Thursday, August 6, 2009

California Field Poll Shows Voters As Whole Have Become More Accepting of Marriage Equality Over Last Three Decades

UPDATE: Washington Post article on analysis, "As California Goes. . . "

CORRECTION: This is a new analysis of polling data taken in March and comparing this to the past three decades. It's not actually a poll with new raw data, though it's being mistakenly reported as such.

The Field Poll analysis released today shows a dramatic shift in support for marriage equality in California over the last three decades, and though it's close, it's not a majority yet. But it's no surprise that the Republicans are the only ones holding out versus Democrats and those who identify as non-partisan.
The Field Poll's analysis of issue trends identifies the same troubling dynamic for the Republican Party: Nonpartisans are much closer to Democrats in attitude than Republicans.

Despite the passage of Proposition 8 outlawing same-sex marriage last year, California voters as a whole have become much more accepting of same-sex marriage over the past three decades.

In 1977, opposition was 2-to-1, 62 percent to 31 percent. Now, a near majority, 49 percent, supports same-sex marriage to 44 percent that does not.

During that period, Democratic support for same-sex marriage has soared, flipping from 2-to-1 opposition in 1977 to 2-to-1 support today, 64 percent to 30 percent.

In 1977, 30 percent of Republicans supported same-sex marriages, dropping to 23 percent in 2009.

As for nonpartisans, 57 percent favor and 38 percent oppose same-sex marriage today. In 1977, opinions were reversed, 38 percent support to 55 percent opposition. Support for legal abortions has also increased significantly since the 1970s. In 1975, 51 percent of California voters favored abortion rights. In 2006, 70 percent did.

Again, Democratic support has swelled over the decades while Republican support is virtually unchanged
This analysis, which also breaks down each party and California's voter pool by race, will definitely inform the LGBT Californian population and how it determines when to go back to the ballot.

With the Next Steps Summit this Sunday, this analysis will most likely be discussed and referred to when strategizing a winning campaign. Below are the detailed findings. I'd suggest we familiarize ourselves with it.

August 2009 Field Poll


  1. Thanks Phil for providing this valuable information. As for Sunday, it is not a "summit," it is a working meeting. We are rolling up our sleeves and getting down to do some work. There will be no repeat of San Bernardino. Looking forward to seeing you there.

  2. Lester,
    I was told initially by logistics it was going to be called the Next Steps Summit and so reported it as such. In order to keep readers from being confused, I have stuck to that name. But I will refer to it as a working meeting as well.

  3. Fair enough. You have the wisdom of Solomon.

  4. This is another in a series of studies documenting the huge and inevitable progress towards marriage equality.

    But it is also the most revealing and discloses who we need to move in order to win back marriage equality in CA.

    It's right there in the data.

    We need to increase traditional Democratic voter support, particularly Latinos and people of color, to the same level as Republican opposition.

    Then we win.

    Independents are already on our side and will continue to drift in support. We may be able to bring along some Republicans but we should focus on our best returns - Democratic voters. That is where we must go.


    Due to a private family matter, I will be out of town and unable to be there Sunday.

    By any chance, are you recording / streaming the early portion (Hildebrant's part) of the agenda?

    I would like to see / hear him upon my return.

  5. Terry,
    That right now is the plan. I will have more information on that tomorrow. Stay tuned!