A new poll found New Jersey voters
oppose gay marriage, arriving at the opposite conclusion of a poll
released in April.
The poll released Wednesday by the
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute shows New Jersey voters
narrowly oppose legalizing gay marriage by a 49 to 46 margin.
The poll of 1,615 New Jersey voters
disagrees with two earlier polls.
Last week's Rutgers-Eagleton Poll of
903 adults found a narrow majority of New Jerseyans supported gay
marriage, as did an April Quinnipiac University poll by 6 points.
“When we asked about gay marriage in
April it won narrow approval. Now that it seems closer to a
legislative vote, it loses narrowly with the public,” Maurice
Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institution,
said in a statement.
Proponents of gay marriage believe they
have one last opening to approve the legislation before Governor Jon
Corzine leaves office in mid-January and is replaced by Republican
Chris Christie, a gay marriage opponent who supports a gay marriage
Once in office, Christie would
represent a formidable obstacle to passage.
Legislators opened their lame-duck
session on Monday but the gay marriage bill has yet to appear on the
agenda. Several Democratic lawmakers also seem to have shifted from
the affirmative to the undecided column. Senator Stephen M. Sweeney,
who will become Senate president in January, told the New York
Times that several lawmakers view Governor Corzine's loss as a
referendum against gay marriage.
Gay marriage foes are also at work in
the state. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the
nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, launched a
$500,000 anti-gay marriage ad blitz in New Jersey Monday.
Wednesday's poll found independent
voters and men had a change of heart.
“The biggest drop is among
independent voters, who backed the measure 50 – 41 percent in
April,” Carroll said. “And opposition among men spiked from 48 –
44 percent opposed to 57 – 38 percent.”