October 23, 2012
By Jacob Combs
Maryland’s marriage equality ballot initiative, Question 6, would pass if the November election were held today, according to a new Washington Post poll that found 52 percent of likely voters planning to vote for the measure and 43 percent planning to vote against it. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they were strongly in favor of the measure, while 36 percent were strongly opposed. Five percent of likely voters had no opinion, and the poll had a margin of error of four points.
Digging down into the poll’s breakdowns, Question 6 enjoys more support from women (who favor it by a 54-40 percent margin) than men (whose margin is 51-46 percent). White voters support it by a 56-39 percent margin, with 49 percent of non-white voters planning to vote for Question 6 and 47 percent planning to vote against. Among African-American voters, the margin is 53 percent opposed to 42 percent in favor.
Not unexpectedly, the Post poll found a wide discrepancy amongst different age groups: 64 percent of likely voters between 18 and 39 support Question 6, compared with 51 percent of 40-64 year olds and just 40 percent of voters over 65. The poll also found a not surprising split between respondents based on party identification, with 58 percent of Democrats supporting the measure and only 32 percent of Republicans doing so. Perhaps significantly, however, independents favored it by an even wider margin than Democrats, with 62 percent support and only 34 percent opposition.
Last Friday, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker told a radio host that he supports Question 6, marking yet another prominent African-American in the important Baltimore-Washington area county to come out in favor of the measure. Prince George’s County, which has a large African-American population, will undoubtedly be important to the fate of Question 6 in November. As Metroweekly noted, Baker is the 17th elected official in the county to support Question 6, and the 30th African-American elected official in the state to do so.
Also last week, Marylanders for Marriage Equality released a video featuring several African-American clergy members who support Question 6 that addressed the law’s explicit protections for religious institutions that do not agree with marriage equality. You can watch that video, as well as the final video from the marriage equality website The Four, which focuses on Maryland, below.