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Poll: NJ Voters Prefer Gay Marriage Referendum

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A new poll shows that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has hit on a popular message in his effort to keep same-sex marriage from becoming law there.A survey published Tuesday by the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll found that a majority of New Jersey voters — 53-percent–agree with the Republican Governor that same-sex marriage should be put up for a referendum. Forty percent agreed with Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s view that marriage equality is a civil right, and not appropriate for voters to decide.

But the same poll also found–like most New Jersey polls in the last six months or more–that a majority of voters FAVOR marriage equality. They like gay marriage, they just think it should be put to a vote. The results held true across most demographic groups–including those who SUPPORT same-sex marriage.

Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Director David Redlawsk says that may be because so many polls show majority support for gay marriage, supporters think it would win in November. But, he warns, “in the face of a likely intensive campaign from opponents, this could be wishful thinking.”

Another twist is that those who support gay marriage were much more likely to tell the pollster they think it’s an important issue than opponents–who don’t consider it very important. Redlawsk notes that’s the reverse of poll results from other states where gay marriage opponents were generally more passionate.

The poll of 900 adults was conducted by landline and cell phone last Thursday through Saturday. It reported a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.


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  1. In 1967, the SC found state laws banning inter-racial marriages unconstitutional as a violation of fundamental civil rights. At the same time, a national poll found that 70% of Americans favored the bans. So….who amongst you will be the first to have your civil rights determined by popular vote????


    February 15, 2012 at 11:20 AM

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