“The events of the last few months have put a serious dent in the idea that gay marriage is inevitable.”
-- From "Gay marriage's 'inevitability' in doubt" by Ben Smith, Politico 12/9/09
A Maine referendum that was seen as the best chance for popular approval of same-sex marriage instead was soundly defeated. The state senate in liberal New York voted down a marriage bill by a margin - 38 to 24 - that stunned advocates and the state’s governor, who had predicted victory. And a same-sex marriage measure limped to the floor of the New Jersey state senate Thursday after squeaking out of committee over the opposition of prominent Democrats.
[But,] a review of recent polling and conversations with political operatives and pollsters on both sides of the issue suggest that same-sex marriage still benefits from deep support from younger voters.
A Gallup poll from May, for instance, found that 18 to 29 year olds favor same-sex marriage by a margin of 59% to 37%, while people 65 and over oppose it by an even wider margin. And other studies have suggested the support among young voters is broad, and stretches across regions. One recent Columbia University study reported that more than 50% of 18-29 year olds in 38 states support same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage, critics note, has never won a popular vote. And the Republican pollster Kellyann Conway suggested that wide support among young voters – the bedrock of claims of inevitability – could conceal a lack of “intensity” among supporters of same-sex marriage.
Others argue that those young voters may change their views as they start families.
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