Monday, April 20, 2009

NYS Latinos support marriage equality by overwhelming margins, say two polls

There are indications that support for marriage equality in New York State might be at a tipping point with one poll saying that a clear majority of registered voters support Governor David Paterson's marriage equality bill.

A Siena poll of 624 registered voters found that 53% of those polled supported Governor David Paterson's push for a marriage equality bill, while 39% opposed it.

A SurveyUSA poll of 500 registered voters sponsored by WABC-TV had a 49% to 44% margin of support.

Both polls have a relatively small pool of surveyed voters so take it with a grain of salt (remember those polls in California that indicated that Prop. 8 would not pass?) but a comment left at the FiveThirtyEight blog made me take a second look at the numbers.

Note to Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. and Luis Tellez: Among registered voters in both polls, Latinos in New York State support marriage equality by an overwhelming margin.

The Siena poll puts Latino support at 57% to 31% (a difference of 26 percentage points) while the SurveyUSA poll puts it at 53% to 38% (a difference of 15 percentage points).

I am struck not only by the fact that in both polls Latino support for the bill is not only higher than that of whites but that the negative numbers are so low.

There might be a couple of explanations for these striking numbers. The number of Latinos polled might be low enough to skew these margins one way or the other or my unscientific perception that Latinos are more open to supporting LGBT rights is actually being backed by the polling.

The low negative numbers also seem to back my perception that, at least in New York State, views about marriage equality among Latinos has not been shaped by the rantings of people like Rev. Diaz. But, unlike in California, New York State has yet to see a concerted anti-LGBT media effort to pull up opposition to LGBT rights among Latinos. It also, if the numbers reflect reality, that there is an opportunity here to be proactive as LGBT advocates and organizers and to work with Latino leaders to make sure that anti-LGBT interests don't shape the message before we do [Image credit: FiveThirtyEight].



Anonymous said...

Good for Latinos! (Blacks, as usual, seem least in favor). But the really big difference, you'll notice, is in the age groups.

Anna said...

I've been so excited by the results of these polls. As a New Yorker, I'm trying not to get too excited. Actually, I take that back, my excited is more or less automatically kept in check by DOMA, since my partner is a non-citizen. Replealing the Defense of Marriage Act or passing the Uniting American Families Act--those would get me excited! Baby steps, I guess.