Rutgers-Eagleton Poll: N.J. voters back gay marriage

NEW BRUNSWICK – The latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll shows support for what the courts have decided and what the Christie administration has acquiesced to: gay marriage.

A majority of New Jersey voters agree with today’s decision by Gov. Chris Christie to drop the state’s appeal of the ruling that made New Jersey the 14th state to adopt marriage equality, according to the new poll.

Support for legalizing same-sex marriage is at 61 percent, versus 27 percent who oppose and 12 percent who are unsure.

For the first time, a plurality of Republicans supports allowing same-sex couples to marry. 

“Beliefs about same-sex marriage have shifted rapidly,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “Fully one-quarter of today’s supporters tell us they were previously opposed. Not long ago, a ruling like this would have created a significant backlash. Now most voters agree with it.”

Opinion on the appeal is somewhat less lopsided; 53 percent say the state should accept the decision, while 40 percent wanted it appealed to the state Supreme Court.

A large majority of voters would still prefer to be the final decision makers. Sixty-two percent say voters should get to weigh in, compared to 23 percent who believe the decision should lie with the courts and 10 percent who want to give the Legislature final say.  

Results are from a poll of 799 registered voters conducted statewide by live callers with both landline and cell phone households from Oct. 7-13. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

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