What do you make of this? There was a great editorial in the LA Times on Friday about Proposition 8 (same sex marriage ban), to which 74 comments were made which were negative, nasty, and insulting. I and about 6 of my friends tried multiple times to send in positive comments in support of the writer, and (of course) not a single one of those made the comment thread. So obviously, the liberal idiot webmaster was just deleting anything positive and only posting the anti-prop. 8 rants. Oh, I was totally incensed. I wrote a letter to the editorial dept. at the Times and I was nasty. But I started to wonder. Is this a miscarriage of free speech? Or is it actually a benefit to our side? If all the liberals in the LA area think there is absolutely NO ONE who would be so stupid as to vote yes on Prop. 8, then maybe they won't battle as hard. I don't know, just a thought.(emphasis, link added)
In fact, there is something to what she suggests. From Monday's edition of the WSJ Political Diary (John Fund):
Opponents of a measure that would cement a definition of marriage as between a man and a woman in the California constitution were cheered by a new Field Poll last week showing the measure losing 55% to 38%. Just a few weeks ago, the measure was trailing by only nine points.(emphasis added)
But the battle over Proposition 8, which seeks to reestablish a traditional definition of marriage that was overturned by the state's Supreme Court this summer, isn't over.
A new study of polling in 26 states -- including California -- that have voted on the issue of gay marriage shows that support for such measures is often under-reported in polls. For example, in 2000 when California first voted on gay marriage, polls showed that Proposition 22 -- which would have banned gay marriage -- had 53% support in the final pre-election poll. It wound up winning with 61%.
"I can't say for sure why polls almost always understate support for traditional marriage," says Frank Schubert, a strategist for anti-gay marriage forces. "I believe it is because the media portrays same-sex marriage as being politically correct. Supporters of traditional marriage don't want pollsters to consider them intolerant, so they mask their true feelings on the issue."
In states that have voted on gay marriage, the study found that polls underestimated support for traditional marriage by an average of seven points. In only two states (Texas and South Carolina) did pre-election polls accurately predict the outcome of the vote. In only one state (Arizona), polls overstated the final percentage of voters who backed traditional marriage.
If, like me, you care about this issue and want to lend your support, check out Restoring Marriage & Protecting California Children.
In other, related news, my pals at NB and I are looking in to the LA Times coverage of Prop. 8. Stay tuned.
If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.