Americans of all stripes predict more states will allow same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana by the end of 2014, a HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, even though other surveys have shown Republicans still oppose permitting either.
According to the new poll, 64 percent of Americans expect more states to legalize marijuana by the end of the year, while 62 percent expect more states to recognize the marriage of gay and lesbian couples.
In both cases, those expectations cross party lines.
Seventy-one percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents said they think more states will have legalized adult use of recreational marijuana by the end of the year. That's true even though a recent CNN poll found that 62 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents, but only 36 percent of Republicans, think that weed should be legalized.
Similarly, 75 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of independents in the new HuffPost/YouGov poll said they think gay and lesbian couples will be allowed to wed in more states by the end of the year. In another HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted in October, 65 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of independents, but only 24 percent of Republicans, said they actually want marriage equality.
Supporters have an uphill battle to meet the poll respondents' expectations on same-sex marriage: The poll was conducted during the brief window when gay marriages were performed in Utah, before the Supreme Court put them on hold during the appeals process, so the state count is already down one.
On the other hand, public opinion has moved rapidly in the direction of support for legal marijuana and gay marriage in recent years. Many polls over the course of the past year have found the majority backing both. That public support has begun to translate into changing laws. Two states passed measures legalizing marijuana for the first time in 2013, while over the last decade, 17 states and the District of Columbia have removed bans on gay and lesbian couples marrying.
On two other issues, the new poll finds that most Americans expect laws to remain about the same. Fifty-two percent said they expect gun laws at the end of 2014 to be about as "strict" as they are now, while 51 percent expect states' restrictions on abortion to remain about the same.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Jan. 3-4 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.