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Half of Michigan Voters Express Opposition To Changing State’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

LE&A/Denno Research Survey Shows Land, Peters Even for U.S. Senate Race; Voters Feel Less Confident about State Economy’s Direction than in 2012

LANSING, Mich. – Aug. 1, 2013 – About half of Michigan’s likely voters remains opposed to legislation or a ballot issue that would allow same-sex couples to wed in the state, according to a poll released Thursday by Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A), Michigan’s largest bipartisan public relations and investor relations firm.

Among the 600 likely voters polled statewide July 23-24, 51 percent opposed having same-sex marriage brought up for a vote, while 42 percent supported such a move, with 7 percent undecided . The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, with 10 percent of those surveyed reached on cell phones.

The issue could end up getting settled in the courts, with U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman considering a lawsuit brought by two Oakland County women seeking to jointly adopt each other’s children that could lead to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage being limited or eliminated. Supporters of lifting the ban are considering putting a measure on the ballot that would let voters decide if Michigan’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman should be kept or repealed.

“The numbers from this poll indicate that support for same-sex marriage in Michigan needs to be stronger if advocates hope to win a ballot initiative for legalization,” said Jeff Lambert, president and managing partner at Lambert, Edwards & Associates. “Same-sex marriage is gaining supporters nationally, but advocates here can’t assume a majority of Michigan voters feel the same.”

Among voters who identified themselves as independents, 52 percent said they’d support legislation or a ballot issue allowing same-sex marriage, while 38 percent said they’d oppose it. Sixty-four percent of Democrats supported same-sex marriage, compared to only 22 percent of Republicans.

In the race to replace longtime U.S. Sen. Carl Levin in 2014, voters were evenly divided, with 38 percent saying they would back Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township and the same percentage backing former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land of Byron Center. Twenty-two percent were undecided. While each candidate received 81 percent of his or her party’s vote, 41 percent of Independent voters were undecided.

“It’s not surprising that 81 percent of Republicans and Democrats supported their respective parties’ candidate, but the large number of Independent voters that indicated no favor for one candidate over the other is interesting,” said Dennis Denno, CEO of Dennis Research. “The Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle will need to appeal to independent voters to win the race in 2014.”

In other results, 47 percent of voters said Michigan’s economy was on the right track, while 41 percent said it’s on the wrong track.

Republicans were much more optimistic about the state economy. Sixty-two percent said the economy was on the right track, while 46 percent of independent voters agreed and only 36 percent of Democrats did.

From a regional perspective, respondents in West Michigan were most optimistic about Michigan’s economy with 59 percent of respondents saying the economy is on the right track. Conversely, half of voters in the Upper Peninsula were pessimistic in regards to our state’s economy.

“Our poll has found that a majority of Michigan voters say they think our state’s economy is on the right track, but obviously some voters aren’t experiencing the rebound others are seeing,” Lambert said. “With an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent in June, there’s still more work to be done to make sure economic recovery helps citizens statewide.”

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About Lambert, Edwards & Associates

Named the 2010 PRWeek Small Agency of the Year, LE&A (www.lambert-edwards.com) is a top-10 Midwest-based PR firm and a top-20 investor relations firm nationally with clients based in 20 states and five countries. As Michigan’s only statewide PR firm – with offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit – LE&A serves middle-market companies and national brands in five practice areas: Automotive, Consumer, Financial Communications, Health Care and Public Affairs. LE&A has posted 14 years of growth, been named an Edward Lowe “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” and earned four Silver Anvil awards – the PR profession’s highest honor. Follow us on Twitter @LambertEdwards.

About Denno Research

The staff of Denno Research (www.dennoresearch.com) brings more than 20 years of experience in polling to their full-service public opinion company in Michigan. They offer experience in polling for political campaigns, corporations, associations and non-profit organizations, and have worked with clients in Michigan, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, and New Jersey. They have been in business since 2004 and have conducted quarterly, statewide surveys to measure voters’ opinions since 2006.

CONTACT

Kathy Barks Hoffman
Lambert, Edwards & Associates
517-316-0210
khoffman@lambert-edwards.com