Misleading SSM poll touted by Indiana D's paid for by Indiana Equality Action


In the wake of yesterday's victory for Marriage in the Indiana Senate (which saw three Democrats join every single Republican in voting to allow the people of Indiana a chance to vote on the issue in 2014), we thought it would be helpful to set the record straight about a poll, paid for by Indiana Equality Action, that tried to claim almost half of Hoosiers oppose defining marriage as between one man and one woman in their state constitution. This from one of our friends in the state:

"I'm not sure if everyone knows this yet or not, but I believe the poll that Senate Democrats keep bringing up showing that 47% of Hoosiers oppose the Marriage Amendment was paid for by the lead gay marriage activist lobby, Indiana Equality Action. They totally control everything about the poll and can't even get a majority of their 400 sample group to oppose marriage. Also, 66% of those polled were Democrats or Independents, only 34% were Republicans (there are other issues as well with the methodology of the poll if you even want to get into the weeds of a poll paid for by the opponents of HJR 6). If pro-marriage folks had paid for a poll like this, liberal Senators would have scoffed at it as ridiculously biased."

We would add, in terms of the sampling by party affiliation, In 2008 Indiana voted 36% R, 41% D and 24% I (=101% due to rounding). In 2010 Indiana voted 42% R, 31% D, 27% I.

Thus it appears this poll undersampled Republicans and oversampled Independents: 34% R, 30% D, 36% I.

Getting further into the weeds, the phrasing of the question posed about the marriage amendment used classic tactics to flavor the response, including the common red herring of saying the marriage amendment preserving the definition of one-man, one-woman marriage would "make gay marriage illegal."

Even with such phrasing, more Hoosiers strongly favor (35%) a marriage amendment than strongly opposed (34%), 12% somewhat oppose it while 8% somewhat favor it, and a whopping 11% said they didn't know or refused to answer. Maggie has already written before about how more and more people are likely choosing to keep their views on marriage private rather than be treated or perceived as a "bigot" by the pollster.

The only actual "poll" which matters, a free and fair vote of the people, in every state, has consistently demonstrated that the American people are for marriage, as the Hoosiers will once again confirm should they be given the chance to do so in 2014.