More Arizonans support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages than are against it, according to a new statewide poll. But Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, who is leading the opposition to Proposition 102, said Tuesday that the results suit her just fine.
"We're winning," said Sinema, basing her conclusion on the fact that the survey by KAET-TV (Channel 8), the Valley's PBS affiliate, shows that 49 percent of those asked support the measure. "In order to win, you need 50 percent plus one."
At this point, though, only 42 percent said they intend to vote against the measure to amend the state constitution to define marriage in Arizona as solely between one man and one woman. The rest are undecided.
A split among the undecided could push the measure over the top. So could a situation where those who are undecided simply do not vote for the measure.
A similar measure on the ballot two years ago was narrowly defeated, but this campaign differs in two significant ways.
First, that 2006 measure would have not only banned same-sex marriages, but also made it illegal for governments to recognize civil unions or provide benefits to the domestic partners of their employees.
Second, supporters of that measure were outspent by foes. At this point, backers of Proposition 102 have raised more than $3.5 million, as opposed to less than $100,000 reported by opponents.
Sinema said opponents will begin running TV commercials next week.
Kelly Molique, spokesperson for the pro 102 campaign, said she is confident support for the measure will increase by election day.
The statewide telephone poll of 976 registered voters, conducted between Sept. 25 and 28, has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
In a separate query, pollster Bruce Merrill found that 63 percent of those surveyed said they intend to support Proposition 202. That measure proposes its own standards for when an employer can be punished for knowingly hiring undocumented workers.
The question does not point out that approval of that measure actually would repeal Arizona's more stringent employer sanctions law, which took effect Jan. 1.
Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, architect of that law, called the poll results "somewhat alarming."
"It will undo everything we've done," he said.