Results contradict earlier Public Policy Polling data — a majority of black voters oppose the amendment in the Elon poll, showing how the wording of the question makes all the difference in the world.
In a great summary of the polling information to date, Matt Comer at QNotes reports on the latest results in an Elon University poll that shows a majority of North Carolinians oppose the proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban marriage (as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples) that will be on the ballot next May.
On Oct. 12, Public Policy Polling released the results of a Sept. 30-Oct. 3 poll of 671 primary voters that showed the amendment leading 61-34 percent. The Elon University poll, which surveyed voters and non-voters alike, was conducted Sept. 25-29 and showed 56 percent opposed to the amendment.
Of particular note is high opposition to the amendment from African-American voters. Sixty-six percent of African-Americans polled by Elon are opposed to the amendment. Sixty-nine percent favor some sort of legal recognition of same-sex couples’ relationships.
North Carolina House Republicans have attempted to sway the black vote, largely seen as socially conservative, in favor of the amendment. In September, North Carolina House Majority Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake) and Speaker Pro Tem Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth) joined a group of black pastors at a press conference to explain their support for the amendment.
In case you missed it, that dreadful, ignorance-filled press conference guest starring some of the most bigoted black pastors in NC, was so embarrassing that Speaker Pro Tempore Folwell (@DaleFolwell) later had to walk back his support for the bizarre statements made by these purported faith leaders before the cameras. I said at the time:
The saddest part of this disgusting attempt to prey on fear and ignorance is the use of attention-loving bigoted black pastors as tools to foment the bigotry, purportedly the socially conservative religious black community. The pathetic display of Pastor Johnny ?Two Locks? Hunter banging padlocks together and Donald Q. Fozard, of Durham’s Mount Zion Christian Church talking about desert-island procreation at a presser held in the General Assembly (sponsored by Folwell), we see how that pretty much sums up the intellectual running-on-empty approach to misinformation. It was an embarrassment.
Hunter: “You see…two locks…(pulls them out of his pocket, bangs them together) cannot open each other. (Bangs them together again) They don’t work together (continues banging)…they weren’t designed to work together. In fact, even if you had two keys (pulls those out of his pocket)…two keys don’t work together. What it takes to consummate a marriage is a lock and a key. (Holds up a lock and a key).”
The fact is that hundreds of NC faith leaders are standing together to oppose this amendment. And it’s not a given that this amendment will pass. The key is to educate voters about the harm it will cause, and as you see with the polls, when it is explained to people, the opposition to the amendment is strong.
Equality North Carolina Communications Director Jen Jones said the differences in polling questions and their results expose North Carolinians truest thoughts about the amendment.
“It turns out when you tell people what the amendment does, they don’t like it,” she said in an email to qnotes.
In his first interview with North Carolina press on Thursday, Equality North Carolina’s recently-hired executive director, Stuart Campbell, said it was imperative that his group inform voters about the true extent of the amendment’s reach.
“There is a lot of misinformation about what this amendment does or doesn’t do,” Campbell said. “A lot of people think it will create gay marriage and some people think it will stop only gay marriage. In reality, it does so much more.”