Proposition 8 Campaign Fibs About Poll

Timothy Kincaid

July 18th, 2008

Confronted with the latest Field Poll showing that Proposition 8 is not favored by California voters, the supporters of the anti-gay marriage amendment are scrambling to find positive ways to spin the results. Unfortunately, they relying on false statements to do so.

In a news release, Yes on Proposition 8 stated

A new Field Poll released today shows Proposition 8 — the Marriage Protection ballot initiative — is gaining among likely voters, although the survey continues to significantly understate support for the initiative, officials with the Proposition 8 campaign said today. The poll also shows that advocates of same-sex marriage are losing ground, compared to the last Field Poll released on May 28.

This seems contrary to news stories on the poll. But in support of their rather bold claim they state

The latest Field Poll reports support for Proposition 8 is at 42% (up two points since May) and opposition at 51% (down from 54%).

However, that is not really what the May Field Poll reported. In May, pollsters broke their sample in two and asked two slightly differently worded questions about a proposed constitutional amendment.

5a “Do you favor or oppose changing the California State Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, thus barring marriage between gay and lesbian couples?”

Favor 40%
Oppose 54%
No Opinion 6%

5b “There may be a vote on this issue in the November election. Would you favor or oppose having the state constitution prohibit same-sex marriage, by defining marriage as only between a man and a woman?”

Favor 43%
Oppose 51%
No Opinion 6%

Although Field doesn’t tell us the combined average, it is likely to be similar to the answer to their primary question:

Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex and have regular marriage laws apply to them?

Disapprove 42%
Approve 51%
No Opinion 7%

In order to have something positive to say, the supporters of the proposition ignore the rest of the results and focus on one subset of one question so as to claim movement on the issue. But not only is this blatantly dishonest, the fluctuation was within the margin of error and no honest pollster would claim that this was an indication of “advances” or of “losing ground”.

However, their claim of understated support is probably valid. The Field Poll did not accurately predict the results of the yes vote on Proposition 22. But it did yield interesting information that we may wish to apply to the current poll.

On February 9, 2000, the Field Poll released results of their polling on Proposition 22, the “Limit on Marriage Initiative”. This was the proposition that rewrote civil code to ban gay marriage (the code found inconsistent with the Constitution by the California Supreme Court).

Proposition 22 provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. If the election were being held today, would you vote Yes or No on Proposition 22?

Yes 52%
No 39%
Undecided 9%

On election day, March 7, the initiative passed 61% to 39%. Clearly the Field Poll did not well predict the “Yes” votes.

But it did accurately predict the “No” votes. While undecided voters may have ultimately chosen to pull the “Yes” lever, those who polled as opposed to the ballot seemed – on average – to hold their conviction.

So lets look at the current Field Poll,

Proposition 8 is the “Limit on Marriage Constitutional Amendment.” It amends the California constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. If the election were being held today, would you vote Yes or No on Proposition 8, the Limit on Marriage Constitutional Amendment.

Yes 42%
No 51%
Undecided 7%

Assuming that the Field Poll underestimated the supporters but accurately predicted the “No” votes, then a vote on Proposition 8 today would fail 49% to 51%.

No matter how they slice it or which way they spin it, today was not a good day for the Yes on Proposition 8 people.


July 19th, 2008

I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!

I just can’t bring myself to believe that these good Christian people would resort to lying, misleading, spinning or any other un-Christian means to accomplish their righteous ends!

I’m certain that this MUST be the first time that they’ve done such a thing.

Patrick ONeill

July 20th, 2008

That’s nothing compared to the CAP fibbing about the danger of gay marriage in AZ.

“If you think gay marriage wouldn’t “affect” you directly, do you realize what’s happening across our
Do you own a business? Photographers in New Mexico were fined because they wouldn’t use their business for a same-sex commitment ceremony.

Do you attend a church? In New Jersey, a church was stripped of its tax-exempt status because it wouldn’t rent facilities to same-sex ceremonies.”

It’s almost enough to make you think that New Mexico and New Jersey HAVE “gay marriage” :)

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