed at high school and college students. It is the middle-age demographic that is most supportive of gay marriage, and it is the middle-age demographic that holds most of the levers of power in America today.

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