ST. PAUL A proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would define marriage as between one man and one woman is enjoying a 15-point lead, according to a new poll.
The amendment, which will be on the ballot in November, leads by a margin of 52-37 percent, according to the SurveyUSA poll, which was conducted July 17-19 among 552 likely voters for KSTP-TV.
The proposed amendment reads simply, "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota." It would prevent gay marriage from being legalized by state judges, as has happened in Massachusetts and two other states. There currently is a lawsuit in Minnesota seeking to legalize gay marriage.
"This shows what we've always believed our opponents have the cultural elite, wealthy contributors and editorial writers, but we have voters on our side," said John Helmberger, chairman of Minnesota for Marriage (minnesotaformarriage.com), the group promoting the amendment. "We are particularly pleased with the lead the amendment enjoys among Independent voters and the large percentage of Democratic voters who support the amendment."
Seventy-five percent of Republicans, 38 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Independents support the amendment, according to the survey.
The poll contrasts with a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey done May 31-June 3 that found registered voters (not likely voters) opposing the amendment, 49-43 percent.
The SurveyUSA and PPP surveys used similar language in their polls. SurveyUSA asked, "An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution on the ballot defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Will you vote for the amendment? Against the amendment?" The PPP poll asked, "Should the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?"