A new poll suggests changing voter attitudes on the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2009 decision that paved the way for same-sex marriage in Iowa.
The poll found 48% of those surveyed agreed with the court’s decision on that same-sex marriage case, a dramatic shift compared to a 2009 survey which found 58% disagreed with the decision.
The poll was commissioned by the “Justice, Not Politics” group and released to The Cedar Rapids Gazette.
In the 2010 judicial retention election, three Iowa Supreme Court justices were voted off the court after a campaign was launched in protest of the court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Another justice who signed onto that ruling, along with the three replacements Governor Branstad appointed to the Supreme Court in 2011 are up for a retention vote this November.
The poll found 47% of respondents support retaining the four Supreme Court justices on November’s ballot, while 24% said they’d vote to toss them off the court. Another 25 percent said they weren’t sure how they’d vote.
Organizers of the successful 2010 campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices announced in August that they’d launch a similar effort this year to defeat Justice David Wiggins. The poll found 36% of those surveyed have an ”unfavorable view” of Bob Vander Plaats, the leader of Iowans for Freedom.
That’s the group that led the successful 2010 campaign against the three justices and have revived their effort for 2012. According to the polling firm, the “negatives” for Vander Plaats have climbed 20 points since 2009. Nineteen percent said they had a favorable view of Vander Plaats, a three-time Republican candidate for governor who now is the executive director of The Family Leader.
On August 1 the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party called on Republicans to vote no on Wiggins. According to the poll, Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed to the 2009 Supreme Court decision, with 74% of the Republicans surveyed saying they are “strongly” or “somewhat” opposed. That compares to 74% of Democrats saying they support the ruling.
Among independent voters, there’s been a significant shift since 2009, with 51% of independent voters surveyed saying they support the same-sex marriage ruling. In 2009, only 27% of independents supported it.
A coalition of groups today announced a campaign to support the retention of Justice Wiggins.
See more on the poll here: Justice Not Politics Poll PDF