Voter age may decide if gay marriage passes in Michigan

By Mara MacDonald, Local 4 Reporter, @MaraMacDonald
Published On: Nov 20 2013 10:30:58 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 20 2013 11:31:56 PM EST

Voter age could play a huge role in how this initiative gets decided.

DETROIT -

It’s the worst kept secret in Michigan politics: a gay marriage ballot initiative is on the horizon.

There had been rumblings of getting it up and running for the 2014 election year but now the expectation is 2016, especially after the last set of numbers commissioned by Lambert, Edwards and Associates. Their statewide poll, which asks whether you are in support of overturning Michigan's gay marriage ban or opposed, has some pretty interesting results -- 40 percent of respondents said they support overturning the gay marriage ban but 50 percent are opposed.

T.J. Bucholz, from Lambert, Edwards and Associates said the breakdown shows it’s all about age when it comes to this issue.

“In this case we see this breaking down generationally, 18-34 year olds are very much supportive; close to 60 percent want same sex marriage on the ballot. Age 50 and up prefer it to not be on the ballot," he said.

You’ll remember that Michigan voters approved a ban on gay marriage back in 2004 by nearly 59 percent. In the last nine years those numbers have been shifting in support of gay marriage but they’re not strong enough.

Political operatives will tell you that going into a ballot initiative you need to be polling at least in the mid-50 percent range. According to this latest poll, the numbers in Michigan aren’t there yet. 

Still, Bucholz believes the issue is coming to a ballot near you. 

"I think every political operative, including me, will tell you that this will be on the ballot in 2016."

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