New PPP poll shows support for Amendment One dropping fast

As we noted below, President Obama is in North Carolina today — but won’t speak out against the viciously anti-gay Amendment One, which would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. Early voting began last week in advance of the May 8th primary. This is a hot topic in North Carolina, particularly for young voters.

Today, we’re seeing evidence that the polling is moving in our direction. Public Policy Polling which is based in North Carolina, found that support for the Amendment has dropped by four points — while our side is picking up support. PPP’s blog post is titled: Momentum moving against NC amendment.

Momentum is turning against North Carolina’s proposed marriage amendment. PPP’s newest poll finds only 54% of voters in the state planning to support it, while 40% are opposed. This is the lowest level of support PPP has found in monthly polling of the amendment since last October. When PPP first polled on it six months ago 61% supported it with only 34% opposed, so its current 14 point lead has been cut almost in half from the 27 point advantage it started out with.

There is some reason to think a huge upset in two weeks is within the realm of possibility. 53% of voters in the state support either gay marriage or civil unions, with only 44% opposed to any recognition for same sex couples. The proposed amendment would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but voters continue to be confused about that. Just 36% correctly identify that it would ban both while 26% think it bans only gay marriage, 10% think it actually legalizes gay marriage, and 27% admit that they don’t know what it does.

That’s my emphasis in bold.

So, we’re at 54% – 40% now — and the momentum is against Amendment One.  According to campaign manager Jeremy Kennedy this marks “the lowest support for the amendment in public polling and the highest percentage of voters against since the campaign began!” The trendline is ours — and is reminiscent of what happened in Mississippi on the personhood amendment, according to NC Policy Watch:

Given that numerous polls have also shown that support for the substance of the amendment collapses once people actually understand what it would do, it’s enough to make an observer think that the amendment could be headed for a defeat reminiscent of the one that befell the so-called “personhood amendment” rejected by Mississippi voters last fall. That amendment was way ahead in the polls just a few weeks before the November election and then lost decisively once people figured out how radical it really was.

I like that comparison.

This latest PPP poll was conducted last week, before our side’s ads began. This tracks with with the campaign’s internal polling. PPP’s poll shows continued confusion over the amendment — and that provides a clear path to victory through an aggressive multi-pronged voter education campaign.

Those t.v. ads are a key element to winning. And, there’s a really vigorous voter contact program underway online and through phones and mail. Also, a lot of the coalition partners are conducting their own outreach.

On a conference call with campaign operatives Sunday night, we were told that North Carolina’s voters tend to decide late on issues. And, we’re seeing some results of that now.

Our side has momentum. Our side has an aggressive field operation. Our side has all the major newspaper endorsements. And, our side can win if we have the resources and the support from all of our allies.

Protect All NC Families is leading the effort against Amendment One. And, you can donate to the campaign here. Online contributions have been critically important for Protect All NC Families. Over $600,000 has been raised through online efforts.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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