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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriage (SSM)

2012-FEB to now: Results of recent
public opinion polls in New Jersey

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Polls for 2011-OCT to 2012-JAN are shown in a previous essay.

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Numerous national polls and polls within a specific state have been sponsored on same-sex marriage (SSM) by secular, political and religious groups. Unfortunately, they do not necessarily give an accurate picture of support for SSM. There are many ways to distort polling results that are sometimes employed by groups who are more motivated to justify their beliefs than to accurately sample public opinion. Even if no distortion is intentionally taking place, the results will vary simply because of the precise question asked.

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2012-FEB-13: Repeat Rutgers-Eagleton Poll shows strong margin of voters favor SSM:

The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University released the results of another poll on same-sex marriage. It was conducted among 914 randomly selected registered voters using both landline and mobile phones between 2012-FEB-09 & 11. This was at a time when debate about SSM was actively engaged.

Overall results showed:

  • 54% favor the legalization of same-sex marriages (an increase from 52% during 2011-OCT, four months earlier).
  • 35% oppose SSM (compared to 39% four months ago)
  • 4% favor civil unions but oppose same-sex marriage
  • 7% are unsure or didn't answer.

The margin of error in the data is ±3.3 percentage points.

Support of SSM among various groups:

  • Democrats: 63%
  • Independents: 56%
  • Republicans: 35%

  • Liberals: 81%
  • Moderates: 55%
  • Conservatives: 24%

  • High School education or less: 39%
  • Some college: 49%
  • College graduates: 59%
  • Some graduate work: 68%

  • Employed full time: 60%
  • Employed part time: 63%
  • Retired: 41%
  • Not employed: 53%

  • White: 56%
  • Black: 43%

  • Born again: 23%
  • Not born again: 55%

  • Ages 18 to 29: 77%
  • 30 to 49: 57%
  • 50 to 64: 55%
  • Above 64: 37%

David Redlask, director of Rutgers-Eagleton Poll commented:

"Over the past two years there has been a clear shift towards support for same-sex marriage in national polling and in New Jersey. This shift has occurred pretty much across the spectrum, with the exception of the strongly religious and most conservative voters. And while there has been little aggregate change since this reintroduction of the marriage bill we are seeing some ideological polarization as the debate develops."

"Opposition to gay marriage is driven primarily by strong religious beliefs for many of its opponents, somewhat independently of political beliefs. In particular, Black voters, who reliably vote Democratic, break with the large majority of the party in their opposition, reflecting a more conservative outlook on key social issues like same-sex marriage." 1

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2012-FEB-21 to 27: Quinnipiac poll shows surge in support for SSM:

Their latest survey shows support of SSM in New Jersey to be at an all-time high: 57% support vs. 37% opposition for a margin of 20 percentage points. The nunber of voters sampled - 1,396. The margin of error is ±2.6 percentage points.

The most surprising polling result to us was that voters support holding a referendum on election day in 2012-NOV, as suggested by Governor Christie after he vetoed the bill. Support was 67%; opposition 28%. This may represent disallusionment with the political process.

The Quinnipiac University Poll news release stated in part:

"Support for same-sex marriage is 61 - 32 percent among women and 51 - 44 percent among men. White Catholics support the move 52 - 43 percent while white Protestants are opposed 50 - 42 percent. Voters who attend religious services weekly oppose same-sex marriage 54 - 39 percent while those who attend services less frequently support the measure 66 - 29 percent.

Given three options for same-sex couples:

  • 47 percent support same-sex marriage;
  • 34 percent support same-sex civil unions;
  • 13 percent say there should be no legal recognition.

'So the New Jersey State Legislature passed same-sex marriage and Gov. Christopher Christie vetoed it. What's left, for now anyway, is a political issue,' said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

'The numbers are all over the lot. Voter support for same-sex marriage goes up every time we ask, but about half of them think Christie was right to veto it. By better than 2-1, they like the governor's proposal for a referendum'." 2

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Rutgers Eagleton Poll" Majority of New Jersey voters support gay marriage," Eagleton Institute of Politics, 2012-FEB-13, at: This is a PDF file.
  2. "New Jersey Same-Sex Marriage Support At New High, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Back Holding Referendum More Than 2-1," Quinnipiac University, 2012-MAR-01, at:

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Site navigation: Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM Menu > New Jersey > here

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Copyright © 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Parts originally written: 2012-FEB-14
Latest update: 2012-MAR-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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