Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Gay Marriage: The Electorate Changes, and Politics Follow

By Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center, Special to the New York Times

Seems like just yesterday that opposition to gay marriage was the strategy of choice to rally and energize the conservative base. In the 2004 presidential election, analysts believed that proposed state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage increased the turnout of socially conservative voters in as many as 11 states, where the measures appeared on the ballot.

That was then, when 60 percent of the American public opposed gay marriage, and only 29 percent supported it. At the time, the intensity was at the right: 35 percent of respondents were strongly opposed, while very few indeed (8 percent) strongly favored it. But since then, many Americans have changed their minds, and a whole new generation has come of age with a different point of view on this issue.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

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