A reader writes:
On that new Gallup poll, you said “The new poll doesn’t change much on the generic question as to approval of marriage equality.” I’m not so sure. These results struck me as an important (even if incremental) shift for several reasons:
1) Swings to the right in 2005, 2008, 2009, and late 2011 gave social conservatives some hope that an undercurrent against SSM was part of the trend line. Once the pendulum swings far enough to the left, they reasoned, it swings back again. After all, there was +8 gap for marriage equality in 2011, and by the end of the year it was once again a dead heat. It was important, then, that this last Gallup poll showed no such compensatory shift. After after consistent momentum across the last three polls, the American public no longer seems to be vacillating.
2) This is the first time in the history of the Gallup poll that that gap between marriage equality proponents and traditionalists has been in the double digits. In electoral politics, those last 2-3 points is the difference between just a lead and a landslide.
3) Disapproval of SSM is at an all time low (43%), and those respondents seem to have shifted into the “I don’t know” column, which has tripled from 1% to 3%. This indicates to me that there is growing uncertainty on the right.