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Friday, October 28, 2016

The latest McClatchy-Marist poll finds that Americans are continuing to evolve on the issue of marriage equality — unless they’re in the Republican Party.

The poll, released Friday, finds that a 51 percent majority of registered voters now support allowing gay people to marry legally, while 41 percent are opposed.

But there is a striking partisan split: Democrats back same-sex marriage, 62 to 33 percent, while Republicans oppose it 27 to 63 percent and 33 percent are “strongly” opposed.

Republicans are the only partisan group to show almost no movement on the issue. Just 6 percent of Republicans now favor marriage equality, but opposed it in the past, compared to 12 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Independents.

Surprisingly, 68 percent of Republicans say they would support a well-qualified gay candidate for office. But they would be far less accepting of a gay family member: 60 percent would be upset if they had a gay child (far more than the 28 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Independents who said the same).

The poll underscores the electoral risks facing Republicans who stand for equality. Although same-sex marriage does have some prominent, deep-pocketed backers within the GOP, supporting it puts Republican candidates directly at odds with a large, motivated segment of the party. In a climate in which all but the most dogmatic conservatives are targets for primary challenges from the right, that’s a major political problem for those who would join a majority of the country in supporting gay rights.

AFP Photo/Scott Olson

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Elliot J. Stamler

    Republicans as a party will never evolve on any major social issue for the simple reason that the social conservatives, aka sexual fascists and rampaging prudes, have explicitly made it clear they will walk out of any campaign/convention that does. Tony Perkins head of the fascist hate group Family Research Council has said that. The Republicans having sold their soul to the extremists/religious right decades ago, can not get rid of them and thus can not make designed appeals to the moderate center. We who are Democrats should take a lesson from that and remain vigilant that our leftist extremists epitomized by etc. never get their fingers around our party’s throat.

  • howa4x

    I think republicans are having a national contest. The goal is to see how many different electoral groups the GOP and associated media heads can drive away from the brand, with a secondary goal of seeing how older and whiter the party can become. I think with some groups such as Latinos goals already have been met and we are not through with the year yet. Women are a close second followed closely by gays, Asians, blacks and environmentalists. So far all they can count on are angry whites, older whites, and evangelical whites. Soon they can replace such old standards as the KKK and Aryan nation and the true white peoples party of America.