From today's poll:
At its low, in 2004, just 32 percent of Americans favored gay marriage, with 62 percent opposed. Now 49 percent support it versus 46 percent opposed -- the first time in ABC/Post polls that supporters have outnumbered opponents.
More than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states. The surprise is that the shift has occurred across ideological groups. While conservatives are least apt to favor gay marriage, they've gone from 10 percent support in 2004 to 19 percent in 2006 and 30 percent now -- overall a 20-point, threefold increase, alongside a 13-point gain among liberals and 14 points among moderates. (Politically, support for gay marriage has risen sharply among Democrats and independents alike, while far more slightly among Republicans.)
. . . [T]he divisions -- and changes -- on gay marriage are especially striking. In addition to more support, there's been a shift in intensity of views: Compared with three years ago, the number of Americans "strongly" opposed has declined from 51 percent to 39 percent, while the number strongly in favor of gay marriage has advanced from 24 percent to 31 percent. . . . Across the spectrum, 75 percent of secular Americans favor gay marriage, 55 percent strongly; so do 71 percent of liberal Democrats, 57 percent strongly; and 71 percent of all liberals, 54 percent strongly. Among all Democrats, 62 percent are in favor; among all Republicans, 74 percent are opposed.
The middle makes a significant difference: Fifty-four percent of moderates and 52 percent of independents now favor gay marriage, up from 38 and 44 percent, respectively, in 2006. But the single biggest shift has come among moderate and conservative Democrats: in 2006, just 30 percent in this group said gay marriage should be legal. Today it's 57 percent.
To read the full ABC News/Washington Post poll, click here.