There are strikingly different results between the new Field Poll on gay marriage and the LA Times poll released last week. The Field Poll claims that the majority of California registered voters support gay marriage and oppose the upcoming Amendment to the California Constitution, driven by increased support among younger voters. The LA Times Poll showed that the majority of registered voters oppose gay marriage and support the upcoming Amendment to the California Constitution.
The LA Times Poll asked : "As you may also know, a proposed amendment to the state's constitution may appear on the November ballot which would reverse the Supreme Court's decision and reinstate a ban on same-sex marriage. The amendment would state that marriage is only between a man and a woman. If the November election were held today, would you vote for or against the amendment to make marriage only between a man and a woman?"
Yielding the results:
Haven't heard enough: 1%, Vote Yes: 49%, Lean Yes: 2%, Vote No: 36 %, Lean No: 1%, Wouldn't Vote: 3%, Don't Know: 9%
This can be summarized: Yes: 51%, No: 36% Undecided: 13%
The Field Poll had two versions of the question and divided the sample in half, asking one version of the question to each half.
Field Poll Question a: "Do you favor or oppose changing the California State Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, thus barring marriage between gay and lesbian couples?"
Yielding the results: Favor: 40%, Oppose: 54%, No opinion: 6%
Field Poll Question b: "There may be a vote on this issue in the November election. Would you faovr or oppose having the state constitution prohibit same-sex marriage, by defing marriage as only between a man and a woman?"
Yielding the results: Favor: 43%, Oppose: 51%, No opinion: 6%
Both the Field Poll and the LA Times Poll were conducted after the release of the California Supreme Court ruling overturning the laws against gay marriage: Field Poll (May 17-26), LA Times Poll (May 20-21). The Field Poll surveyed 1,052 registered voters and the LA Times Poll surveyed 834 adults which included 705 registered voters. In my previous two posts about the LA Times Poll, here and here, I was looking at the results for all adults, not just the registered voters.
The most striking differences I notice between the polls is the omission of civil unions in the questions in the Field Poll and the the reversal in the results for younger adults.
On the constitutional amendment question, the LA Times Poll did not give the results for registered voters who were younger adults, but for all the younger adults surveyed, the LA Times Poll showed for 18-34 year olds:
Haven't heard enough: 2%, Vote Yes: 48%, Lean Yes: 1%, Vote No: 40 %, Lean No: 0%, Wouldn't Vote: 5%, Don't Know: 4%
This can be summarized: Yes: 49%, No: 40% Undecided: 11%
And for the question "Which of the following statements comes closest to your view? "Same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry", or "Same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions, but not marry" or "Same-sex couples should not be allowed to either marry or form civil unions", the LA Times Poll had a very interesting result showing more young people opposed any recognition for same-sex relationships:
ALL Legally Marry: 35%, Civil Unions: 30%, Neither: 29%, Don't Know: 6%
18-34 Legally Marry: 35%, Civil Unions: 24%, Neither: 38%, Don't Know: 3%
The Field Poll didn't show the age break down for the questions on the vote on the constitutional amendment, however, they do show an age breakdown for views on allowing same-sex couples to marry:
Total Statewide -- Approve: 51%, Disapprove: 42%, No opinion: 7%
18-29 year olds -- Approve: 68%, Disapprove: 25%, No opinion: 7%