Quinnipiac University released a poll on Monday that shows support for marriage equality in Ohio hitting 50%. When asked if they support same-sex marriage, 50% of Ohio voters stated they were in favor of it, while 44% oppose it. Back in 2004, the state passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. That measure passed easily, with 62% voting in favor of the amendment. Like many swing states that year, gay marriage was used as a wedge issue to get voters to support President Bush in his reelection bid.
However, it appears that Republicans can no longer rely on gay marriage as an easy way to get the prejudicial vote out. With more states allowing same-sex marriage, it is just a matter of time before marriage equality will be the law of the land. Conservatives are just going to have to come to grips with the fact that they lost on this issue. Considering that deep-red states like Oklahoma and Utah have had state bans on gay marriage overturned by federal judges due to being unconstitutional, it appears that the religious right is in the final round of this fight and are way behind on points.
Back to the poll, the support for same-sex marriage shows a pretty stark partisan divide still. 67% of Democrats support marriage equality while only 29% of Republicans do. However, a majority of Independents (53%) support gay couples having the right to marry. There is also a somewhat sizable gender gap on the issue, as 55% of women are in favor of marriage equality while only 46% of men are for it.
Much like any progressive issue, the older the voter is, the more likely the voter is to be against it. Across the age spectrum, same-sex marriage received majority support except for those above 65. Only 33% of senior citizens support gay marriage while 71% of voters 29 and younger support it. 52% of voters between 30 and 49 and 51% of voters aged 50-64 support it.
Besides marriage equality, Quinnipiac also polled voters on abortion and marijuana legalization. The results were roughly similar to same-sex marriage. Ohioans support abortion rights 53-41, with similar partisan divides as with gay marriage. However, there were no gender gaps regarding support (52% of men and 53% of women believe it should be legal) , and the differences between different age groups wasn’t as large. 61% of younger voters believe it should be legal while 44% of senior citizens feel the same way. 46% of seniors believe it should be illegal.
As for marijuana, the poll shows overwhelming support for weed being used for medicinal purposes. 87% are in favor of medical marijuana while only 11% oppose it. Regarding recreational use, it appears that a small majority of voters are in favor of it. 51% responded that adults should be allowed to possess small amounts of weed, compared to 44% who feel that should still be illegal. Men appeared to be far more in favor of it than women, with 59% of males supporting the legalization compared to 44% of females.
What this poll shows, though, is that the GOP does not have a reliable wedge issue in a key swing state to divide voters on. They can’t get cheap and easy votes anymore by relying on social issues to divide voters who would normally vote Democratic. With Hillary Clinton currently polling extremely well in Ohio, and the GOP without a strong candidate, it appears the state might already be a lost cause for them in 2016.