Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fuzzy Math on Polls Continue to Haunt National Organization for Marriage


National Organization for Marriage has had questions flying about it's ethics and honesty right from day one and continue today. Most recently was there defense of Carrie Prejean who after declaring that marriage should be between a man and a woman blamed her opinion for costing her the Miss America crown. After closer inspection we find out that on her parent's court documents her mother openly questions Prejeans's father's sexuality (now we know where she gets it). Like peeling through an onion, each layer more disturbing as the next we find that she posed for semi-nude photos where she blames the photographer for taking candid photos. Then another volley came out from a different source and she tried to use the same old lie on these ones too. There's a reason NOM hasn't distanced themselves from the wreckage; birds of a feather flock together.

In the latest episode of this curious crowd's antics we find a new poll where the figures just don't add up.... literally! It takes no math genius to go down the list and see how many times the numbers don't convey the 100% of the people called. Add in the fact that 76% of the people "interviewed" were over the age of 51 and you can see clearly the fix was in. In my opinion what we may be looking at is their own sad calling list; only 306 people. This is no groundswell of support for their bigotry, that's for sure! Here's there "press release":


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Elizabeth Ray, x130 or Mary Beth Hutchins, x105 at 703-683-5004
May 17, 2009

The 2009 NOM Massachusetts Marriage Survey

FIVE YEARS AFTER GOODRIDGE:
GAY MARRIAGE DIVIDES MASSACHUSETTS VOTERS

A substantial minority of voters express fears that openly opposing gay marriage carries risks in Massachusetts

By Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage

Has Opposition to Gay Marriage in Massachusetts Subsided?

Five years after same-sex couples first began to enter legal marriages in Massachusetts, a new poll indicates that Massachusetts voters remain sharply divided about gay marriage. When asked, “Do you personally favor or oppose same-sex marriage generally?” 43 percent of Massachusetts voters favor same-sex marriage and 44 percent oppose same-sex marriage, with an additional 14 percent saying they don’t know or choosing not to respond.

The telephone survey of 306 people taken March 30-31, 2009 is representative of voters in Massachusetts and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5.7 percent.

Massachusetts voters were also divided over the question of whether opponents of gay marriage should be free to act on the view that same-sex unions are not marriages. A majority (50 percent) agreed with the statement, “People should be free to practice their belief, even if it means they will not treat same-sex couples the same as other married couples.” Thirty-nine percent disagreed and 11 percent didn’t know or gave no response.

When asked whether opposition to gay marriage was discrimination, similar to interracial marriage, 45 percent agreed and 48 percent disagreed.

Do Children Need a Mom and Dad? Majority Say Yes, but Support Drops
Massachusetts voters were also asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “All things being equal, it is better for children to be raised by their married mother and father.” Seventy-six percent of voters agreed (66 percent strongly); 21 percent disagreed (13 percent strongly).

A similar question was asked in a 2004 poll of Massachusetts residents (not voters) shortly after the Goodridge court ruling: “All things being equal, it is better for children to be raised in a household that has a married mother and father.” In 2004, 84 percent of Massachusetts residents agreed (37 percent strongly) and 16 percent disagreed (2 percent strongly). [Norval Glenn, 2004. With This Ring: A Survey on Marriage in Massachusetts. Available at www.fatherhood.org].

Thus, in the five years since gay marriage became a reality in Massachusetts, support for the idea that the ideal is a married mother and father dropped from 84 percent to 76 percent. Interestingly, opinion on the question also became more sharply polarized: the proportion who strongly agreed that a married mom and dad is best jumped from 37 percent to 66 percent; the proportion who disagreed strongly, however, also increased sixfold, from 2 percent in 2004 to 14 percent in 2009.

Fears of Retaliation Reported by Supporters of Traditional Marriage
The NOM/MFI poll is also the first poll in the nation to attempt to measure the extent to which ordinary citizens feel free to oppose gay marriage in a state where gay marriage has been declared a constitutional right and is the law of the land.
A surprisingly substantial minority of voters expressed fears that open opposition to gay marriage might result in retaliation or harassment of some kind.

For example:

• Thirty-six percent of all Massachusetts voters agreed with the statement, “Some people I know personally would be reluctant to admit they oppose gay marriage because they would worry about the consequences for them or their children.” (Twenty-four percent agreed strongly.)


Among voters who oppose gay marriage:

• Thirty-six percent of voters who oppose gay marriage agreed with the statement, “If you speak out against gay marriage in Massachusetts you really have to watch your back because some people may try to hurt you.” (Twenty-six percent agreed strongly.)

• Fifteen percent of voters who oppose gay marriage say they personally know someone who experienced harassment or intimidation because of their belief that marriage means a man and a woman.


