Dept. of Questionable Polling

OK, so there's cautious optimism, and then there's all-out whackadoodle nonsense.

From the Kennebec Journal:
A new poll released Monday gives same-sex marriage supporters an 11 percentage point lead over those seeking to reject the new state law.


Monday's poll showing a lead for same-sex marriage supporters was quite different from one released by a North Carolina firm last week.

That poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 likely voters, said the Question 1 race was in a 48-48 percent dead heat. Public Policy Polling, which uses automated telephone surveys, said 4 percent were undecided and that the poll had a 3 percent margin of error.

Monday's poll, by Pan Atlantic SMS Group of Portland, asked 400 likely voters how they plan to vote on the five major questions.

On Question 1, 53 percent indicated they would vote "no," 42 percent said they would vote "yes" and 6 percent were undecided.

I would love to believe that we are 11 points ahead. If we win by 11 points, God only knows what I will do to express my exuberance. But I think the dead-heat numbers are far more likely to be accurate, and I trust these results about as far as I could throw Mark Mutty. [boo, hiss, *rattles gragger*]

At the end of the day, the last thing we can afford to do is be complacent. It's all going to boil down to voter turn-out, and who has the better GOTV effort. Older voters and social conservatives are well-known to be consistent voters, so hopefully the hot-button nature of this referendum will get our supporters off to the polls in an off year.


  1. I think I read somewhere that PPP uses automated polling. On hot button moral issues like this one, some will be embarrassed to be seen as anti-gay. So they might be more honest with a PPP poll.

    But those people who feel embarrassed may be less inclined to drag themselves to vote.

  2. You are calling THIS a hot button issue? This issue has been brought up in less than 10 states, has little impact on the lives of say 90% of folks out there! This is what is wrong with our government, they focus on what the special interest groups (left and right) WANT them to focus on. Meanwhile, creating economic engines in the state, crazy taxation laws, infrastructure and education fall into the status of "Cold Button Issues" - Pathetic!

  3. I consider a hot button issue to be one that people *do* get worked up about, not one they *should* get worked up about.

  4. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-november-3-2005/mass--hysteria

    This is their man here from Massachusetts, Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance.

  5. Oh, Anonymous. I toyed with deleting your comment. ("Anonymous, contrary and unpleasant" make for an unpopular combination.) But, instead, I've decided to shoot a few fish in a barrel. However, I don't like calling you "Anonymous," so instead I shall refer to you as "Henrietta."

    Henrietta, you don't really grasp what makes something a "hot button" issue, methinks. Mealsothinks that you are part of that 90% unaffected by the same-sex marriage debate. Mefinallythinks that maybe you aren't the world's most astute political analyst.

    Let's dispense with the silly notion that "our government" is wasting its time on this issue. You see, Henrietta, our state government dispensed with this issue months ago, along with a whole bunch of other work that you could look up if you felt like it. The reason we are still dealing with this is that a great many bigoted people have called for a referendum. It's not really the fault of "our government."

    Also, it's very easy to gripe about so-called special interest groups. From my perspective, though, gay and lesbian people aren't so much a "special interest group" as a bunch of people who are simply tired of being treated like second-class citizens (or worse).

    Which brings me to my last point. You yourself concede that this issue has "little impact" on the lives of most people. However, for that 10% (by your estimation) that are impacted, the impact is huge and tremendously positive. Why, pray, should we fail to enact a change that costs most people so little, but helps a few people so much? It makes me suspect, Henrietta, that you are the sort of person who is content with the misfortune of others if you, yourself, are doing OK. I'm afraid this says something rather unfortunate about the sort of person you are.


  6. Dan, You are so-eloquent, I would have said.....er, the old Jim would have said $^#*-^#)

  7. I particularly enjoyed your first sentence "toying with the idea of deleting my comment." Let's see, who does that sound like (shutting out any view from the opposition - ah, the "W" administration)! The interesting thing is, I am NOT the opposition, I voted NO on ONE! The annoying thing is, and you comment on it with regard to America following Jon and Kate and all the rest, is WHY we are not using our time, intellect and money to focus on TWO WARS on the national level and education, infrastructure and economic growth at the local and state level. Don't you find it interesting that the left complained about these wars under "W," but MOVEON.ORG is not taking any ful page ads out during "BO's" troop surge? Also, if a hot button issue is one that people *do* get worked up about, not one they *should* get worked up about wouldn't we also create legislation for those nuts that leave in trees to protect them, or the people that place bombs under the cars of folks that work in labs in Cambridge (those people *do* get worked up about those issues)?


  8. Why, Henrietta! I'm thrilled to know you voted No on 1. Mazel tov.

    The reason I toyed with deleting your comment has nothing to do with its being oppositional. I can think of one commenter (at least) who persistently expresses views in opposition to mine, and he remains welcome to do so. No, my beef was that you weren't particularly polite, and you were anonymous. If you'd like to go by "Henrietta" from now one, then I'll be able to recognize you. (I would avoid using words like "pathetic" to describe things I've said. It will result in a polite invitation to get your own blog.)

    I'm not sure what point you're making in your second post. Do I think it's ridiculous that we have to go through the referendum process to keep marriage equality in Maine? Sure I do. While I think the war in Afghanistan remains a more justifiable one than the one in Iraq, I take your point about the lack of Moveon attention to the former. (Gadfly, I'm sure you'll agree with that perspective.) For people who are in opposition to BOTH wars, then yes, I suppose it would make sense to be loudly decrying Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan. I'm not sure what this has to do with No on 1, however.

    We all have our issues of particular concern. Mine happen to include marriage equality, which for me is an intensely pressing issue just now. If you think we shouldn't have to waste our time fighting for a cause that the state has already dealt with... well, I suppose I agree with that. But, now that we do have to fight for it, you'll have to put up with my paying a lot of attention to it right now.

  9. Hey, if Henrietta thinks W shut out the opposition... ah, er, {deep breath} calm blue ocean... {deep breath} calm blue ocean. OK, I'm better now. 8^)

    The referendum process isn't ridiculous; that's the way messy representative democracy works. To really win the ME battle, you have to win the hearts and minds of people for whom ME isn't a big deal, and expressed public opinion is a large part of hearts and minds. Should you win, you solidify the public perception that ME is approved by a majority of decent people. Should you lose, heaven forfend, you know you have more work to do. At least people who have no direct interest are invited to consider the merits of the issue.

  10. GJ, I happen to think it's ridiculous that a large number of people are so sure that their particular biases are valid that they are willing to go to the trouble to call for a referendum on rights that affect them not one bit. Part of democracy? You bet. They have every right to do it. But I think they are, nonetheless, ridiculous.