NJ Voters Want Gay Marriage Now, Poll Says [AUDIO]
Today's Fairleigh Dickinson University-PublicMind poll shows Republican Gov. Chris Christie enjoying a 33-point lead over his gubernatorial race challenger, Democratic Sen. Barbara Buono. The same survey however, reveals that Garden State registered voters don't agree with everything Christie does.
The majority does not like the way he's handling the gay marriage issue.
"Sixty-two percent say they support the recent court decision in New Jersey to require the state to start issuing (marriage) licenses to same-sex couples," says Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. "About the same percentage is against a state attempt to appeal the decision to a higher court."
Sixty-two percent say the state should end all legal action that challenges same-sex marriage, with 29 percent who endorse an appeal. The issue is being followed by a majority of voters.
"People are really following this issue," says Jenkins. "Over 60 percent say they're following the issue a lot or some."
As you might expect, there is a partisan divide. More Democrats (75 percent) than Republicans (46 percent) and independents (61 percent) agree with the court's decision. Democrats also fell end to legal action is appropriate (73 percent) as compared to Republicans (44 percent). Two-thirds of women support the court's decision, while a little more than half of all men (55 percent) say the same.
"The timing of the decision heightens the importance of the issue at a time when the state enters the final days of the Senate, gubernatorial, and legislative elections," says Jenkins. "Candidates from top of the ticket to down ballot races will undoubtedly be asked to weigh in on gay marriage for which public opinion is decisive……Gov. Christie is going to have a tough haul trying to convince New Jersey voters that his veto of gay marriage legislation was the right thing to do."
The poll of 702 registered voters in New Jersey was conducted by telephone with both landline and cell phones from September 30 through October 5, 2013, and has a margin of error of +/-3.7 percentage points.