May 24, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
A new poll by Public Policy polling out of Maryland shows an enormous increase in support of marriage equality from African Americans. The numbers shifted from 56% opposition and 39% support to “55% of African Americans planning to vote for the law and only 36% now opposed.” PPP says:
-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.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality talked to The Washington Blade about the poll:
“Things are moving in Maryland,” said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “We’re approaching a supermajority who want to uphold the state’s new marriage law. The message of stronger families and basic fairness is resonating, and we’re confident Maryland will be the first state to win a ballot measure on marriage.”
This poll comes less than a week after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons, which is headquartered in Baltimore, endorsed marriage rights for same-sex couples during its National Board of Directors’ quarterly meeting in Miami. This announcement came less than two weeks after President Barack Obama publicly backed the issue during an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts.
Maryland could be the first state to vote for marriage equality at the ballot box later this year.