RALEIGH, N.C. — With one week until Election Day and early voting well underway, I wanted to take a look at the numbers on Amendment One, the North Carolina ballot measure that would limit legal recognition of unions to one man and one woman.
We have new polls and financial updates.
Public Polling Policy, based in Raleigh, released a new poll Tuesday about the issue. The majority of voters still plans to vote ‘yes’ on Amendment One, 55% of respondents, while 41% plan to vote ‘no.’ That’s the same margin as one week ago.
The key pivot point in PPP’s data is public understanding of the amendment. Among the 27% of voters who think Amendment One only bans gay marriage, the measure is favored by a whopping 72% to 27%; for the 40% of voters who know that the amendment would also ban civil unions, as many legal experts have said, the amendment is failing, 60% to 38%.
The majority of older voters (60% for/36% against) and voters in eastern North Carolina (64% for/32% against) are in favor of Amendment One, while young voters (33% for/59% against) are opposed.
When we traveled to North Carolina two weeks ago, Jen Jones, communications director for Equality North Carolina — which opposes the amendment — said she and her volunteers would be engaged in “education and persuasion” all the way through election day. That’s a tough road to victory. But it seems to be the only one anti-Amendment One forces have at their disposal.
Tom Jensen, director of PPP, put it this way on Twitter yesterday:
Education is the key for amendment opponents in NC. The more voters know about it, the less they support it: publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/05/m…
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) May 1, 2012
Additionally, fundraising information was reported both for Protect All NC Families (anti-Amendment One) and Vote for Marriage NC (pro-Amendment One). It appears, based on these numbers, that direct donations to the two groups are running roughly even.
As a point of clarification, in a Seattle Times article last week, I reported that pro-Amendment One forces had a 6-to-1 funding advantage over opponents. Those numbers include a variety of funding sources, including direct dollars raised, in-kind donations by allied organizations, and engagement by aligned organizations (such as churches or university student groups).
Relying solely on a measure of dollars directly raised by the coalitions on each side of Amendment One, this is how the most recently reported data look: As of April 23, Vote for Marriage NC reported receiving over $1.19 million in direct donations. On March 27, Protect All NC Families reached the mark of $1.1 million in fundraising. Since that time, the campaign has raised at least another $300,000 through online donations as well as a $100,000 matching grant by a North Carolina married couple. So, the direct donations dollars are remarkably close.
Seven days left until Amendment One gets decided.