Alex Blaze

Marriage polling

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 23, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: domestic partnership, gay marriage, Maine, marriage, New Jersey, New York, poll, polling, portland, same-sex marriage, Vermont

Several polls were released this week for states that have marriage legislation pending. Here are the numbers, with Vermont thrown in for good measure. Here's where the poll numbers are (all numbers are from the most recent polls and are from 2009).

StateFavorOpposeUndecidedSource
Vermont58393Macro International
Maine49.547.33.3Pan Atlantic SMS
Group of Portland
New Jersey49438Quinnipiac University
New York53398Siena College

None of the polls ask about CU's or DP's, since that isn't the question before the legislatures.


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John Shields John Shields | April 23, 2009 1:52 PM

Three words: The Bradley Effect.

People answering those pollsters questions are not going to, by and large, say they don't support equality - which in effect what "same-sex" marriage is.

What "their" politicians, and how those polled vote on election day is a different story. We didn't see "The Bradley Effect" last November for many reasons. Gay marriage, however, may be the new moniker for this. Proposition Hate in California is a good example, poor LGBTQ strategy, organizing and tactics notwithstanding.

How pollsters ask the question also affects the answer. If you ask the average New York state resident if two gay or lesbian couples should have equal rights you will get a very different answer than if you ask those same people if two gay men should be able to come into their church and tie the knot.

I'm just sayin'...

I think you're overgeneralizing. The Bradley effect describes white voter behavior when faced with a white candidate and a non-white candidate. It assumes that the survey respondent seeks to avoid the moral approbation of the questioner for using racist reasoning in a voting decision.

I don't think the same moral calculus is at play in volunteering opinions in support of or opposition to same sex marriage. I think it is safe to say that a large portion of those expressing opposition to gay marriage do so from what they see as the high moral ground. Those who want to oppose us have the Bible, the President, and lack of solidarity in our own movement to give them moral cover - there is no need to fib on a survey.

Several of the articles mention the question asked, and it was about marriage. I didn't post polls that asked people to choose b/t marriage, cu's, and nothing, b/c that wouldn't be parallel and that's not the question before the legislatures.

I don't think the Bradley Effect comes into play here for a few reasons:

1. It was over-hyped from the beginning; there's not much proof it ever existed.
2. If it did exist, there's little evidence it's still around (there wasn't much evidence of it in 2008, or even for the decade preceding that election)
3. The polling in CA was actually pretty accurate in the end - it predicted either a close loss and that's what happened.
4. There's no election here, so there can't be a bradley effect by definition. This is just info that state reps use to help them decide which way to vote.

John Shields John Shields | April 24, 2009 10:11 AM

Why is it, when "one side" wins by a 52-48 percent margin that the winning side calls it a landslide and the losing side says it was a close election?

Every major party, initiative, as well as supporters and opponents do this.

Is 52% v. 48% a landslide? Or is it a close vote?

I'm just askin'...