Polls: Plurality support same-sex marriage ruling
July 1st, 2013
03:51 PM ET
1 year ago

Polls: Plurality support same-sex marriage ruling

(CNN) - New polls show pluralities of Americans support the same-sex marriage decisions handed down last week by the U.S. Supeme Court.

A USA Today poll released Monday indicates that 48% of the public favors the high court ruling Wednesday that threw out part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied hundreds of federal benefits to same-sex couples, with 43% opposed. According to the survey, those who feel strongly about the issue split 29%-29% on the 5-4 ruling by the justices.

At the same time, the Supreme Court declined to make a sweeping statement on the broader issue of same-sex marriage rights nationwide. By another 5-4 ruling, the justices rejected California's same-sex marriage ban but left in place laws banning such marriages in 35 other states.

Asked about both decisions, 45% of respondents in a Pew survey released Monday said they approved of the court rulings. Forty percent disapproved. In all, 66% of those polled by Pew had heard about the Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage.

According to the USA Today poll, which was conducted in the four days following the Supreme Court rulings, 55% say that marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by law, with four in ten opposed. The 55% figure is an all-time high in USA Today polling. Fifty-five percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/ORC International poll conducted prior to the high court rulings also supported same-sex marriage, up 15 points since 2007.

The only major groups in the USA Today poll where a majority opposed same-sex marriage are Republicans (68%) and those 65 and older (51%).

Similarly, Pew's survey found 49% of people over age 65 disapproved of the Supreme Court's ruling. Sixty-one percent of Democrats sided with the court's decision, while 63% of Republicans did not.

Other findings from the USA Today survey indicate that by a 49%-40% margin, Americans oppose the Supreme Court ruling last week to strike down a portion of the Voting Rights Act that required some states to get federal approval to change election laws. Two-thirds of black Americans questioned opposed the decision. The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to prevent some state and local governments from using rules and procedures which prevented many black Americans from voting. The key enforcement provision of the measure was reauthorized in 2006 for another 25 years.

The Pew survey found only 34% of Americans knew that part of the Voting Rights Act had been struck down last week.

The country appears divided on how the high court's doing its job, with 43% approving and 44% giving it a thumbs down. That's the lowest level of approval in USA Today polling in eight years.

The USA Today poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, with 1,003 adults nationwide question by telephone June 27-30. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

The Pew survey was conducted by telephone from June 27-30 from 1,003 adults. The sampling error was plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report


Filed under: Polls • Same-sex marriage • Supreme Court
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Wait a sec - majorities.support gay marriage and VRA?

    Skewed polling by liberal media!

    LOL

    July 1, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Two-thirds of black Americans questioned opposed the decision.
    ------------------------------------
    Skewed polling. I find it hard to believe that only 2/3 and not 100% oppose it. Then I think about the Clarence Thomas' and this nut running for Lt. Gov. here. 2/3 may be accurate.

    July 1, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Thomas

    @Steveo
    Somebody please explain why ALL of the personal attacks on McConnell are from the left? Yeah I know BOTH sides do the same thing but why do YOU do it? Just askin'

    ======

    I'll try to explain why.

    If McConnell was only representing the Great State of Kentucky it would be different . However he is not , he has done more damage to the country as a whole from his policies pre Iraq war , his alliance with GW Bush , his economic policies , his obstruction to new ideas , economic and environmental . Waisting time and money on his national campaign to make Obama a one term president. His selling out to China at the same time talking tough was hilarious .

    He is a profesional politicen , yet with his big lobby supporters it makes him more as a lawyer for special interest . In fact he is a lawyer , and not a very god one .

    Also , politicians such as Rand Paul are Mitch McConnell are so far removed from the realities of this great country and the world we are now in, and our future .

    I wish no wrong come to the man, yet his time is up in politics, he should just retire !

    July 1, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Steveo

    @Data Driven

    @Steveo,

    We can't have opinions on our national leaders if we didn't directly take part in their election to office?

    As for personal attacks on politicians, it has always been ever thus. If you're going to raise the red flag on that, then I expect to see you butting in whenever someone pulls the "Odumbo, Oblahblah" card.
    ----------
    1. Not saying we can't have opinions. I am saying we don't vote for them so basically all we have is opinion
    2. You did not answer my question, which is why do YOU personally attack. never said you couldn't just want to know WHY! I am not going babysit the blog! If the answer is "because "THEY" do it", fine! Weak, but fine!
    3. Since when is responding "butting in"? I imagine if you didn't want folks "butting in", you would not be here posting.

    July 1, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "Two-thirds of black Americans questioned opposed the decision. The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to prevent some state and local governments from using rules and procedures which prevented many black Americans from voting. "
    --------------–
    In other words, there is nothing to stop a city, town or state from enacting a poll tax. You'd have to fight it in court in order to get it removed. That would be a really handy thing to do a month or so before an election. The nail was the 5th article, but the SCOTUS took away the hammer, the 4th article.

    July 1, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. just sayin

    Data Driven
    Wait a sec – majorities.support gay marriage?
    -–

    no they don't, please learn how to read. plurality doesn't mean majority. failed liberal school system strikes again.

    July 1, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. it must be said

    Interesting that the Democrats think they can defeat the next Majority Leader of the Senate. Thanks to Obama and the Democrats with their far left agenda and attack on the Second Amendment rights of Americans, every Democrat Senator from a red state is in danger of getting tossed. There are nine of them. Expect to see the Democrats lose a good number of them in the coming elections.

    July 1, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    Data Driven
    Wait a sec – majorities.support gay marriage?
    -–

    no they don't, please learn how to read. plurality doesn't mean majority. failed liberal school system strikes again.
    **********
    Please try to look up the definition of "irony" before you blurt out your response, since it was very obvious to those of us who are products of the " failed liberal school system" you like to trot out. By the way, learn some spelling and grammer before you post, or did you not cover capital letters when you were home-schooled down in the holler?

    July 1, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -it must be said

    Interesting that the Democrats think they can defeat the next Majority Leader of the Senate. Thanks to Obama and the Democrats with their far left agenda and attack on the Second Amendment rights of Americans, every Democrat Senator from a red state is in danger of getting tossed. There are nine of them. Expect to see the Democrats lose a good number of them in the coming elections.
    **************
    Are you looking at the same sources of data Dick Morris and Karl Rove used prior to the last election? What is even more interesting is the notion amongst conservatives that they will hold onto any Senate seats or governorships north of the Mason-Dixon line. The culling that will take place in 17 months will be memorable, and will produce more weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth amongst the Right.

    July 1, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Data Driven

    @just sayin,

    The 4th graf says that 55% of Americans believe that gay marriage should be recognized by law. 55% is what's known as a majority. A plurality, in this case, would apply to the Supreme Court's actual ruling, but I had originally said that the MAJORITY support gay marriage. Gotta read more than just the headline, guy.

    July 1, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Huh?

    If supporters of gay rights want to help their cause, please stop showing photographs of female couples who look like a guy who drives a garbage truck. Some hot looking female couples would go along way towards causing us to stop throwing up on our shoes.

    July 1, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. just me

    I'll bet the margin is actually larger than that, because some of the opposed think the decision didn't go far enough. You know, like one fourth of those "opposed" to the ACA thought the law didn't go far enough.

    July 1, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |