Pollster: Taking a stand on marriage amendment would help Perdue (video)

Make no mistake about it, the economy will be the issue that decides the November 2012 elections.

But Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, believes some Republicans in moderate districts could face a backlash for their support of  the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Jensen says poll numbers show that even while 61% of North Carolinians oppose gay marriage, many voters don’t like  the idea of writing discrimination into the state constitution. A recent PPP poll found 54% of voters support legally recognizing gay couples.

Jensen, who appears on News & Views this weekend, also believes Governor Bev Perdue would benefit from taking a stronger position on the amendment.

“This is something where coming out and being vocally opposed, I think, would send some folks who’ve been a little skeptical of her, a message that she’s really on their side,” said Jensen.

Perdue, who voted for a 1996 law that made gay marriage illegal in North Carolina, recently expressed disappointment that legislators were focusing on the constitutional amendment, and not the economy.

For a preview of Jensen’s interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:



  1. HunterC

    September 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Taking a stand on ANYTHING generally helps a politician. This issue is no different.

    The fact that a majority of North Carolinians oppose this amendment is just gravy for a politician.

    It’s even more of a no-brainer when you consider the fact that a politician can wail on this particular NC amendment as an overreach that strips benefits from police officers.

  2. Mike P.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    If you really think a majority of North Carolinians oppose this amendment, you are mistaken. Be wary of these polls. The Field Poll released a slew of polls in the months leading up to Nov. 2008 that showed Californians rejecting Prop 8, and they were all wrong. Does PPP want to look the same way if that happens here? The ultimate power that pollsters have is the power to decide how the question will be asked. Simple wording changes can lead to radically different results. Why, then, does PPP not ask the question that will actually appear on the ballot? They should word it like this: “do you support or oppose an amendment to the NC Constitution providing that marriage between a man and a woman shall be the only domestic legal union in the state?” That would, presumably, yield the most accurate result, because it is the same as the ballot language will be. Instead, PPP asks the question in a misleading fashion that essentially takes a position on the extent of the amendment’s reach.

    Gov. Perdue will only alienate people if she opposes the amendment, but she’ll be lucky to win next year in any case. One of the reasons that it was moved to the May ballot is that she feared a big turnout in the fall would bury her. If she does oppose it and it passes by a wide (60-70%) margin, she will look ridiculously out of touch with the state. Is that a risk she is willing to take? The number of voters who her view affects is just one: her. Nobody else cares about her view. If she was a very popular governor, some people might care, but given her approval ratings, it is unlikely anyone will. After all, 43% of Obama voters in Florida voted for that marriage amendment in 2008, even though Obama was on record opposing it (and that was back when he was messiah Obama to many of them).

  3. SC Guy

    September 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I think Jensen is simply wrong about this and the governor would be making a big mistake to come out strongly against this. No way do a majority of NC’ers oppose this amendment. This is the South we’re talking about here.

  4. HunterC

    September 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

  5. JeffS

    September 28, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I’m not sure why the site keeps assuming Perdue is against the amendment. From her weak comments on the subject, along with her previous voting record, I have to assume that she’s not.

    The bible toting bigots are all over the place. They may be too ashamed to discuss it in public, but get them in the voting booth and they will jump at any chance to restrict the personal lives of others.

  6. Nick

    October 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    @Mike P.
    “Gov. Perdue will only alienate people if she opposes the amendment”. No, her voting base opposes the amendment. Showing a strong opinion against it would encourage them to support her reelection campaign.

    Remember that the amendment itself is worded in a manipulative fashion. The PPP survey shows the real principles of NC voters. NC voters do not want to ban domestic partnerships or civil unions, especially since that would hurt heterosexual couples as well as homosexual couples, and there’s no religious precedent to oppose letting gay couples seek legal recognition. The amendment will be designed to sucker them into voting for something they don’t want.

    Several counties have domestic partnership registries. I know someone who has a legal domestic partnership, and he’s straight. His girlfriend is female, has two X chromosomes, a pair of tits, and a vagina, and this amendment would eliminate his legal ability to visit her in the hospital, or their ability to collect insurance and tax breaks if she takes maternity leave.

    It’s one of the most restrictive amendments proposed by any state and it would not only relegate gays and bisexuals to second-class citizenship, but a large number of heterosexuals as well. It alienates businesses from relocating to the state, and it makes us look like a bunch of bible-thumping hicks to outsiders.

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