February 9, 2011

New Hampshire Voters Strongly Oppose Repealing the Law that Allows Gay and Lesbian Couples to Marry
Findings from a survey of New Hampshire voters
Interested Parties To: From: Anna Greenberg and Missy Egelsky
In the wake of the change in leadership in the state legislature, there has been an active effort to repeal the law that allows gay and lesbian couples in New Hampshire to marry. Our recent survey, however, shows that Granite State voters strongly support marriage for gay and lesbian couples and strongly oppose overturning the law. Nine out of ten voters across the political spectrum want the state legislature to focus on economic, not social, issues. The following memo is based on a survey of 622 New Hampshire voters 1 conducted between January 30th and February 3rd, 2011. It carries a margin of error of +/- 3.9 points.

Strong Support for Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples Overall, 59 percent of New Hampshire voters support allowing same sex couples to marry and 63 percent oppose a bill that would eliminate marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Equally as important, there is a major intensity gap with much stronger opposition (49 percent strongly oppose) to overturning the law than support (23 percent strongly support) for this effort. Governor John Lynch has already stated that he would veto this legislation and the voters strongly support that move – 59 percent favor this veto (48 percent strongly support).

1

This includes a statewide representative sample of 525 registered voters, with an oversample of 97 voters in the Manchester, Salem, and Nashua area.
Washington, DC Seattle London Buenos Aires

www.greenbergresearch.com

New Hampshire Survey Results

2

Figure 1: Strong Support for Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples
As you may know, some legislators plan to introduce bills this year that would eliminate marriage for gay couples in New Hampshire. Do you favor or oppose bills that would eliminate marriage for gay couples in New Hampshire?

As you may know, New Hampshire legalized marriage between gay and lesbian couples in 2009. Do you personally support or oppose the New Hampshire law that allows gay and lesbian couples to legally marry?

Strongly support Strongly oppose 80

Somewhat support Somewhat oppose 80

Strongly favor Strongly oppose

Somewhat favor Somewhat oppose

+25
60

+34
60

59

63

40

42

34
27

40

49

29
20

20

23

0

0

Support

Oppose

Favor

Oppose

Opposition to Repeal Crosses Partisan and Demographic Lines Support for marriage for gay and lesbian couples garners support across demographic and partisan lines. Not surprisingly, 88 percent of Democrats oppose overturning the law, but so do 66 percent of independents and 35 percent of Republicans. While it is not a surprise that younger voters oppose overturning the law, a near majority of senior citizens (49 percent oppose, 44 percent favor) also oppose it. Two-thirds of moms and 53 percent of dads oppose changing the law. Geographically, majorities of voters in every part of the state—including more conservative and Republican-leaning voters in Manchester, Salem, Nashua and surrounding towns—oppose repealing the law.

 2011 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, All Rights Reserved.

February, 2011

New Hampshire Survey Results

3

Figure 2: Opposition to Repeal Crosses Demographic Lines
As you may know, some legislators plan to introduce bills this year that would eliminate marriage for gay couples in New Hampshire. Do you favor or oppose bills that would eliminate marriage for gay couples in New Hampshire?

Strongly favor Strongly oppose 100

Somewhat favor Somewhat oppose

+80

88
78

+42 66 57
49 51

+22

80

60

40

35
22

24
20

8
6
Favor Oppose

16
Favor Oppose Favor

0

Oppose

Democrats

Independents

Republicans

Support for Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples despite Conservative Political Environment In 2010, the Republicans picked up 133 seats in the state legislature, as well as retained the U.S. Senate seat and recaptured both U.S. House seats. In this survey, a generic Republican legislative candidate wins by 5 points, 44 to 39 percent. Despite this conservative environment, most Granite State voters strongly oppose repealing the law; when asked about the impact of a vote in favor of eliminating the law, 30 percent said it would make them LESS likely to support their state legislator, 19 percent said it would make them MORE likely to support their state legislator, while 48 percent say other issues are more important to their vote.

Voters Prefer the Governor and Legislature to Focus on Economic Issues Overall, most Granite State voters would prefer that the legislature focus on pressing problems such as the economy and the budget deficit. When asked about the two most important priorities for the Governor and the state legislature, fully 60 percent said “jobs and the economy” while 4 percent said “gay marriage.” Fully 92 percent of voters believe that the state’s leadership should focus on economic issues over social issues like gay marriage and abortion. Here again, the preference for focusing on economic issues over social issues crosses partisan and demographic lines. Even 96 percent of Republicans would prefer a focus on the economy.

 2011 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, All Rights Reserved.

February, 2011

New Hampshire Survey Results

4

Figure 3: Voters Prefer a Focus on Economic Issues
Which do you think that the Governor and state legislature should focus more on -economic issues like government spending, the budget deficit, and jobs, or social issues like gay marriage and abortion?

Economic Issues Social Issues

100

80

92

90

90

96

60

40

20

3
0

3
Democrats

4
Independents

2
Republicans

All voters

Party Identification

 2011 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, All Rights Reserved.

February, 2011

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful