Leading Republican and Democratic Pollsters Find Rapid Increase in Support for the Freedom to Marry

Today at the National Press Club, two leading pollsters, one Republican and one Democrat, released a new analysis of polling data spanning fifteen years regarding the shifting public attitudes on the freedom to marry. The results of this analysis show the freedom to marry growing more and more support over time, with a significant surge of support in the past two years. This significant surge of support in the past two years was caused by evolving attitudes among every group analyzed in this study, including older Americans and Republicans.

The two pollsters who conducted this analysis were Joel Benenson, President of Benenson Strategy and a leading Democratic pollster, and Dr. Jan van Lohuizen, President of Voter Consumer Research and a leading Republican pollster. This study was commissioned by Freedom to Marry as part of our new campaign to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and expand public and political support for the freedom to marry.

This study found support for the freedom to marry rose about 1% per year over a 13-year period between 1996 and 2009. But in 2010 and 2011, support for the freedom to marry shot up 5% per year. Now polls show that 53% of Americans support the freedom to marry and that almost 70% of voters under the age of forty support the freedom to marry.

“The remarkable surge over the last two years can’t be explained by generational change alone,” says Republican pollster Dr. Jan van Lohuizen. “It suggests that people across the political spectrum are rethinking their positions—and deciding in favor of the freedom to marry.”

This study also found that since 2006 support for the freedom to marry has increased 15% among seniors, 13% among independents, and 8% among Republicans. All of these results make one thing clear—the majority of Americans support the freedom to marry and that majority is only going to grow larger over time.

Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, had this to say about today’s announcement:

“The political center of gravity on the freedom to marry has shifted dramatically since 1996, when Congress first voted on the question, and it’s time for politicians and political advisors to catch up with the change. If the American people can go from 27% support in 1996 to 53% in 2011, with even stronger support among younger Americans across the political spectrum, so can those who seek to lead America and be on the right side of not just history, but politics.”

To read the full report, click here.