Matthew Franck on Michael Barone's False Reading of Marriage Polling


Plenty of people are raising eyebrows at Michael Barone's recent comments on the subject of same-sex marriage.

Michael Franck at First Thoughts clarifies the disparity, by pointing out that Barone's use of Gallup polling yields very different results (53% in favor of SSM) than the results found by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) -- only 35% in favor of SSM:

There is something plain-spoken and direct about the POS question, and something very useful about the follow-up on the intensity of opinion. Gallup’s question, on the other hand, is actually a bit ambiguous.

... And so the purported “shift” in opinion since 1996 may be, to a substantial but unknown degree, owing to this erosion into ambiguity of Gallup’s question. On the basic issue, the POS question is vastly superior for simplicity, clarity, directness, and a measurement of intensity. And the results at the real polls–the ones where people vote whether to defend marriage or not–bear out POS’s greater probability of accuracy. In 31 states, the people have gone to the polls and said yes to marriage and no to the destructive revolution represented by same-sex unions.

I’m with Maggie Gallagher, and I think we’re both with a clear majority of Americans. Marriage is between one man and one woman, and a presidential candidate who keeps saying that can only help himself.