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December 03, 2012

Category: Election 2012, Marriage, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington

“Marriage Voters” Take Center Stage in 2012 Votes

Research indicates a “sea change” as new high-intensity voting bloc committed to marriage equality comes to the polls in force in historic election.

WASHINGTON – Nearly a month after nationwide elections delivered historic victories for marriage equality across the country, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, released a polling report showing a new, pro-marriage equality voting bloc drove ballot measure victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.

“This year, our adversaries tried to use marriage equality to whip up their anti-equality base and divide the American people. It didn’t work, and this new report indicates it won’t work in the future,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Elected officials and decision-makers would be well-served by reviewing this research because it suggests a new, pro-equality American majority is here to stay.”

In addition to confirming the decisive role played by LGBT voters, the report also makes a clear case for the emergence of a group of voters of all stripes who cast their ballot specifically on the issue of marriage equality. Self-identified Obama Voters, Democrats and Liberals were all significantly more likely than their conservative counterparts to rate marriage equality as important to deciding their vote for President. And nationwide, voters supported marriage equality by an 11 percent margin—a landslide compared to President Barack Obama’s margin of re-election.

In states where marriage equality was on the ballot, the trend was just as clear:

Maine:

  • The pro-equality campaign secured a 12 point net swing since marriage equality was last on the ballot in 2009, driven in part by increased support among from Catholic voters (up 11 percent since 2009), independents (up 14 percent), and seniors (up 3 percent).

Washington:

  • A full 54 percent of Washington voters approved marriage equality in 2012 after first voting to affirm domestic partnerships in 2009. Though support for equality was up in most groups, this year’s victory was driven by a 16 percent jump in support among independent voters.

Maryland:

  • Growing support among African American voters was a major story from Maryland. A majority of African American women voted to bring marriage equality to the Free State and support for equality in majority-African American communities like Prince George’s County (nearly 50 percent) and Baltimore County (57 percent) won the day.

Minnesota:

  • In Minnesota—just like in the other three states—young voters and Democrats made up the bulk of the pro-equality coalition. Yet increased support in unlikely groups helped to tamp down the anti-equality vote: 44 percent of voters aged 50-64, 23 percent of Romney voters, and 45 percent of non-college voters cast their ballots to stop discrimination from being enshrined in Minnesota’s constitution.

The full memo on the survey is available at: http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com//files/assets/resources/ExitPollSurveyAnalysis.pdf

More on HRC’s electoral victories is available at: www.hrc.org/election

The polling report, commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign and produced by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, contains an analysis of exit polls from Maine, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota as well as results from a survey of 1,001 voters nationally who participated in the 2012 election. The survey was conducted between November 5th and 7th, 2012 among those who had already voted or were almost certain they would vote in the 2012 election and carries an overall margin of error of +/- 3.10.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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