September 21, 2012

Polls give edge to backers of gay marriage

The majority of Mainers favor the Nov. 6 ballot initiative, but the number of undecided voters points to 'a very close race,' one pollster says.

By SUSAN M. COVER MaineToday Media

(Continued from page 1)

The margin of error for the 856-person survey was 3.3 percentage points.

Maine is one of four states that will vote on gay marriage this fall. Voters in Maryland and Washington state will decide whether to uphold laws enacted there. Minnesota voters will decide whether to support a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

So far this campaign season, gay-marriage supporters in Maine have aired three television commercials. Opponents have yet to air any. Opponents are expected to begin airing commercials by the end of this month.

Internal polling used in a fundraising appeal by gay-marriage opponents on Wednesday indicated a tighter race than the polls released Thursday.

Protect Marriage Maine is distributing poll numbers that show 48 percent supporting gay marriage, 44 percent opposed with 8 percent undecided. Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling used an automated poll with a sample size of 615 and a margin of error of 4 percentage points. The survey was done Sept. 17 and 18.

Conley said polling on the issue is difficult because people aren't always honest with pollsters.

"I think people are not likely to be as transparent with pollsters with opposition to the redefinition of marriage," he said.

Farmer said all of the polls he has seen -- internal and public -- show support for gay marriage ranging from 53 percent to 57 percent.

"I will take a 10- or 8-point lead," he said. "That's not bad news."

MaineToday Media Staff Writer Susan Cover can be reached at 621-5643 or at:


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