NEW YORK - By the highest margin ever, 56 - 37 percent, New York State voters support legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
This compares to 51 - 41 percent support, the previous high, measured in a June 23, 2009 survey, by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
In today's survey, support for gay marriage is 69 - 25 percent among Democrats and 55 - 39 percent among independent voters. Republicans are opposed 52 - 41 percent. Men back gay marriage 54 - 40 percent and women support it 58 - 34 percent. Support is highest among suburban voters, 61 - 33 percent. New York City voters support gay marriage 55 - 37 percent and upstate voters support it 54 - 39 percent.
By a 64 - 24 percent margin, New York State voters say an independent commission, not the State Legislature, should create the districts from which member of the U.S. Congress and the State Legislature are elected. Support is strongest, 70 - 21 percent, among independent voters and is over 60 percent among all other groups.
But despite pledges from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many legislators to establish non- partisan redistricting, voters say 49 - 34 percent that they won't keep their promise.
"Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn't make a big issue of same-sex marriage in his state-of-the- state speech, but he said he was for it and so are most New Yorkers," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"New York State voter attitudes about gay marriage have shifted dramatically since April 15, 2004, when Quinnipiac University first asked about gay marriage and found voters opposed the measure 55 - 37 percent."
"There's a lot of cynicism out there. Former Mayor Ed Koch's call for non-partisan legislative and congressional redistricting won a lot of support during last year's campaign. By more than 2-1, voters like the idea. But many doubt that Albany will do it," Carroll added.
New York State voters oppose 51 - 40 public financing for candidates for governor, other statewide offices and the State Legislature. Democrats back campaign financing by a narrow 46 - 43 percent, but opposition is 63 - 29 percent among Republicans and 49 - 45 percent among independent voters.
Voters say 48 - 42 percent that state legislators who are lawyers should be required to publicly list their clients. Independent voters back this measure 57 - 35 percent while Democrats split 45 - 44 percent. Republicans are opposed by a narrow 47 - 44 percent.
"With a firm grip on their wallets, New Yorkers are opposed to spending tax dollars on just about anything, including campaign finance reform to clean up Albany," Carroll added.
Approvals for President, Senators
New York State voters approve 53 - 40 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, compared to his 48 - 43 percent approval December 8.
Voters approve 57 - 24 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is doing and give U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a 48 - 21 percent job approval rating.
From January 18 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,436 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.