November 25, 2009 - Same-Sex Marriage Loses Support In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Judge Judges On Qualifications, Voters Tell Christie

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By a slim 49 - 46 percent margin, New Jersey voters oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to marry, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This reverses the 49 - 43 percent support for same-sex marriage in an April 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest poll, same-sex marriage wins 60 - 34 percent support among Democrats and a narrow 49 - 45 percent support among independent voters, while Republicans oppose the measure 69 - 25 percent.

Women support same-sex marriage 53 - 41 percent, while men oppose it 57 - 38 percent. White voters split 49 - 47 percent, while black voters oppose the measure 61 - 28 percent.

Among voters who do support same-sex marriage, 74 percent say the State Legislature should pass the measure now, so Gov. Jon Corzine can sign it.

"When we asked about gay marriage in April, it won narrow approval. Now that it seems closer to a legislative vote, it loses narrowly with the public," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The biggest drop is among independent voters, who backed the measure 50 - 41 percent in April. And opposition among men spiked from 48 - 44 percent opposed to 57 - 38 percent."

"If the State Legislature is going to pass it, voters say, do it while Gov. Jon Corzine - a supporter - is still in office. Governor-elect Christopher Christie has said he'd veto it."

New Jersey voters 18 to 34 years old support same-sex marriage 63 - 34 percent, while voters 35 to 54 years old split 47 - 47 percent. Voters over 55 oppose the measure 56 - 37 percent.

Voters with a college degree support the measure 55 - 40 percent, while voters without a degree oppose it 53 - 41 percent.

White Protestants oppose same-sex marriage 60 - 36 percent, as do Catholics 51 - 45 percent. Jews support it 71 - 28 percent.

Support for same-sex marriage also rises with income, as those making less than $50,000 per year oppose it 54 - 39 percent while voters making more than $100,000 per year support it 58 - 36 percent.

When Governor-elect Christie selects or reappoints justices to New Jersey's Supreme Court he should consider only the appointees' qualifications, not their views on controversial issues, voters say 54 - 40 percent.

Republican voters are split as 49 percent say Christie should consider an appointee's views on issues, while 47 percent say consider only qualifications. But independent voters say 62 - 34 percent select judges based only on qualifications, a view shared 51 - 42 percent by Democrats.

"If you're a Republican and your guy has just been elected Governor, you want him to pick judges who think like you do," Carroll said. "Democrats won't be naming the judges, so they'll insist on qualified candidates and independent voters agree."

From November 17 - 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,615 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and nationally as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

24. As you may know, Governor-elect Christie will select four Supreme Court Justices. Do you think his selections for the Supreme Court should be based only on whether they are qualified to be a justice, or should he also consider their views on controversial issues?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Qualifications       54%    47%    51%    62%    59%    49%    57%    48%
Consider views       40     49     42     34     36     45     38     41
DK/NA                 6      5      7      5      6      6      5     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Qualifications       44%    56%    56%    43%    57%    61%    57%    56%    50%
Consider views       51     39     37     48     39     34     39     39     44
DK/NA                 4      5      7      9      4      4      3      6      6
 
                     NoColl Coll   WHITE......
                     Degree Degree Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Qualifications       50%    60%    50%    58%    60%
Consider views       43     36     44     38     29
DK/NA                 7      4      7      4     11
 
 
25. Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              46%    25%    60%    49%    38%    53%    49%    28%
Oppose               49     69     34     45     57     41     47     61
DK/NA                 6      6      7      5      5      6      4     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Support              63%    47%    37%    39%    43%    58%    71%    52%    22%
Oppose               34     47     56     54     53     36     19     42     74
DK/NA                 3      6      7      7      4      5      9      5      4
 
                     NoColl Coll   WHITE......
                     Degree Degree Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Support              41%    55%    36%    45%    71%
Oppose               53     40     60     51     28
DK/NA                 6      5      4      4      1
 
TREND: Would you support or oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
                     Nov 25  Apr 23  Dec 7   Nov 8
                     2009    2009    2006    2006
 
Support              46      49      44      41
Oppose               49      43      50      50
DK/NA                 6       8       5       9
 
 
26. (If 'support' q25) Do you think this law should be passed while Jon Corzine is Governor or not?
                     'SUPPORT' Q25.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  74%    60%    86%    68%    72%    76%
No                   15     26      7     18     17     13
DK/NA                11     14      7     14     11     11
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Lib    Mod    Con
 
Yes                  82%    71%    72%    82%    72%    73%    86%    73%    56%
No                   10     17     17     10     18     15      6     17     22
DK/NA                 8     12     11      8     10     12      8      9     22
 
                     NoColl Coll   WHITE......
                     Degree Degree Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Yes                  76%    73%    69%    70%    70%
No                   13     17     17     18     17
DK/NA                11     11     14     13     13