A new analysis of exit polls conducted by pollsters representing both political parties found that opposition to marriage equality is concentrated in a few specific population groups: voters over the age of 65, white evangelical Christians, and white voters who do not have a college degree. African American voters who identify as evangelicals were pretty closely split on the question, but all other groups were quite supportive. Here’s a breakdown of how the opposition compares with other groups:
- Voters over age 65 oppose same-sex marriage 58-37.
- Voters under 65 favor marriage equality 52-44.
- White evangelical Christians oppose same-sex marriage by nearly 3 to 1.
- African-American evangelical Christians narrowly oppose marriage equality 47-45.
- All non-evangelicals, including other white Protestants, white Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, African American non-evangelicals and Jewish voters, support marriage equality by double-digit margins.
- White voters who do not have a college degree oppose marriage equality 56-40.
- Non-white voters without a college degree support marriage equality 54-38.
- White college graduates support marriage equality 56-41.
- Non-white college graduates support marriage equality 58-35.
It’s thus unsurprising that legislators who support marriage equality are not likely to endanger their re-election prospects by doing so, as the voters who might punish them for their vote are isolated to these three pockets. This also demonstrates how ineffective the National Organization for Marriage’s efforts to drive a wedge between racial groups have been. Polling has consistently shown that nationwide support for marriage equality continues to grow, and these new data confirm that the freedom to marry is embraced quite widely.