A Washington Post poll purports to show that Virginians are almost evenly split on legal recognition of same-sex marriage — 47% to 43%, with a 3.5% margin of error. I am guardedly optimistic.
Polls show two other things: that people often lie to pollsters to sound more high-minded than they are and that asking the same question in different ways can greatly affect the outcome. Both factors may well be at play here. As anti-liberty social conservatives like to point out, the only poll that counts is the actual vote.
Still, I see hope. For one thing, a breakdown by age shows that support increases as age decreases; the poll numbers range from 73% for people 18-29 to 22% for people 65 and older. Same-sex marriage also enjoys strong support in Northern Virginia, which is growing relative to the rest of the state. Both facts bode well for the future.
I have two asides. First, the poll figures show a whopping 80% support among Virginians identifying with "no religion." Second, I wish that The Post had printed a breakdown by level of education.