While the majority of Massachusetts voters reject the idea that gay marriage opponents should stay silent, a surprising number expressed open support for (presumably moral) intimidation of those who oppose gay marriage. When asked to what extent they agree with the statement, “People who think marriage is only between a man and a woman SHOULD feel intimidated, because they are engaging in discrimination and no one should feel free to be for discrimination,” almost one in five voters strongly agreed, and an additional 8 percent agreed, but not strongly.

The NOM/MFI Massachusetts Marriage Poll thus documents a fairly significant level of apprehension among voters who oppose gay marriage about the consequences of speaking openly or acting on their belief that marriage means a husband and wife. Of course we cannot say based on this polling data whether and to what extent the fears of Massachusetts voters expressed here are realistic. What we can say with some confidence is that five years after the first same-sex couples legally married in Massachusetts, a substantial minority of people believe it is risky to oppose gay marriage openly.

About the NOM Massachusetts Marriage Poll
These are the results of a telephone survey of registered voters in Massachusetts, commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage and the Massachusetts Family Institute and conducted by QEV Analytics (www.QEV.com). The obtained sample is representative of this population. A pool of individual registrants was randomly selected from among all registered voters in the Commonwealth. Interviewing was conducted during the period March 30-31, 2009. The obtained sample was weighted by race to match the known characteristics of the surveyed population. In total, 306 respondents participated in the survey, resulting in a theoretical margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About the National Organization for Marriage
The National Organization for Marriage is a grassroots activist organization whose mission is “protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.” (www.nationformarriage.org).

About the Massachusetts Family Institute
MFI is a non-partisan public policy organization dedicated to strengthening families in Massachusetts. (www.mafamily.org).



###


THE NOM MASSACHUSETTS MARRIAGE SURVEY SCRIPT AND TOPLINE RESULTS


Hello, this is (interviewer name), and I'm calling from the Massachusetts Survey Research Center. We’re calling to learn your opinions regarding some important issues of the day. This is not a sales call; we won’t ask you to buy or do anything, and we are not calling on behalf of a candidate or political party. Your number was selected at random, and I am calling because we value your opinions on some issues facing Massachusetts today. My questions should take less than 5 minutes.

1. I am looking today to speak with people who are registered to vote in Massachusetts. Are you currently registered to vote in Massachusetts?

100% YES (CONTINUE)
0% NO (THANK AND TERMINATE)

2. Overall, would you say things in Massachusetts are generally headed in the right direction, or have things here pretty much gotten off on the wrong track?

24% RIGHT DIRECTION
67% OFF ON WRONG TRACK
9% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

3. How would you rate specifically the economic health of Massachusetts today: is it very good, fairly good, fairly poor, or very poor?

4% VERY GOOD
28% FAIRLY GOOD
43% FAIRLY POOR
24% VERY POOR
2% DON’T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Governor Deval [duh-VALL] Patrick is doing as Governor of Massachusetts? Do you feel that way strongly or not strongly?

14% APPROVE STRONGLY
23% APPROVE, NOT STRONGLY
16% DISAPPROVE, NOT STRONGLY
36% DISAPPROVE STRONGLY
10% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

Next, I would like to read to you some statements that other people have made or that have been in the news recently, and ask you whether you agree or disagree with each statement.

5. Here’s the first statement: “People who believe that marriage can only be between a man and a woman are engaging in discrimination, just like those who opposed interracial marriage.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Do you feel that way strongly or not strongly?

39% AGREE STRONGLY
6% AGREE, NOT STRONGLY
10% DISAGREE, NOT STRONGLY
38% DISAGREE STRONGLY
6% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

44% AGREE; 48% DISAGREE

6. Here’s the next statement: “People should be free to practice their beliefs, even if it means they will not treat same-sex couples the same as other married couples.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Do you feel that way strongly or not strongly?

35% AGREE STRONGLY
15% AGREE, NOT STRONGLY
13% DISAGREE, NOT STRONGLY
26% DISAGREE STRONGLY
11% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

50% AGREE; 39% DISAGREE

7. Here’s the next statement: “People who think marriage is only between a man and a woman SHOULD feel intimidated, because they are engaging in discrimination, and no one should feel free to be for discrimination.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Do you feel that way strongly or not strongly?

19% AGREE STRONGLY
8% AGREE, NOT STRONGLY
17% DISAGREE, NOT STRONGLY
41% DISAGREE STRONGLY
14% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

27% AGREE; 58% DISAGREE

8. And here’s the next statement: “Some people I know personally would be reluctant to admit they oppose gay marriage because they would worry about the consequences for them or their children.”

24% AGREE STRONGLY
12% AGREE, NOT STRONGLY
14% DISAGREE, NOT STRONGLY
37% DISAGREE STRONGLY
13% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

36% AGREE; 51% DISAGREE

9. Do you personally favor or oppose same-sex marriage generally?

43% FAVOR
44% OPPOSE
14% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

10. [ASKED ONLY THOSE OPPOSED] Here is another statement others have made. Again, I would like to get your opinion: “If you speak out against gay marriage in Massachusetts, you really have to watch your back because some people may try to hurt you.” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Do you feel that way strongly or not strongly?

