Public Policy Polling finds wide support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions in North Carolina, the last poll before voting opened today.
A final poll of likely North Carolina voters conducted over the weekend continues to give a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions an easy margin of victory in Tuesday’s election while the Democratic contest for governor is tightening.
The referendum holds a 16-point advantage, 55 percent in favor and 39 percent against, according to the Public Policy Polling survey, a left-leaning Raleigh-based firm. The numbers shifted little in the final week as big-names on either side of the debate – Rev. Billy Graham for and former President Bill Clinton against – made final pleas to persuade voters.
As I wrote earlier today, there are benefits for Obama coming out in favor of gay marriage. The PPP poll today gives the flip side of that. Obama barely eked out a win in North Carolina in 2008, and he can’t afford to lose much support there. But as the PPP crosstabs show, 35 percent of Democrats and 34 percent of independents oppose gay marriage. That number jumps to 63 percent among African American voters.
Earlier today I also questioned whether the gay marriage issue would actually have much of an influence on how these groups vote. But support for the amendment really does seem to be energizing voters. The Charlotte Observer reports that voter turnout broke records today, even surpassing the contested primary between then-Sen. Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008. That shows a strong commitment to the issue, which is likely behind Obama’s reluctance to take a clear stance.