New Poll Looks Bad for Gay Marriage

Comments

1
SurveyUSA also showed 50/43 for R-71... in October 09. Polls, as I've said, are meaningless at this point. It's a whole constellation of factors that we should consider, not notoriously fickle toplines like SurveyUSA's.

SUSA does provide us with a very reliable metric, though: the trend. Marriage equality has gained 3 points since January.

If we say things "look bad" we end up scaring off fair weather advocates and allies who otherwise would be swept up in a winning attitude. No, this poll doesn't "look bad", not after 7 months of very public consideration making the polls move in our favor by a staggering 3 points.

People want to win, not sit around and fret about impending failure.
2
Fear-monger away, Dom! We should be petrified about these numbers. And - for any of my fellow LGBT community friends out there who have said, "I'll vote to Approve 74 and vote for McKenna," guess what - you could wind up voting against your own interests. If 74 gets rejected and McKenna becomes the Governor, he will likely VETO any future marriage bills. And - it's pretty hard to unseat incumbents, so your misstep in choosing a homophobic governor who would effectively shut you out of rights could last eight long years.
Vote to Approve 74+Vote for Jay Inslee
3
I know you're trying to keep us from getting complacent about having support for gay marriage in the bag, but we know it's going to happen.
4
I'm a bad, downer of a person for suggesting we could lose this thing. I should be talking about how winning is certain!
5
When people don't fret about impending failure, they tend not to work as hard. California got blind-sided by late money that came out of left field, using their own imagery against them. And look how long it's taken to clean that mess up. Complacency breeds failure. The time to feel good is after we've won the election.
6
Campaign every day like if you are down by 20 points
7
Complacency kills in close races. I totally agree with Dominic; the odds are still in our favor, but this is an imminently losable races... particularly if people become convinced that their vote is superfluous. This is why everyone is so much more sanguine about McKenna's chances than Inslee's... his enthusiasm numbers are much higher than Jay's (72% of supporters vs. 58%). That's a big disadvantage, besides being down only a point.

http://argojournal.blogspot.com/2012/07/…
8
@6 - I think Martha Coakley could tell you why that's sage advice.
9
Keep up the fear mongering!!!! Talk to your friends and family about why marriage is important to you. Ask them to talk to their friends and family....and remember to vote.
10
Don't forget that the 2008 Prop 8 results in CA were about 4-6 points worse than the polls predicted. People are more willing to be homophobic in the privacy of the polling place.
11
And we all remember Obama's famous mantras "Fear and Stultification" and "No, We'll Probably Lose".

Has anyone stopped and asked themselves whether or not these tactics actually work? California was a frustrating exercise in constantly questioning polls, wails of being outspent and overblowing gaffes.

And the "we've never won"? Thing? Jesus. Look at the reality of the votes instead of parroting readymade tactics for the other side. They plotted those votes very carefully and based them on trends. Nate Silver has tried to carefully lay that out for years.

Look, it's one thing to act like we are slowly pushing a boulder up a hill and always need one more hand to help but it's entirely another to claim you're in freefall and need to be caught in time. The argument is that we need to be more realistic instead of saying "you're right, NOM, we are on the ropes, go in for the kill".
12
@10

That's not true, even though that is a common misconception.

The final polls regarding Prop 8 were fairly accurate. Take the final Field Poll. It was pretty much dead on as far as the "No" total.

If anything, undecided voters have been shown to move towards opposing marriage equality at the last minute. But there isn't that much evidence of people lying to pollsters regarding how they will vote.

Prop 8 CA Final Field Poll (10/31/08) MOE +/- 3.3%

Yes 44%
No 49%
Un 09%

Actual Vote

Yes 52.24%
No 47.76%

(No's are well within the MOE; Undecided voters largely broke for it)
13
I don't disagree with efforts to show that losing is possible if those efforts are rooted in numerical reality -- I'm seeing Koster take WA01 this fall so far, polling has turned south -- but I wish we would understand that these polls have wildly different methodologies and approaches and that the results are regularly extremely divergent. They sample differently, ask different questions and so on.

