A recent SurveyUSA poll of Minnesotans included this question:
“President Obama says that same sex couples should be able to get married. Do you agree with the president? Or disagree?”
The poll findings bust three popular myths about Minnesotans and same sex marriage:
Myth #1: “Over Greater Minnesota’s Dead Body.” The political conventional wisdom goes like this: “The purple haired hipsters in Uptown may be for gay marriage, but traditional Main Street folks in Greater Minnesota will never stand for it.” That conventional wisdom is wrong. There is very little regional difference in support for gay marriage. Support is roughly the same in the Twin Cities (53%), southern Minnesota (54%), and western Minnesota (51%). Those three regions all fall within the 4% margin of error. Only northeastern Minnesota (49% support) falls below the majority threshold, and is statistically different from the Twin Cities, but just barely. Republicans need to realize that Main Street is not Narrow Street.
Myth #2: “Only Radical Liberal Extremists Want Gay Marriage.” This has been the conservative line for years. But it doesn’t stand up to the data. A pretty solid majority (55%) of self-described “moderates” and “independents” (54%) in Minnesota agree with the President on gay marriage. If a majority of moderates support something, it can hardly be considered radical. Support for gay marriage is now a mainstream position in Minnesota.
Myth #3: “Marriage ban amendments pass everywhere, so it can’t be defeated in Minnesota.” This poll found that 52% of Minnesotans support the President’s position and 42% oppose it. There is a long way to go before the November election, but if this isn’t a dead myth, it is surely a rapidly dying one. Literally. The biggest source of opposition comes from people over 65 years old (only 33% support) support, and as time marches on younger generations will hold more electoral sway. The support among Minnesota’s 18-34 year olds is running at an overwhelming 68%.
It’s very clear where this issue is headed. In 2012, gay Minnesotans are hardly the societal aberrations they’ve been portrayed to be my whole life. Statistically speaking, the 82% of Tea Partiers who adamantly oppose Obama on gay marriage are now the societal aberrations.