Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gay Marriage in New Jersey - What about Religion?

Listening to the Senate committee hearing the other night, it was interesting how many of the opponents to the gay marriage bill focused on religious beliefs and a traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. Even more interesting to me was this quote in from Democratic State Sen. Paul Sarlo, who chaired the hearing and voted against the bill. He said he is opposed to the bill "personally because of my religious beliefs as a Roman Catholic, and as senator of the 36th District, which is mostly made up of Irish and Italian Catholics, and Orthodox Jews."

This got me thinking that we had never released our polling results on gay marriage by religious preference and frequency of attendance at religious services. But we do have that data.

The results are pretty interesting. Catholics, the single largest religious group in New Jersey actually SUPPORT gay marriage, 48% - 40%. It is Protestants who oppose - 55% are against gay marriage compared to 34% who support it. This Protestant opposition is driven by Evangelicals who are 67% - 24% opposed. Non-Evangelical Protestants actually support gay marriage, 47% - 37%.

Regardless of religious preference, the issue remains "unimportant" - even Evangelicals mostly say it is "not at all important" as issues go in New Jersey.

See for the full release on religion and gay marriage in New Jersey.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Health Care Reform and NJ

We released some data on attitudes towards health care reform from our Nov 6-10 post election poll the other day. The most interesting thing to me is that most NJ residents support some kind of change - even those who think the system "works well". And there is widespread support for a public option, when it is terms "like Medicare". There is also a lot of support for a public option called "government run" but support goes up by about 9 points if the word "Medicare" is included.

Not all that surprising, but simply another data point suggesting the Democrats might have been much better off it they had started this who reform effort by calling what they were doing "Medicare for all". Obviously others have pointed this out too. But in NJ we find that Medicare recipients are more satisfied with their coverage than those who have private insurance, and are more supportive (although just a bit more) of a public option of some type.

Click on the title to this post to get the full press release on health care.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Daggett Wrap Up

I have done a wrap up of sorts on Chris Daggett which is posted on NJ.COm at The main thesis is that most voters who told us in October they would support him, decided by November to vote for someone else. That seems obvious from the outcome, but we were fortunate in that we were able to ask the same people both before and after the election why they supported or did not support Daggett. Not surprisingly, but showing how effective the Republican attacks on him were, the overriding reason was the perception that he just could not win. When the race became very close between Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, people just did not want to throw their vote away. You can read more of this analysis at