Remember, again, in October '09, right as ballots hit mailboxes, SurveyUSA showed under 50% support for R-71. It makes better press to say, accurately, that this poll is an improvement in a long string of improvements and that we need to keep the pressure up. SUSA would be the first to say this is a big jump for us. PPP said so in their own poll a while back. The trend is still heading up for us and we need to hammer that point home. Support for equality is growing, it's okay to support it, it's a progressive thing and part of a fantastic move toward loving thy neighbor.

Just keep saying approve, keep telling your story and stop buying NOM's narrative.
14
@10

Here are too other examples, both from PPP, which I have noticed have had the most consistently accurate polls regarding the issue of marriage equality.

ME Q1 PPP Nov 2, 2009
Yes 51%
No 47%
UN 02%

Actual Vote
Yes 53%
No 47%

(the No's are dead on, the Yea's are in the MOE)

http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/…

NC Amend 1 PPP May 1, 2012 MOE +/-3.1%
Yes 55%
No 41%
UN 04%

Actual Vote
Yes 61%
No 39%

(Undecideds broke for the measure, No's were in the MOE)

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/…
15
Wait. I thought the religious right was the ones who blithely lie to themselves in order to serve their "greater good."? One of the reasons straight people are supposed to support gay marriage is because they're rational and are guided by facts. Not fear.

So yes, polls are polls and early polls are early polls. But based on the facts sitting in front of you now, gay marriage is 7 points ahead and barring unknowns, it's likely to pass.

Pretending you know what they undecideds are going to do is no better than pretending you know what God thinks. I guess I'm no better: for years I've been telling myself the happy fiction that Nate Silver has finally taught America how to read a poll.

16
Here's what stands out for me in this poll: the amazing, solid support for marriage equality by Hispanic voters: 63% APPROVE, 30% reject and 6% undecided. Asian voters, on the other hand, are the most undecided bunch among Whites, Hispanics and Asians.
17
just the fact that basic, human, civil rights are being put up to a vote is inhumane.
18
(1) Go donate to the campaign and give them as much as you can; and then (2) sign up to volunteer (they need phone bankers, and phone banking works).

And as a resident of the great (ahem) state of California, which passed Prop 8 on the same day that it decided that fucking geese were deserving of constitutional protection, let me add to that:

(3) while you are donating and volunteering, try to make sure that the money is being spent wisely.

If you happen to notice that the whole thing looks suspiciously like a circle-jerk of fundraising parties by the usual Professional Gay Suspects and "demonstrations" in cities where your support is already a given, without any emphasis on putting boots on the ground in undecided areas: stand up and start screaming. Because that's how EQCA got steamrollered in 2008, and still nobody has held their leadership accountable for it.

Not that I'm bitter.
19
@15 "Pretending you know what they undecideds are going to do is no better than pretending you know what God thinks."

Give me a break. People get paid to do this for a living. People look at past polls and look at past results and figure out what the undecideds did. And we know through this observation that undecideds usually break towards the "no" on initiatives. It's not just guesswork.
20
Well put #18. Why doesn't WUFM's website state they have ANY house parties/phone banks in eastern WA (Spokane loves to fuck over Seattle)? In Mason County (Yeah it's rural and full of tight ass old people, but you need to strike at the heart and I happen to have family that would gladly phone bank if they didn't have to drive an hour or more to get to one)? It was the conservative Central Valley (Fresno, Madera, Clovis) that helped swing Prop 8. We can't afford to ignore it. Hell there is only one house party scheduled in FUCKING OLYMPIA, and nothing going on in nearby Lacey, where there are a lot of African American votes that could swing our way if we tried.

I suspect it is becoming a big city circle jerk and this will be Prop 8 Version 2.0.
21
@19

People get paid to pretend they know the mind of God too. They get paid to read chicken entrails. That doesn't make them right.

