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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stunning, historic stuff

Apropos of our earlier post, remarkable polling news out of Maryland from PPP polling.
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Maryland finds a significant increase in support for same-sex marriage among African American voters following President Obama’s historic announcement two weeks ago. The referendum to keep the state’s new law legalizing same-sex marriage now appears likely to pass by a healthy margin. Here are some key findings: -57% of Maryland voters say they’re likely to vote for the new marriage law this fall, compared to only 37% who are opposed. That 20 point margin of passage represents a 12 point shift from an identical PPP survey in early March, which found it ahead by a closer 52/44 margin. -The movement over the last two months can be explained almost entirely by a major shift in opinion about same-sex marriage among black voters. Previously 56% said they would vote against the new law with only 39% planning to uphold it. Those numbers have now almost completely flipped, with 55% of African Americans planning to vote for the law and only 36% now opposed. -The big shift in attitudes toward same-sex marriage among black voters in Maryland is reflective of what’s happening nationally right now. A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds 59% of African Americans across the country supportive of same-sex marriage. A PPP poll in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania last weekend found a shift of 19 points in favor of same-sex marriage among black voters. While the media has been focused on what impact President Obama’s announcement will have on his own reelection prospects, the more important fallout may be the impact his position is having on public opinion about same-sex marriage itself.
And it bears pointing out. No one else could have achieved this except Barack Obama.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan notes, regarding the same set of numbers:
The magnitude of what Obama has done is getting more and more tangible. He has gone from JFK to LBJ on civil rights in three years. And bridging the divide between gays and African-Americans will help both communities, and especially those who are gay and black. This kind of defusing of polarization is what many of us hoped for in Obama. On this issue, he has delivered. And how.

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