April 5, 2012
Two new polls that use the exact language citizens will see on the ballot show a proposed North Carolina marriage amendment with a 20-point lead, Baptist Press reports. A Public Policy Polling survey has the amendment ahead 58 to 38 percent, and a SurveyUSA poll has it up 58 to 36 percent. Both surveys included in the question the same wording that will appear on the ballot on May 8: "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state." The two polls differ dramatically from an Elon University poll that used different wording -- "Would you [support or oppose] an amendment to the North Carolina constitution that would prevent any same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships or civil unions?" -- and showed North Carolinians opposing the amendment 62 to 31 percent. Nationwide, polls have shown that people are more likely to support a marriage amendment if it is stated in the positive rather than in the negative, as the Elon poll did; Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling called it a "fatal flaw" for Elon not to use the "exact ballot language" that voters will see in the booth.