Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Don't Always Believe the Polls

I always take public opinions polls with a grain of salt. Being involved in politics, I know how easy it is to get a poll to pretty much say whatever you want depending on how you ask the questions. Here is a great example from FRC's daily email of how opinion polls can vary widely from actual voting on an issue. This is also another example of how far the Senate is out of step on this issue.

Be leery of public opinion polls on the issue of marriage. 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. 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. Secondly, and probably more prominent, is the intimidation factor. Unscrupulous politicians like Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) 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.

20 comments:

The leftist southpaw said...

Don't always believe the polls- but don't always believe the FRC, either.

This is a group that has gone as far as to attack sponge-bob squarepants, and has alleged (I say again, ALLEGED!) ties to the openly racist David Duke and the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group founded by segregationists that include Lester Maddox, and members of the old White Citizen's Council. The CofCC was denounced by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Jim Nicholson, for holding "racist views".

crummywatertowr said...

Why isn't this left up to the states? It's a states right issue. Oh because the courts are getting involved. Just like they did in Brown v. Board of Education. Nasty little court system.

Actually, why is this an issue at all? People are starving, we have troops to support, fiscal conservatives and some liberals (me) are alarmed at our deficit spending and our education system is getting worse yearly (if you only knew how bad it really was, statistics are nice, but I taught in New Orleans) and we are debating something that at then end of the day when you really think about it, is a non-issue. Even President Bush sound like he would have rather been talking about anything else than talking about gay marriage in his radio address (which was on the 25 anniversary of the discovery of AIDS). Gay marriage isn't a threat to marriage; it's a threat to some people's belief system. The real threat to marriage is divorce which I don't have the stats in front of me, but I'm almost sure most divorces aren't happening because of sudden gay syndrome. Let our politicians talk about real issues; one's they can solve.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

The stats speak for themselves. In Missouri we voted to protect marriage by like 72%. Its hard to get 72% of people to agree on anything. The American people are overwhelmingly against gay marriage.

And conservatives have known for years not to trust the polls!!!

The leftist southpaw said...

LMC, Americans are "overwhelmingly against" income tax as well- doesn't mean it should be outlawed, or that it's going away anytime soon!

In the 1930s, Germans were "overwhelmingly against" letting the Jews live in peace as ordinary citizens.

In the 1800's, Americans were "overwhelmingly against" abolishing slavery.

In the 1600s, the church was "overwhelmingly against" the idea that the earth revolved around the sun.

Of course, if you would let me debate you on this subject on YOUR blog, we wouldn't have to take up CT's space...

ron said...

Southpaw, in spite of your history lesson, the homosexual lifestyle has not and will not be accepted by the majority of American people.

No matter how many "Brokeback" movies are produced, it simply will not happen.

Do they have rights? Sure! Special rights? No.

The leftist southpaw said...

Ron-

marriage is a "special right?"

ron said...

A homosexual believes that being a homosexual makes them special. That they were born special.

It's the arguement they use to justify thier lifestyle.

Do you think that they are special in that context? I don't

To me, marriage between a man and woman is most definitely a special right.

Nick said...

I agree w/ crummywater, there are much more important issues for our legislators to be dealing with. Why does this country seems to think, especially the Repub. leadership, the gay marriage is such a big issue? Who in the hell cares? I know I don't.

More important issues: Iraq, War on Terror, 12-13 million illegal aliens and a pussified Senate bill to "fix" that situation, over-taxation on individuals and businesses, too much government in everyone's business, on-demand partial-birth abortions still taking place, need to develop enough energy to pull out of OPEC, declining education of our youth thanks to government schools...

Is that not enough problems?

The leftist southpaw said...

I have never heard a homosexual- and believe me, I know many- declare they were "special."

Most would, however, enjoy the protection of the XIV amendment.

Speechie said...

Until the day that I die I will defend the right of a man to marry another man.

I agree with crummywatertowr. Being a homosexual is NOT a threat to marriage. And littlemisschatterbox, I'm sorry, but trying to base the opinion of all Americans on Missouri is NOT a good idea...that would be like trying to base the entire education system in the U.S. on Kansas or the entire insurance fraud rate on Louisiana.

The issue on whether or not homosexuals can become married is NOT an issue for states and it is not an issue for federal governments. It is a personal choice. If one gay man marries another it does not affect your personal life. It does not affect your safety. It does not affect your pursuit for happiness. If you deny a many the right to marry another man it is based purely on your religious beliefs and that violates everything our constitution stands for. And I will not accept the moot arguments about "what about the people who want to marry children and animals???" Those things DO affect safety. I don't like the arguments about homosexuals and AIDS. They're moot. It's just the discussion going on about the polls in this thread. DON'T believe everything you hear. If you do a little research you will find that *OH NOOOOOOO!* AIDS affects STRAIGHT people. Hundreds of babies are born every year with AIDS...since gay men can't be making babies we have to assume that somewhere along the line straight people got AIDS.

Once upon a time a great American hero for many, Benjamin Franklin, said something that has always made me believe he is unworthy of all of the glory that we give to him. He said that the Deaf should NEVER be allowed to marry the Deaf. He KNEW for certain that this combination would only produce more Deaf people. It wasn't true.