26% AGREE STRONGLY
10% AGREE, NOT STRONGLY
17% DISAGREE, NOT STRONGLY
41% DISAGREE STRONGLY
7% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE
57% NOT ASKED

36% AGREE; 58% DISAGREE

11. [ASKED ONLY THOSE OPPOSED] Do you personally know someone – a friend, a neighbor, someone at work, someone you see from time to time – who feels they were harassed, or intimidated on account of their belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman?

15% YES
79% NO
6% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE
57% NOT ASKED

12. [ALL] Let’s talk about public schools. Do you think that the public schools in your area teach children about same-sex marriage, that men can marry other men and women marry other women, or do the schools not teach children about same-sex marriage?

15% TEACH ABOUT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
47% DO NOT TEACH ABOUT SAME SEX MARRIAGE
38% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

13. Here’s one more statement: “All things being equal, it is better for children to be raised by their married mother and a father?” Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Do you feel that way strongly or not strongly?

66% AGREE STRONGLY
10% AGREE, NOT STRONGLY
8% DISAGREE, NOT STRONGLY
13% DISAGREE STRONGLY
3% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

76% AGREE; 21% DISAGREE

I have just a few more questions to ask you for statistical purposes …

14. Gender [BY OBSERVATION, DO NOT READ UNLESS UNCERTAIN]

49% MALE
51% FEMALE
0% NO RESPONSE

15. Are you currently married or are you single? [IF SINGLE] Have you ever been married?

67% MARRIED
21% SINGLE, PREVIOUSLY MARRIED
11% SINGLE, NOT PREVIOUSLY MARRIED
2% NO RESPONSE

16. Do you have any children? [IF YES] Are any of your children under 18 years of age?

18% NO CHILDREN
56% HAVE CHILDREN, NONE UNDER 18
25% HAVE CHILDREN, ONE OR MORE UNDER 18
1% NO RESPONSE

17. [IF CHILDREN UNDER 18] Are any of your children currently attending a public school in Massachusetts?

69% YES
31% NO
0% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE
75% NOT ASKED

18. [IF NO CHILDREN UNDER 18] Do you have any grandchildren who currently attend a public school in Massachusetts?

49% YES
52% NO
0% DON'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE
44% NOT ASKED

19. Do you consider yourself to be a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent? [IF DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN] Do you consider yourself to be a strong [DEMOCRAT/REPUBLICAN] or not?

26% STRONG DEMOCRAT
4% WEAK DEMOCRAT
9% STRONG REPUBLICAN
4% WEAK REPUBLICAN
55% INDEPENDENT
1% NONE OF THESE/OTHER [VOLUNTEERED RESPONSE ONLY]
2% DON’T KNOW/NO RESPONSE [DO NOT READ]

20. Which of the following best describes your religious preference: are you … [READ OPTIONS]

31% PROTESTANT, OR ANY OTHER CHRISTIAN, OTHER THAN CATHOLIC
49% CATHOLIC
*% JEWISH
1% MUSLIM
9% OTHER, OR
9% NONE
1% DON’T KNOW/REFUSED [DO NOT READ]


21. In a typical month, how often do you go to Church or to a religious service? [RECORD ACTUAL NUMBER]

35% 0
8% 1
10% 2
7% 3
27% 4
13% 5+
10% DON’T KNOW/NO RESPONSE


22. In what year were you born, please? [RECORD EXACT RESPONSE]

20% 18 - 50
22% 51 - 60
30% 61 - 75
24% 76 +
5% DON’T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

23. What do you consider to be your main racial or ethnic heritage: African-American and not Hispanic, White and not Hispanic, Hispanic, Asian-American, or other?

1% AFRICAN-AMERICAN/NON-HISPANIC
79% WHITE/NON-HISPANIC
4% HISPANIC
1% ASIAN-AMERICAN
4% NATIVE-AMERICAN
9% OTHER
4% DON’T KNOW/NO RESPONSE

That's the last of my questions. Thank you very much for your time and participation.

4 comments:

John said...

"In a Constitutional Democratic Republic, why do you think any one should give a shit about your personal views of matters that are none of your fucking business"?

jelly said...

That was an interesting post John.
I especially liked reading the survey.

Did someone leave an ugly comment up there? Shame on them if they did.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

These people have a serious problem with honesty. Can straight people all be fooled so easily? I don't get it. I would expect a lot more people standing up and bitching about being lied to, but you don't hear any of that from the moderate middle. Did I miss something critical to understanding why?

"We will not remember the words of our enemies, but rather the silence of our friends." ~MLK

John said...

Most of us are pretty stupid.