Local Politics

Poll shows increasing support for same-sex marriage

Posted March 9, 2012 7:09 p.m. EST

— More than half of the North Carolinians polled last month said they would oppose a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, a reflection of increasing support for those unions in the Tar Heel state. 

The poll, conducted by Elon University in partnership with the News & Observer, Charlotte Observer, WTVD-TV, WCNC-TV and News14 Carolina, surveyed 605 North Carolina residents on questions key to the 2012 political season including the marriage issue.

On ballots in the North Carolina primary election May 8, voters will be asked if they support amending the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

The Elon poll results seem to indicate that issue will fail. Fifty-four percent said they would opposed the amendment, while 38 percent would support it. When asked if they support full marriage rights for same-sex couples, 36 percent said yes, an increase of five percentage points from a similar poll a year ago.

Pollsters also asked about the Republican presidential primary and the race for governor.

Mitt Romney ranked highest among the GOP candidates, with 35 percent rating the former Massachusetts governor favorably. Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorm trailed Romney, with 33 and 32 percent favorable ratings, respectively. Newt Gingrich was a distant third among North Carolinians polled, and he was the only GOP presidential candidate about whom more than half had an unfavorable view.

In the race for the N.C. governor's mansion, Republican Pat McCrory had the highest favorable rating, at 33 percent, but a great number of those questioned characterized themselves as "unable to judge" the gubernatorial candidates.