Leading with the news of a recent CNN poll that showed that 51 percent of people said that marriage between same-sex couples "should be recognized by the law as valid,"--the fourth poll in the last eight months to demonstrate considerable support for gay marriage--Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight Blog has produced a graph charting the support for the issue based an all the available public opinion polls on the subject since 1988. The trendline through the charted data, Silver reports, establishes growing American support for gay marriage, currently 50 percent, compared to the 46 percent opposition.

It's becoming more clear that an increasing percentage of Americans are supportive of same-sex marriage. As Silver notes: "at this time two years ago, the numbers were 42 percent in favor and 53 percent opposed, according to the same technique." At the same time, gay marriage initiatives have had a much harder time at the ballot box than these numbers imply, presumably because people who vote tend to be much older than the population at large, says Silver. It remains to be seen how this will play out in terms of legislation, but at the very least, it looks like opposition to gay marriage is steadily making a lot less sense politically.