COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A new poll finds big gender and age gaps among Ohioans when it comes to supporting same-sex marriages.
Overall, 50 percent of Ohioans support allowing same-sex couples to marry while 43 percent oppose it, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Friday. When you dig deeper into the numbers you find that support is much higher among women and younger voters.
Only 44 percent of men think Ohio should allow same-sex marriages with 48 percent opposed. Women back the idea 56 - 39 percent.
Voters 18 to 34 years old support same-sex marriage 72 – 24 percent. That support drops to 52 – 43 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old. Voters over 55 oppose same-sex marriage by a 52 – 40 percent margin.
There are also political divisions. Gay marriage is backed by 74 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of independent voters, but 66 percent of Republicans oppose it.
“The future of same-sex marriage in Ohio is now before the courts, but if it were up to voters, the issue would be close to a tossup, with support just hitting 50 percent,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
The poll also took a look at the issue of college athletes forming unions to negotiate their rights and working conditions. Ohioans oppose the move by a 55 - 38 percent margin. The gap grows even wider to 62 - 32 percent when pollsters asked whether or not college athletes should be paid.
The opions don't seem to be a slam on unions, with 52 percent of Ohioans saying that unions in general are good for the country.
55 percent of voters say “colleges are losing sight of their academic mission because of sports,” while 37 percent say “colleges are balancing their academic mission and sports appropriately.” Men, women and all other groups agree by similar margins.
“Ohioans may love their Buckeyes, and they have a favorable view of unions, but they don’t think the two should meet,” said Brown. “Only Democrats and voters under 35 favor allowing college athletes to unionize. But not even they support the idea of college athletes receiving salaries in addition to the value of their scholarships. A majority think colleges are losing sight of their academic mission with the emphasis on athletics, but don’t expect any empty seats in the ‘Horseshoe’ in the fall.”
From May 7 – 12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,174 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.