For some religions, you lose eternity if you marry outside of your religion because you break a pact with God.

Gay men do not think they are extra "special" or entitled to anything extra. It's important that all citizens be afforded the same rights.

It was STRAIGHT people who decided that homosexuality was a disease. That gay men were born different and out of touch.

Before the end of segregation, racially mixed marriages were outlawed. And in many places they are still frowned upon. In some places, still outlawed.

How can we continue this?

I am a white Buddhist. I like a guy that is not only Catholic but Mexican to boot. Does that mean we are not allowed to be together???

I encourage answers from everyone on this thread who thinks that gay marriage should be outlawed across the nation. And I encourage you to think carefully and choose your answers wisely.

And wouldn't you like to know why?
Just remember what has come of people who think like you:

Armenia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Germany, Dubai, and yes, my Republican friends, 9-11.

You spend so much time hating what is different, hating what goes against your religious beliefs, that you forget the core of your beliefs. You are supposed to spread hope, not hate. But hate begets hate.

Being a different religion, being gay or bi, or being a different color does NOT harm anyone else. It does not perpetuate hate and harm, and it does not stand in the way of others pursuing the American dream.

I would like a SCIENTIFICALLY determined argument with backup that does not pertain to the highly fantastical argument about AIDS to backup everyone's whining and complaining about gay marriage or you should all grow up.

There are thousands of people you respect who are homosexual and you don't know it because you scare them into pretending they are not. What if it was Christianity that was under fire? Would you want to hide who you really were??? Do you think the victims of those countless holocausts liked it?

Some of you will think I am being overly dramatic about this. But that is the way we are headed. And I'll be around to stand for the GAY side.

Ian McGibboney said...

As a straight white male, I am fully in favor of homosexual marriage.

I'm not swayed by religious arguments (as said above, not a Constitutionally based standard) or the allegation that gays want "special" rights. The rights they want are the SAME ONES heterosexuals have! What does anyone have to gain by depriving them of these rights? Are they going to take away yours because of it? Indeed, our freedoms are very shaky when they aren't equally applied to all groups of people.

I believe that any two consenting adults in this country should have the rights and resources to marry. Such a rule would equalize sexual orientations, maintain the idea of couplehood and allow for no slippery slope involving children or animals. How can that possibly hurt anyone?

AIDS, infertility and similar issues are completely moot. If they don't prevent heterosexual marriages, then they can't be used to stop homosexual marriage.

Cajun Tiger said...

Southpaw 1...I can't say much about the FRC before '03 being I didn't know much about them, but since Tony Perkins has been running it, I know for a fact that those allegations are definitely not true.

Crummy...I love how libs are all of a sudden supporters of states' rights when it comes to this issue, yet you want the federal govt to have more control over an education system that as you accurately point out is horrible.

What Brown did was reverse a previous court decision that got it wrong. The people did vote and got it right with the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, however the Court then decided that "separate but equal" was constitutional. Had the Court stayed out, the people had it right the first time. The don't get a pass just because they finally got it right 60 years later.

I was originally opposed to a Constitutional Amendment and as much as I would disagree, were a state to VOTE to allow gay marriage, I was prepared to accept that. However, not a single state has voted to support it and now courts are overstepping their bounds and overturning democratically approved state amendments prohibiting it.

So for the Defense of Marriage Act is preventing other states from having to recognize the court mandated MA gay marriages, but I'm sure it is only a matter a time before that is overturned. Once that is overturned, then I am all for a constitutional amendment.

Cajun Tiger said...

Southpaw 2...what LMC decides to allow or not allow on her blog is up to her...get over it and stay on the issue at hand.

Except for your tax example which could well use a major cut the other examples you site were false assumptions that Jews and blacks were biologically inferior and that the earth was flat.

To date, there is no absolute proof that homosexuality is biological. And we all know that if there were, it would be all over the news any time this issue came up.

Southpaw 3...marriage is a afforded special rights by the government. Due to the fact that marriage is the best environment to raise kids, avoid poverty and lower crime, marriage was given tax breaks in order to encourage couples to marry.

There is no other right that married couples have that same sex couples are blocked from having other than the tax break.

Cajun Tiger said...

Nick...I was on the same page as you until about two years ago when the courts and public officials stated forcing the issue.

Southpaw 4...citing the 14th Amendment on this issue is a severe stretch of its original intent. How is their life being threathened? How is their liberty being removed? How is their property being taken?

Cajun Tiger said...

As far as homosexuality being a disease, if it is genetic (which I don't believe but for argument’s sake let's say it is), tell me where this line of argument is flawed.

I have minors in chemisty and biology, so let's take a look at this scientifically.

First, for someone to be born homosexual it would be against every biological natural law.

Second, an animal’s second highest instinct after self-survival is species-survival, which can’t be accomplished in a homosexual relationship.

So based on those two scientific principles, in order for someone to be born homosexual it would have to be a genetic defect being it is against the natural genetic makeup. Another word for a genetic defect is a mutation.

