INDIANAPOLIS – Two-thirds of Hoosier voters favor defining marriage solely as the union of one man and one woman, according to a new public opinion poll conducted for the Indiana Family Institute by one of the nation’s most respected public opinion survey firms. The poll, conducted in late September, also reveals Hoosiers have settled views on the much-debated issue of marriage.
Survey participants were read the language of the proposed amendment as it will appear on the ballet in November 2014 (should the Indiana General Assembly advance the measure to voters), “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individual shall not be valid or recognized.”
After participants heard the amendment language, 62 percent of respondents said they would support the measure while 33 percent would oppose. When asked their view on the issue of defining marriage without the formal language of an amendment 66 percent said they favor defining marriage in traditional terms while 30 opposed.
“The Hoosier electorate has a very settled opinion on the topic of marriage,” said Curt Smith, President of the Indiana Family Institute. “When given approximately a dozen arguments for and approximately a dozen arguments against the marriage amendment, the results were strikingly similar. The variation on three ballot tests was only two points and never dropped below 60 percent. This is a remarkably stable, well-informed electorate that will be voting on this issue in 2014.”
The amendment also wins majority support among groups that are viewed as challenging for marriage supporters, including 18-34 year olds (54 percent). Independent voters polled, voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney (44-38 percent) in 2012, yet 58 percent would vote for the marriage amendment and only 38 percent would vote against it if the election were held today. While conservative voters support the amendment strongly (81 percent), it additionally earns solid support from moderate likely voters (45 percent).
The question of defining marriage in law has been at the center of public policy debates across America for the past decade. This summer the Supreme Court affirmed the role of the states in setting their own definitions of marriage. The Indiana General Assembly is expected to take up and approve a measure in early 2014 to let Hoosiers decide for themselves how this question should be resolved.
The poll was conducted September 24 and 25 by telephone of 504 likely voters. The sample was drawn from a list of registered voters in Indiana whose voting history was publicly available.
The poll was conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, one of the nation’s most technologically sophisticated and accurate polling firms. The firm won the coveted Pollie Award from the American Association of Political Scientist in 2012 for best polling technique. The firm was one of the few Republican polling firms to accurately predict various races across the country including President Obama’s winning margin.
View survey information and key findings here.
Indiana Family Institute is a non-partisan public education and research nonprofit organization. Indiana Family Institute believes firmly that the family is the key institution of society, and that the overall health of any city, state, region or nation is determined largely by the health of this bedrock institution. Indiana Family Institute is committed to strengthening and improving the marriages and families of all Hoosiers, and as such, has been the key organization advocating a marriage constitutional amendment.