Minnesota voters are split on the marriage amendment, according to a new poll from the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP).
Roughly 48 percent of the 824 likely Minnesota voters surveyed say they support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, while 47 percent oppose it - well within the poll's 3.4 percentage point margin of error.
"It looks like Minnesota's marriage amendment will go down to the wire," said Dean
Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "Voters in the state are very closely divided
in their attitudes about it."
According to PPP, public opinion has narrowed on the subject since June, when the firm found that 49 percent of Minnesota voters opposed the amendment compared to the 43 percent who supported it.
Other polls tell a different story. A survey released this week by KSTP/SurveyUSA shows that 50 percent of Minnesotans favor the amendment while 43 oppose it.
PPP also asked questions about an amendment to the state's constitution that would require voters to show identification on Election Day, and found that it's likely to pass. About 56 percent of Minnesotans favor the amendment while 39 percent do not. Republicans and independents overwhelmingly support the ballot initiative.
Meanwhile, KSTP/SuveryUSA's found 62 percent of Minnesotans support the ID amendment, while 31 percent oppose it.
Other poll highlights:
- Forty-eight percent of Minnesotans approve of the job Gov. Mark Dayton is doing while 37 percent do not. He leads a generic Republican opponent in 2014 by 13 percentage points.
- However, Democrats lead a generic state legislative ballot by only 3 percentage points, a much tighter margin that the 12 percentage point lead the party had in June.
- Sen. Al Franken, who is up for reelection in 2014, has a 49 percent approval rating and leads a generic Republican opponent by 6 percentage points. Franken would lead former Sen. Norm Coleman and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty by 7 percentage points in a head-to-head match-up, and would lead Rep. Michele Bachmann by 12 percentage points.
The marriage amendment will pass easily. The voter ID amendment will pass even more easily. So it's a win-win.
Catharine, just to be clear, for an amendment to pass requires that 50% of all ballots have a "yes" vote? Thus, ballots cast without a yes or no are considered "no"? It seems then that polls for constitutional amendments may not be as predictive as political races. Thanks for any clarification.
Good question, Luke H.
It's true that if you cast a ballot on Election Day but don't vote on a constitutional amendment it's counted as a "no" vote.
Here's a handy FAQ from the Secretary of State's website: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=1533#466
The "blank vote" thing does give an advantage to the "No" side that isn't there in other states, and it has swung the difference in some prior amendment votes, but I wouldn't count on it being a huge factor in this particular contest. Four years ago, in the Legacy Amendment vote, only 5% of the people who showed up left their ballots blank. Same-sex marriage is a subject that's more straightforward and arouses greater passions (and greater media attention) than a feel-good question about whether you like outdoors and the arts. I'd guess that the blank votes on the marriage amendment are only going to be in the 2% to 3% range. That could still swing the difference, but the "Yes" vote would have to be around 51% or less.
If you are voting for yes to this amendment in order to protect marriage but are not fighting just as hard for an amendment to outlaw divorce and any kind of sex except for between a husband and wife (who are married to each other) then you are really not doing this to protect marriage, you are just trying to pick on a group of people.
Because you vote yes on the marriage amendment in no ways means you are "just trying to pick on a group of people." You should treat all gays with kindness and compassion while at the same time respecting the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.
How can you treat people with kindness and compassion when you deny them equal rights? That doesn't sound very compassionate or kind to me.