If it is a mutation, then evolution (another assumption I’ll allow for the sake of this argument) would have erased this mutation as soon as it came out because the only new traits that are kept are ones that strengthen or give a competitive advantage to the species. Neither of those is true but quite the opposite.

Therefore, based on those scientific principles, if homosexuality is genetic, then it is a mutation and based on how we handle all other mutations we would look for a cure.

All that to say, I don’t believe it is genetic, thus I don’t believe it is a biological disease that needs a cure.

I personally believe it is a result of one’s environment and a result of the world we live in. I know some will say that no one would ever “choose” to be gay with all the ridicule that accompanies it.

I can relate because when I was stuck in my sexual addiction, I justified a lot of my actions and behaviors by the fact that this is just the way I was made. However, the truth was that I had an extremely low self-image and had a huge need for acceptance that I didn’t get from my father growing up (I’m in no way blaming him because he absolutely did his best based on the environment he grew up in). I fed this need by using people for sex.

As soon as I started to see myself as God sees me, that need started fading away and I was able to start relating to women in an honoring way.

I’ve talked to a lot of people who have overcome sexual addiction and homosexuality over the last two years, and every single one of them without exception could trace their misguided feelings back to something in their environment growing up. I know this will never be a popular idea in the “just do it” society we live in, but deep down to the depths of who we are this is true.

crummywatertowr said...

My friend, I'm not all of a sudden states rights kind of guy. The constitution gives states the rights over marriage and education. I would love for the federal government to get out of education, but No Child Left Behind (which is a bipartisan bill) has made that impossible. I might be the only teacher who likes the law (I won't lie, the hatred of that law by teachers boggles me).

Your point about the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th, is a good one, but let's face it, if polling was done it would probably show that quite a few states would not really vote for them if it weren't for the Reconstruction Acts. Plessy was wrong, but it was the spirit of the time. Brown, however, wasn't. New Orleans didn't intergrate until almost 1970, and East Baton Rouge resisted desegregation for over 40 years (which was enough time to move all the white kids to catholic and private schools). The court got it right.

I don't really have an opinion on this issue. I had coffee with a gay friend of mine last night. Her take was also that there are more pressing issues.

The point I don't get about the courts arguement is how the conservatives are ready to give up after a lower federal court makes a decision. Bring to the Supreme Court and let them decide. And if you don't like it, then keep arguing. Do what the ACLU does, and keep challenging. I don't agree with everything the ACLU does, but I'm all for challenging our government at all time, both from the left and the right, for that is what truly keeps us free.

ron said...

Southpaw, just for the record I had a cousin who was gay. He died of AIDS a few years ago. He was 31 years old.

Cajun Tiger said...

Crummy...to be technically accurate, the Constitution denies the Federal Govt the right to interfere with state decisions on marriage and education in its present form.

I'm completely against NCLB for two reasons. First, as lots of libs like to say, it is an unfunded mandate. Second, while federal standards as pure national goals are fine, mandates with financial penalties and rewards are completely out of the realm of the fed govt constitutional authority.

I'm not sure if I would say that conservatives have so much as given up so easily as they see the writing on the wall b/c of orgs like the ACLU. They know that courts will continue to be pressed until they make the decisions they want, not the ones that are constitutional.

It is only a matter of time that gay marriages in one state will be forced to be recognized in another state due to the full faith and credit clause which will eventually be used to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

So, the only alternative to that is a constitutional amendment. It is the way the founders set to make a law that effects the whole country b/c of the stringent requirement to pass one. Requiring activist jurist to set laws is not.

I agree that Brown did fix Plessy, but that doesn't give the court the pass as the all knowing. The people got it right the first time and had the court stayed out, it would have been fixed a lot sooner. A lot of states, including southern states, were moving in the right direction until Plessy allowed to go backwards again.


Ron...sorry to hear about your cousin.

crummywatertowr said...

Wow, you are kind of liberal on NCLB :). My attitude toward it is that it is a band-aid on a gaping wound, but it is there. I have to pay for a test this year, so I can teach a computer class which my work experience and technical certifactions already makes me an expert. The thing about education is that you never teach the same kid twice, so educational research is flawed. Kids don't learn well through lecture is what I often learn in lectures about how to teach. Ugh.

My part about the courts was that we should never ever accept the court (or the other two branches) as the end all and be all. You have to keep testing the system.

I do have problems with some homosexual behavior. The thing is when hetrosexuals perform the same behavior (promiscuity, public displays of affection and body parts, etc.), I am just as disgusted. Call me old fashioned, but marriage should only occur where there is love. And where there is love (true, unconditional love), I just can not see sin.

Kurt

P.S. No need to quote scripture to me, I've read them myself.

Cajun Tiger said...

Actually there are a lot of conservatives who don't like NCLB due to overstepping its bounds of the Fed Govt. The ACU is one of the groups that fights against it the most.

A constitutional amendment does exactly that...it lets the people decide and not any one branch of the government.

Unfortunately when it comes to sin, feelings don't matter. It either is or it isn't if it is specifically spelled out as sin.