Perkins Finds a Poll He Likes

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is one of those anti-gay leaders who has tried to keep a stiff upper lip in the face of the overwhelming evidence that the Christian right is losing on gay marriage and gay rights in general. And he’s finally found a poll he likes:

But according to a new Rasmussen Poll, it’s anything but. In what should be an eye-opening survey that the media will go out of its way to ignore, the survey house announced a flat-out tie between Americans who back same-sex “marriage” and those who don’t. Holding almost completely steady from its 2013 numbers, 43% of people , when asked “do you favor or oppose gay marriage,” said they supported, compared to another 43% who opposed. The debate, which the media pronounced dead and buried, has never been more alive!

I’ll take cherry picking the results he likes for $1000, Alex. This is a lot like what creationists do with scientists. 99.99% of all scientists in the relevant fields accept evolution and reject creationism, but if they can find a single biologist or geologist who says they’re right, he’s obviously the only scientific opinion that matters. There are several problems with this. The first is that this single poll is what is called an “outlier,” that is, a poll that is extremely out of line with dozens of other polls. Most other polls over the last few months have put support for same-sex marriage at 55-60% nationally.

The second is that it’s a Rasmussen poll, which is one of the least accurate polling firms in the country that strongly skews conservative. In the 2012 election, for example, out of 23 polling companies that produced at least five polls leading up to the election, Rasmussen was 20th in terms of how close their polling came to the actual election results. Their average poll was off by 4.2 points compared to the election results and they skewed 3.7 points to the Republican side. One of the reasons is that they do not include cell phones in their polls, which makes their sample skew older and more conservative.

And the the third is this: Even if this poll were accurate, and it almost certainly isn’t for all the reasons I laid out above, that’s still a 25-30 point swing in public opinion in the last 10 years on the issue. Does he really think that’s suddenly going to reverse itself and people are going to think, “Boy, they were right, gay marriage is going to destroy the world!” You go right ahead and keep thinking that, Tony.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • lldayo

    So, even on a conservatively skewed poll they still can’t win and he thinks that’s a good thing?

  • dingojack

    Paging Dean Chambers, paging Dean Chambers, Dean Chambers to the white Courtesy Phone please!

    Dingo

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    I think a lot of anti-gay conservative leaders find polls that they like. Of course they find these polls in the privacy of the local airport bathroom.

  • raven

    Poll: Record gay marriage support – Natalie Villacorta …

    www. politico. com/story/2014/…/gay-marriage-support-poll-104272.htm…‎

    Mar 5, 2014 – Support for same-sex marriage is higher than ever before, according to a new poll.

    Nearly six in 10 Americans — 59 percent — say they support gay marriage, … 4/9/2014. 4/8/2014. 4/7/2014. 4/6/2014. 4/5/2014. 4/4/2014.

    Public opinion of same-sex marriage in the United States …

    en. wikipedia. org/…/Public_opinion_of_same-sex_marriage_in_the_Unit…‎

    A Pew Research Center poll released in March 2014 researched support for …

    A July poll by USA Today found that 55% of Americans supported same-sex ….. with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples?

    The Rasmussen poll is indeed an outlier. Other recent polls have same sex marriage support at 59% and 55%.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    Raven, the same poll found that 61 percent of Republicans/leaning Republican ages 18-29 percent are in favor of SSM,, and overall support in that age group is 69 percent. This does not bode well for them.

    Even in the 50-64 age group, overall support was 47 percent.

    So the “war on marriage” is pretty much over.

  • vmanis1

    I have my own social-science hypothesis. Back before, when I could still watch him with only manageable symptoms of nausea[*], I noticed that he smirks a lot, and have speculated that the intensity of his smirk varies directly as the untruth of what he’s saying. It would be interesting if someone with more stamina than I could either confirm or refute this hypothesis.

    [*] My current reaction to Mr Pervertkins can be seen at the 1:10 mark in this video.

  • Synfandel

    99.99% of all scientists in the relevant fields accept evolution and reject creationism, but if they can find a single biologist or geologist who says they’re right, he’s obviously the only scientific opinion that matters.

    Or a single phrenologist or homeopath.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Well, this is all well and good: MEANTIME, some gun range in Oklahoma wants to be the first in the state to have a liquor license:

    http://www.okcfox.com/story/25226507/gun-range-aims-to-be-the-first-with-a-liquor-license-in-oklahoma

    I want to see the video of THAT victory party.

  • http://quixote317.livejournal.com/ Quixotic James

    Even if you do manage to find dissent, informed dissenters often have different reasons. For example, it’s easy to find evidence that there are people on the left and right who don’t like the Affordable Care Act. Their reasons for not liking it are often much different – the right not wanting health care at all, the left thinking single-payer would have been better.

    For the poll in question, we don’t know what the motives of the 43% opposition is. Maybe a chunk of them don’t like any marriage. Doesn’t mean they all agree.

  • abb3w

    I suspect Rasmussen’s results may be in part due to context priming; in particular, asking “Do you view marriage more as a religious institution or a civil institution?” before asking “Do you favor or oppose gay marriage?”

  • felidae

    I think Rasmussen’s poll question more likely is: Being gay sex is icky,do you favor or oppose gay marriage?

  • Doug Little

    These guys really need to watch the Black Knight scene from Monty Python’s the Holy Grail.

  • abb3w

    @11, felidae

    I think Rasmussen’s poll question more likely is: Being gay sex is icky,do you favor or oppose gay marriage?

    Mere source derogation seems unbecoming, particularly when the actual facts are themselves sufficiently damning.