The most recent poll shows that supporters of SSM together with supporters of full domestic partnerships outnumber the rest by about 2 to 1.
The Elway Poll describes themselves as
"... the only independent, [sic] non-partisan, on-going analysis of public opinion trends in Washington state and the Northwest." 7
During 2009-APR, Elway Research conducted a survey of Washington voters. It gave only two options: whether the subject was in favor of or opposed to SSM. The poll was paid for by the Faith & Freedom Network -- a group opposed to equal rights for registered domestic partners -- mostly same-sex couples.
One might ask why an anti-equality group would fund a poll on same-sex marriage when the real question being debated in the state of Washington at the time was Senate Bill SB 5688. That bill proposed the enhancement of rights, privileges, protections and obligations of registered domestic partners. The bill does not contain the term "same-sex marriage." If the bill goes into effect, same-sex couples will continue to be prohibited from marrying. No domestic partner would receive any of the the approximately 1,140 federal benefits that are automatically given to every married couple.
The answer might lie in the advertising campaign mounted against the bill. Videos were circulated implying that registered domestic partnerships are the same as same-sex marriage. That advertising campaign may be replicated later in 2009 as the referendum date approaches.
Results indicated a further increase in support for SSM since the 2008-OCT Washington Poll: 3,4 However, the 43% support in this poll cannot be precisely compared to the 37% result from the Washington Poll, because the margin of error is on each datum is so great (±4.0%).
As in other polls there is a strong variation of SSM support with age:
The variation with gender seems a bit higher than unusual:
margin of error is ±5%.
Unfortunately, there are some very serious deficiencies in the polling procedure, all of which probably underreport support for SSM:
As Benjamin Disraeli once said: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." There are all sorts of ways to distort reality during polls.
2011-OCT-31: State public opinion poll on same-sex marriage:
The Center for Survey Research at the University of Washington released the results of their poll among registered voters on same-sex marriage (SSM). (N = 938; the margin of error is ±3.2 percentage points. They reported:
With such heavy support for SSM, most or all of the Democratic representatives and senators may well vote in favor of the proposed SSM bill. However the margin of 17 percentage points among the public in favor of SSM is probably not nearly sufficient for a significant number of Republican lawmakers to support the bill.
See another essay that includes 20 responses to this poll by Seattle Times' readers.
References used in this essay:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
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