NOM’s Christmas Gift: Deepening Desperation

Rob Tisinai

December 26th, 2011

NOM reports that 61% of New Hampshire voters want to repeal the state’s recognition of same-sex marriage. Disappointing, but we have to remember that even this represents progress when compared to public sentiment a decade ago, so —

Wait, hold on, let me check…

So sorry. My mistake. NOM is reporting that 60% of New Hampshire Republicans want to repeal same-sex marriage.

Only 60%.

Of Republicans.

I’m thrilled with that number. And NOM’s happy about it, too?  That’s quite revealing. Apparently they’ve set themselves a new, lower threshold for what constitutes good news. Perhaps something like:

Yay! Our base is merely eroding quickly rather than extremely quickly.


Hoorah! 61% of the most conservative 28% of New Hampshire voters haven’t abandoned us yet!


Yippee! Because, well…yippee!

Actually, they think of it like this, spinning the result in a fashion that blows away any attempt to parody it.

“With more than 3 out of 5 New Hampshire Primary voters favoring the restoration of marriage, the verdict is in: Republicans are united in the fight against the national agenda of wealthy, gay marriage lobbyists,” said Jason Rose of the July Fourth Forum PAC.

Emphasis added.  Anyway, Merry Christmas.  From NOM.

Lost Choi

December 26th, 2011

Unfortunately, with Republicans controlling both the State House & Senate in New Hampshire, only those 28% of NH Voters (i.e. the Republican ones) really matter to the Republican legislators. The only impediment to the state legislature erasing gay marriage is the Democrat governor’s veto, which the legislature *may* have enough votes to override. That’s why NOM is happy — that 28% is what matters most in this legislative battle.


December 26th, 2011

Actually, Tisinai’s post doesn’t fully capture how bogus this poll is. First, the 61% response comes not from NH Republicans, but NH Republicans who are likely primary voters. That means that activist Republicans, who are overwhelmingly conservative, are overrepresented in these results.

Second, the poll does NOT ask whether the respondents support repeal of same-sex marriage. Instead, it asks whether the respondents support marriage as between one man and one woman, while allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions. The pollster never lets the respondent know what the law is or that there is a proposed restrictive change under consideration. Ask whether respondents support eliminating SSM as it currently exists and I suspect that support for repeal would clock in at 50%, even in this very conservative sampling.

David W. Shelton

December 27th, 2011

I wish I could say that I’m surprised by this bit of clear deception by the folks at NOM. They’ve been moving more and more into weird-whacko land, and sadly, deeper into “hate group” territory because of their very loose relationship with the truth.

Many thanks to you guys at BTB for staying on top of these guys.


December 27th, 2011

Lost Choi,

What’s very important though is that moderates/independants, a VERY key and influential voting bloc in New Hampshire, oppose repeal by a 3:1 margin. In addition, there are still 26 Republican representatives left who votes against repeal in 2010, and MANY of the new ones elected in 2010 have voiced opposition to repeal. There’s no way in hell they will be able to override the veto.

Timothy Kincaid

December 27th, 2011

One more consideration – the Speaker of the House is in his 20’s. That is relevant for two reasons.

First, he’s grown up with gay being normal. So while homosexuality may be “a sin”, like premarital sex and divorce, it isn’t a horrible icky perversion.

Second, he undoubtedly can predict where the votes will be in 10 years and if he wants to continue a career in politics there is no way he wants to go on record as being an enemy of equality. He can be “opposed” and have room for “evolution” on the issue. But if he’s a firebrand then his career will end at the same time as the 80 year old legislator’s (ie very very soon).


December 27th, 2011

Isn’t the Speaker of the NH House of Representatives William L. O’Brien, who is 60 years old?
Regardless, I worry you’re confusing the Speaker’s personal attitudes with his political motivations. For all we know, he could well support gay rights in private, and he could well know that in the long run gay marriage and gay marriage support is a near certainty. But politically, he knows that his career in the near term depends on supporting his base. His base is the Republicans, a party strongly influenced by the gay-marriage-hating right wing. I’d expect that in the end he will let this come to a vote, saying something mealy-mouthed like, “This is an important issue that deserves an up or down vote.” He gains little but will suffer a lot come next election if he blocks a vote. And with the overwhelming Republican majority in both the House and Senate, I’d be surprised if it didn’t pass. The big question is if they have the votes to override the Governor’s veto.

Timothy Kincaid

December 27th, 2011


Yes indeed. I meant New Hampshire House Majority Leader JD Bettencourt.

However, I don’t think we are necessarily in disagreement. I do think the bill will come up for a vote and will pass. And be vetoed. And at that time, I think that the leadership will say, “well we have more important things to do such as…” or “we must be respectful of the Governor…” or some such thing and that will be that.

Another alternate scenario (one which I think is even more likely) is that the vote occurs on the last day possible and there “simply isn’t time” to hold the legislature over for a veto override.

These are, of course, guesses.


December 29th, 2011

Lost Choi,

Maybe not. Like I said, moderate/independent voters (a key voting block in New Hampshire) oppose repeal by a 3:1 margin. BTW Bettencourt voted against repeal back in 2010.

I think most all of the Republicans in the legislature know that this won’t pass, and is just symbolic.

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