The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Angela Dallara
Communications Associate, Freedom to Marry

Meta-Analysis by Top Democratic and Republican Pollsters Shows Increased Support for Freedom to Marry, Isolated Opposition


Freedom to Marry released a new report today summarizing a meta-analysis of national polling data and trends on the freedom to marry by Joel Benenson, a leading Democratic pollster, and Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, a top Republican pollster. Analyzing recent polling and exit polls from the 2012 election, the report shows that the well-documented majority support for the freedom to marry is broadening and diversifying while opposition continues to diminish and is isolated to a few narrow demographic groups.

In a press briefing this morning, Benenson and van Lohuizen joined Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry's president and founder, to discuss their findings.

Evan Wolfson, president and founder of Freedom to Marry, said: "In the wake of the groundbreaking 2012 marriage victories in the states and the rising bipartisan chorus of voices in favor of the freedom to marry, it's no longer surprising to see support for the freedom to marry continuing to grow. But what's striking is to see how isolated and dwindling the pockets of opposition are, and how strongly the center of political gravity has moved to empower those who want to get our country on the right side of history."

Joel Benenson, president of Benenson Strategy Group and chief pollster and senior strategist for President Barack Obama, said: "It's clear now that support for the freedom to marry has a broad base of support from a diverse cross-section of America. Strong majorities in almost all demographics support legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, while intense opposition remains confined to a few narrow demographic groups."

Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, president of Voter Consumer Research and chief pollster on the 2004 re-election campaign of President George W. Bush, said: "One of the most striking developments in recent years is the internal debate happening within the Republican Party, as these numbers show. With the under-30 supporters continuing to increase, it's clear that the party has to take that into account - the sooner, the better."

The full briefing can viewed here. Among the highlights:

  • All major non-evangelical religious groups are ready to legalize marriage for same-sex couples: 58% support, while just 36% oppose.
  • While Tea Party Republicans strongly oppose the freedom to marry, support is growing among the GOP's mainstream Republicans and, more dramatically, among young conservatives:
    • Republicans who oppose the Tea Party: 47% support/52% oppose
    • Republicans under age 30: 51% support/46% oppose
  • Among voters under 65, there is widespread consensus across racial groups in favor of the freedom to marry. In fact, Latinos are the most supportive group, and African-American support has surpassed that of white voters:
    • Whites under 65: 50% support/46% oppose
    • African-Americans under 65: 51% support/40% oppose
    • Hispanics under 65: 60% support/31% oppose

Benenson and van Lohuizen's report follows a joint May 2011 analysis of more than a decade of polling, which showed a dramatic shift in support for the freedom to marry.

Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.