The takeaway about Amendment 1 and the real Public Policy Polling results: "The amendment is still favored for passage," says PPP director Tom Jensen, "but it's looking like less and less of a sure thing."
The PPP survey, taken before the anti-Amendment 1 TV ads hit the air yesterday, found that Amendment 1 favored by a 54-40 percent margin among likely voters, but the margin's been cut in half since October and cut from 20 points to 14 in the last four weeks.
"There is some reason to think a huge upset in two weeks is within the realm of possibility," Jensen says.
53% of voters in the state support either gay marriage or civil unions, with only 44% opposed to any recognition for same sex couples.
The proposed amendment would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but voters continue to be confused about that. Just 36% correctly identify that it would ban both while 26% think it bans only gay marriage, 10% think it actually legalizes gay marriage, and 27% admit that they don't know what it does.
When voters are informed that the proposed amendment would preclude both marriage and civil unions for gay couples only 38% continue to support it with 46% in opposition. (emphasis mine)
The rest of Jensen's story:
Voters obviously will be more tuned into the amendment debate over the final two weeks of the campaign than they have been to date, particularly as the against side's tv ads hit the air, and it seems quite possible that as voters become more and more informed about the amendment they will continue to move more and more against it.
The main movement over the last month has been with Democratic voters. Previously they were almost evenly divided on the amendment but now they're moving against it with only 38% still in support and 56% opposed. A big part of that is a shift among black voters. They still support it by a 51/39 margin, but that's well down from 61/30 on our a poll a month ago.
The other thing that really stands out in these numbers is the views of young people. Only 31% of voters under 30 now say they support the amendment, with 62% in opposition.
As Thom Tillis has said, regardless of what happens on this vote in two weeks, the tide is strongly turning. Seniors meanwhile are nearly the mirror image of young people on the issue, supporting the amendment 63/31.