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Monday, October 24, 2016

This week, Hawaii became the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage. At Democracy Corps, we have been tracking voters’ attitudes toward gay marriage since 2010. Americans’ opinions on the issue have transformed over that period — and the pace of the shift is increasing. Just 37 percent of all voters now give gay marriage a negative rating (below 50 on our 100-point scale), a 9-percent decline since 2010.

cgm marriage graphic2

Republicans are the only group where negative attitudes toward same-sex marriage have remained relatively stable. We find that these views have shifted just 2 points (within the margin of error) since November 2010. By contrast, we find an 11-point shift among Democrats over that period, and an 8-point shift among independents.

cgm marriage graphic3

The conservative factions, which now comprise a majority of the Republican Party, are not only opposed to gay marriage, but believe homosexuality should be discouraged — two-thirds of religiously observant Republicans and 82 percent of evangelical Republicans hold this belief. Combined, these groups make up half of the Republican Party. In stark contrast, just over a third of moderate Republicans and just under a third of independents believe that homosexuality should be discouraged.

cgm marriage graphic1

It is difficult to see how the Republican Party can simultaneously sustain its opposition to gay marriage and remain a viable national party in the long term. Gay marriage is simply not controversial to young voters, just a fifth of whom have negative attitudes toward the institution. As one of the moderate Republican participants in our recent focus groups told us, “I just can’t sell my kids on this party.”

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  • olsondavid

    Expect more Republican efforts at disenfranchisement of voters outside of their core demographic, which is currently in numerical free fall. There just aren’t enough white, rich, old and greedy people left in the country to allow them to win elections if all “those other people” can easily vote. The Republican movers and shakers (not the Tea Party folk they’ve duped into joining with them) seem to have a view of the world that harkens back to the aristocracies of Europe – a peasant class that was put on earth to serve the rich.

    Unfortunately for them, we’re seeing both demographic and a cultural shifts in this country that will send them the way of the dinosaurs. They’re being left behind, in a way different than the books of the same title. Viva La Tea Party!

  • howa4x

    Considering all the other positions of the party aside of same-sex marriage, from opposition to any sane gun background checks to calling climate change a hoax, the republicans are falling outside of the mainstream on all these issues. They are hostile to any meaningful healthcare reform and just want the uninsured to over run hospital emergency rooms with out any reimbursement, which may cause weaker hospital systems to collapse. We’ve already seen that in NJ. States with republican governors or legislatures refuse the Medicaid expansion which is aimed at the working poor whose members include women, the Latino, and minority communities. Between the house republicans being hostile to immigration reform and the red states continued assault on women’s reproductive rights they are driving more people away than they are attracting. They seem to be doubling down on the older white vote but even here with calls from republican representatives for privatization of social security and turning Medicare into a voucher program, they may not be able to hold onto this group much longer. If the seniors turn against them combined with all the other groups they may only exist as a regional party no matter how much Koch money is thrown at them.

  • jointerjohn

    This is an even more complex problem for the GOP in that they have become reliant on a base made up of many persons who are reactionary single-issue voters. Whereas a shift in position on this topic would not drive independents or democrats strongly in revolt, if Republican candidates try to soften their positions on this one many of their rabid base will walk out on them. This is the problem when aligning with intolerant people. When it is time to change they will dump you. Bigotry is volatile.

    • kanawah

      The Transylvania tea bag republiCONs are a party of racist bigots.

      • jointerjohn

        Odd twist of fate it may be that the real Transylvania is emerging into the modern world while these drooling and knuckle-dragging morons, (the present GOP), are attempting to drag the good old U.S.A. back into the seventeenth century. They believe I hate this country and only they can love it. They are so wrong. My love of country is virulent, I just don’t want to stunt it’s growth by clinging to Pre-Victorian Principles over progress. Thank you Kanawah, now go energize some young voters, some women, so minorities, so we can put these cave-people out of public office.

  • [email protected]

    Anything that hurts the intolerant Republicans is good with me. What I do not understand is why woman are letting the Republicans pass more and more laws that restrict women’s rights to access to birth controls, choice, health care, equal pay, etc. I guess woman have more important things to do then to stand up for their rights and the invasion of government into their reproductive rights. Here is an interesting example here in Michigan. They are poised to pass a law where women will have to buy a rider to their health insurance so as to permit the termination of a pregnancy due to rape, before the rape, If not they will be without health coverage to cover that event in their life. Who thinks that they will be raped??

  • kanawah

    Whether it is gay marriage or something else, i hope it is quick and merciless.

    The sooner the Transylvania tea bag republiCONs are gone, the better.