Anyway, if only one undecided doesn't break for no, then yes gets 50% + 1 vote, and that's a win. If 90% of undecideds break for no and 10% for yes, then it's an even more comfortable win.

They only way to read this poll as saying anything other than gay marriage will probably pass is to disbelieve the poll entirely. Perhaps because you're trying to create the false illusion of being behind in order to keep up morale. A lie for a good cause, in other words. Same as religion.
22
Wow, voting really does matter? Who would have thought?

20: Forget Spokane or Mason County. This will win or lose (like every other halfway close measure) in the purple 'burbs around Seattle.
23
@20: The events are probably held where the most supporters are so they can get lots of volunteers. Phone bankers in Seattle can call eastern Washington residents just fine.
24
Win or lose - I'm just fucking depressed that it's even on the ballot. I've droned about this before but why is a civil right being put up for majority approval? Where are our lawyers?
25
Millions of dollars of LDS money flowed into Prop 8 and helped decide that outcome. Can anybody think of a reason why the Mormon church would repeat this successful tactic now, when PACs can be funded without public disclosure and a Mormon is running for president? Anyone?

They are going to spend and spend to get not just Mormons, but even more importantly evangelical Christians who are unenthusiastic about Romney, to go to the polls and vote against gay marriage. The hope is that once they're at the polls, they'll take an extra twenty seconds to check the box next to every candidate with an R beside their name.

26
@25 is right. Down here in Utah-land, it has definitely been a topic of discussion. However, given the backlash they faced with California AND the fact that they are trying to get a Mo in the White House, their efforts will be much less public than before.
27
that graph image is of 110%. It says 60% approve, 43% reject, and 7% are undecided.
28
@Christine FTW. How did no one catch that?
29
I'm with you, Dom. We can't be complacent in anyway about this.
30
RE: How did no one catch that?

The display shows 50%. The label may say 60% (it looks like that but a 5 and a 6 often are hard to distinguish) but the graphic is more or less correct.
31
Maybe if y'all didn't walk down main street once a year giggling your junk at us, more people would care?

Just a thought.
32
Gosh, it's almost as if we haven't seen this happen. 31 friggin' times.

How many ways can it be said?

When the civil rights of a minority are subjected to a popular vote, CIVIL RIGHTS FARE POORLY.

EVERY. TIME.

Yet, here we go again.

THis is WHY we do not subject a human being's rights to a popular vote.

WE WILL LOSE.. AGAIN.

And then we'll cry about it. AGAIN.

THe focus needs to be about NOT being allowed to vote on the rights of another human being.

Because that is the TRUE issue here. The rest is just noise.
33
@18: We have a regular phone bank schedule right now in Spokane, three days a week (and will be shifting to five days a week soon). There have also been several canvasses and more to come. WUM has been at Pride in Spokane, Hoopfest, South Perry Street Fair, events in Soap Lake, Tri-Cities (where they've also had phone banks), Pullman, etc etc. We have two paid full time and an intern working here in Spokane for WUM to cover a large area (word has it they're hiring more soon) for most of Eastern Washington and while I'm not part of the campaign (although I do work with them as part of Spokane's own leadership team for this effort), I can assure you they and the LGBT groups around here have been working their asses off to make sure this passes. As far as house parties, those just got sent down the pipe (as they got more staff to coordinate) so you'll see more coming soon. This isn't a slipshod campaign, and if you want to know more: GET INVOLVED. Period.

Now with respects to Spokane "fucking Seattle over". That's not a helpful attitude to take. At all. I know theres a lot of bad feelings on both sides (believe me, I've heard my fair share of ridiculous Seattle bashing here, which I can't stand), but we have to work together and make this campaign as state wide as we possibly can, which won't happen if people open old (stupid) intra-state wounds.
34
Oops, my comment is directed toward @20. Not @18.
35
Another really fun and important place to volunteer some time is with the Washington Bus! We're partnering with Washington United for Marriage, but our tactics are directed toward engaging young voters, who already overwhelmingly support marriage equality but for various reasons are not the best at actually casting their votes. We also have really fun events we work at, like Capitol Hill Block Party, which our volunteers get to go to for free.

