Be leery of public opinion polls on the issue of marriage.
Hmmmm, past FRC "newsletters" love to throw around phrases like "opinion polls consistently show XYZ". Wonder why they're so quick to point out that one should be leery of opinion polls?
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has pointed out how very
different the polls are from the actual votes. Here are
some typical cases showing what the polls said about
protecting marriage in various states prior to the votes
and how the citizens of those states actually voted.
Arkansas: 64.8% (75%); Georgia: 69% (76%); Kansas: 56%
(79%); Kentucky: 71.6% (75%); Louisiana: 62% (78%);
Michigan: 52% (59%); Montana: 61% (67%); Nevada: 43% (67%);
North Dakota: 53% (73%); Ohio: 48% (62%); Oklahoma: 59%
(76%); and Oregon: 50% (57%). Why such a big difference
between pre-vote polls and the actual votes? It's probably
a combination of two major factors.
Using the equation "(1-poll/vote)*100", Let's show the actual percent difference for each poll and vote:
- Arkansas: 13.6%
- Georgia: 9.21%
- Kansas: 29.11%
- Kentucky: 4.5%
- Louisiana: 20.51%
- Michigan: 11.86%
- Montana: 9%
- Nevada: 35.8%
- North Dakota: 27.4%
- Ohio: 22.58%
- Oklahoma: 22.37%
- Oregon: 12.28%
Having been in politics for a while I've seen how polling questions can be constructed to obtain the desired outcome. The slanted poll questions no doubt account for some of the difference.
Ah yes, excellent move. Present your "resume" first, then present your opinion as fact! No one's going to realize that you just passed off an unsubstantiated opinion as fact.
I've seen how polling questions can be constructed to obtain the desired outcome. The slanted poll questions no doubt account for some of the difference.
Really!?!?! It's great to see that you've finally come around to this. I wonder if this means you won't be wasting time in the future with polls that you find favorable?
Secondly, and probably more prominent, is the intimidation factor.
Is that what you're calling it now? In the real world, it's called "sampling error". That means the people who voted weren't the same ones who participated in the polls.
Unscrupulous politicians like Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)...
I'm sure the typical FRC reader will take this at face value, but for those who actually form their own opinions, it's usually helpful to provide a reference to bolster your hyperbole.
...rant that protecting marriage is "bigotry, pure and simple." It's no such thing, but Kennedy and company want to intimidate people. Some people are fearful of being labeled a homophobe or bigot so they keep their opinions to themselves until they are in the privacy of the voting booth and then on average over 70% defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Again, slipping in opinion as fact. There are no studies indicated to back this up. Let's put together some of the facts and speculate on what might really be going on. The poll values and the vote value difference indicate that there was a sampling error. This jives with past statements by people like Paul Weyrich that indicates that the fewer people who vote, the more ground the conservatives pick up. Its very possible, although I won't pass it off as fact, that the poll/vote discrepancy is because many of those polled weren't fired up enough to vote. In other words, an issue like gay marriage tends to draw a certain type of voter. Since it's difficult to get off your butt and vote, unless you have a motivation, the vast majority probably aren't going to take the time to vote. On the other hand, pollsters work hard to get an even distribution of likely voters to participate in their polls. The discrepancy was probably because the pollsters did *TOO* good of a job getting an even distribution of what people really think.