You can check out how to get involved with us at our website www.washingtonbus.org!
36
Dom, please don't warn the girls, it will spoil the fun...

after 31 wins winning alone just doesn't give us a rush anymore.

much better
is for the homos to smugly assure themselves
that they have it in the bag
then see them get their asses whipped on election day.

we love to see their 'e-Trade Baby' SHOCKED faces.

their bitter tears are so delicious......
37
@24

residents of dc and puerto rico lack the same voting rights as you have. people have been denying rights for oh, what, 100,000 years? we still are. even if we pass this marriage equality thing here, you will likely not ever do anything your entire life to stand up for equal rights to vote for dc and puerto rico residents.

not mention the women in the sudan.

etc., etc., etc.
38
This is close, and it is a further sign that this battle needs to be fought with urgency. However, as someone pointed out these SUSA numbers are exactly the same as the final SUSA poll on R71, and we wound up splitting the undecided vote and winning by 6 points. The takeaway: this poll means fight with urgency but there is absolutely no reason to panic or take this poll and it's 7-point lead as a sign of defeat.

Every single supportive person must be imbued with a sense of obligation to vote on this. We should all donate. Maintaining a big fundraising advantage over time can help us. Contrary to popular myth, most of these contests did not involve a decisive fundraising advantage for the pro-equality side. Most of these battles were uncontested. The later battles had the pro-equality side reaping a modest fundraising advantage or, in some cases, a modest fundraising disadvantage. WA is a state where we can establish and maintain a truly decisive advantage, and as was shown in 2009, that can make a difference.
39
@#2 ... while McKenna is not a supporter of Marriage Equality, he's not homophobic. So please, at least characterize him correctly.
40
Looks like the British colonizers have been through Washington. Divide and conquer. Why are you all squabbling over the polls. Dewey defeats Truman. If you give up and don't try you will lose for sure, if you are smug that you'll win, you're liable to be very disappointed.

If Gay marriage passes, then maybe it is indicative that the whole country has partially stopped its slide back down the hill. Don't forget - it is the original conservative American position that it's no body's business what other people's arrangement with each other are in life. Young people out West should become aware of who the settlers, especially the 20th century settlers were. Many were escapees from the 'norm'. Great tradition, that. Conservative also means conserve the garden, but one never hears that from the wing nuts, they're too busy chanting drill baby drill and chop chop chop, pave, pave. Heterosexual marriage seems in disassembly, and Gay marriage is not going to make a difference one way or the other.
41
As in California, pretty ironic that minority voters are the most culturally conservative & anti-gay. Never met a Panamanian girl that wasn't off the rocker Catholic...so goes Mexico, et al. I am rooting for you.
42
@16 for the win. But Asian voters are not a monolith. It's a disparate group, actually ...
43
It will not help any if people don't vote especially supporters. The religious right wing must not win!
44
By making the comment"fear-mongering we're about to see from anti-gay national groups," you clearly assume that all those that are voting against R74 is therefore anti-gay. It is so fascinating to me, that those in favor of redefining marriage have turned so abruptly on those that want to uphold marriage as it has been defined for as long as marriage has existed! Just because one wants to uphold the definition of marriage as it has been known and followed does NOT make one anti-gay!!
45
@44: "It is so fascinating to me, that those in favor of redefining marriage have turned so abruptly on those that want to uphold marriage as it has been defined for as long as marriage has existed! "

Please cite your evidence that your definition of marriage is the only one that has ever existed. Because it says right here in my Bible that Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Gideon, King David, King Solomon, and many other patriarchs had multiple wives.
46
Hopefully it'll fail. After all, gays would have nothing to whine about if it passed, and I don't think they could survive without something to whine about...