Survey Says

What Does the Top-Secret California Marriage Polling Reveal?


At 11:30am PST today, an umbrella group of gay organizations like the Courage Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Marriage Equality U.S.A., and Equality California will deliver the results from its polling of where California’s voters stand on same-sex marriage. Yes, this is the same data Fresno organizers wanted to keep secret. To those involved, the data is of utmost importance, because it could determine whether to push for a ballot measure overturning Prop 8 in 2010, or whether the analysis shows we should wait until 2012, or even head in another course of action. The results of the poll will be delivered over a conference call (only media are invited to join). But Queerty received a preview of what to expect.

“Opinion on marriage for same-sex couples in California is almost evenly divided, with opponents holding a 1% to 2% edge,” says the data from the Poll4Equality Coalition, which conducted the survey. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either good or bad news. Bad, because it shows we still have more convincing to do. And good, because it shows there’s only a small margin to overcome.

But knowing the state is nearly evenly divided on gay marriage, the important information the poll delivers is: If we’re going to put the issue on the ballot, how do we phrase the wording?

When asked, “Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose allowing same-sex couples to be legally married?,” the survey found 47 percent saying “favor” and 48 percent saying “oppose.” The data shows “support increases if the language specifically includes a provision that says no clergy will be required to perform a service that goes against their faith,” according to the the document provided to Queerty.

As for the 2010 vs. 2012 issue? “Modeling turnout scenarios for 2010 and 2012 indicate that there is a small advantage to same?sex marriage supporters in a 2012 electorate. This is based on a considerably higher turnout that is expected in 2012 due to the Presidential election. However, the additional voters that will come to the polls in a Presidential election are divided in their view of marriage for same?sex couples. Voters
that will only turn out in a 2012 scenario are divided between younger voters who strongly support same?sex marriage and older Anglo, Latino and African American religious voters who are opposed to marriage for same?sex couples. While our modeling does indicate that 2012 will provide an extra 1?2 points of support for a marriage equality ballot measure, this difference may be impacted by many other factors in the larger political landscape at that time.”

And what are those other factors? Other ballot measures put to voters, which can influence who decides to come out to the polls. Who ends up running for California governor. And who ends up squaring off against President Obama for the White House.

We’ll have more details from the call later today.

UPDATE: See our latest post on today’s call.

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  • adamblast

    So much of the casual analysis makes it sound like the “Yes on 8” folks have blown their whole wad, and all *we* have to do is try a little harder to tip the balance.

    It *does* occur to some people that the other side will be redoubling their efforts with the next proposition as well, doesn’t it?

  • atdleft

    Happy now? My gawd, this fight was pathetic.

  • Sam

    The one problem with this analysis is that it’s predicting outcomes in 2010 and 2012 using how people feel about same-sex marriage TODAY. As more states pass same-sex marriage and more couples get married and the world doesn’t end, people’s views will become more pro-equality.

    Also, I’m not convinced that pro-equality numbers aren’t artificially high in public opinion polls. I have a feeling a lot of Californians who tell pollsters they’re pro-gay marriage would actually go the other way in the privacy of the voting booth.

  • J. Scott Coatsworth

    Good to see a more accurate article on this topic from Queerty. :)

  • Larry

    @Sam: I agree.

    This rush to overturn Prop. 8 next year is foolish. There may very well be a shift in attitudes between now and then, but we shouldn’t assume that it’ll be enough to sway 3% of voters who opposed marriage equality in November over to our camp.

    And I concur with the argument that the other side will be redoubling their efforts as well.

  • DaveO

    California gays and allies should reregister as Republicans and support Tom Campbell in the GOP Primary. That way, the 2010 gubernatorial election will be between pro-marriage candidates only (Campbell vs. either Newsom or Brown) and will depress anti-marriage turnout.

  • Flex

    The wording for the next proposition 8 ballot challenge should be something like this: Should we repeal proposition 8? It will be our job to educate the voters for a yes vote.

  • getreal

    @J. Scott Coatsworth: On this I agree with you. The paranoid tone of the last story and the misinformation it spread was disappointing.

  • timncguy

    is there some reason why this issue can’t be on the ballot in 2010 and if we lose then, put it back on again in 2012 and EVERY two yesr after that until it passes?

  • yeson8won

    Key No on 8 Leader Says They Will Lose 2010 Ballot Fight

    In a surprising admission, a key leader of the No on 8 campaign has said publicly for the first time that if the homosexual community pursues a new ballot initiative in 2010, “we’re going to lose.”

    Kate Kendall, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and a member of the No on 8 executive committee told a prominent Bay Area gay newspaper that public polls, including the recently published Field Poll, overstate support for gay marriage.

    “People lie,” she said. “We’re at 42 percent or 43 percent. We could claw our way to 48 percent but we never get past 48 percent.”

    Kendall, who told the Bay Area Reporter that she does not plan to play a leadership role in the next campaign, said that it will take time beyond 2010 for the gay community to mount the kind of public education effort necessary to convince voters to support same-sex marriage.

    “The 64 million dollar question is when do we go back. No doubt if we lose in court, the only relief is to repeal Prop 8 at the ballot…[H]aving gone through the draining, rigorous Prop 8 campaign I have a better inkling of what it is going to take and in this economy, I worry that we still do not see enough of actual public education conversations that have to happen. We just haven’t had enough time.”

  • yeson8won

    Prop 8 won in 2008 DESPITE the hugely biased re-wording of the ballot by disgraced State Attorney-General Jerry Brown.

    Hopefully Brown will be gone next year and we can have a state AG who understands his job is to carry out the wishes of We The People, not We The Homosexuals.

  • John K.

    2010 and 2012 if we lose. This should not even be a question. And I also feel like the question should be whether to repeal section whatever of the constitution, otherwise known as Prop. 8, which reads “[quote the language].”

  • yeson8won

    If you homosexuals insist on keeping the ball rolling I suggest we use the following wording:

    “Should marriage be redefined to accommodate homosexuals”

  • stevenelliot

    @yeson8won: If you heterosexuals would keep your marriages to yourselves and leave our “homosexual” marriages to ourselves; then we could all live in peace. Mind your own affairs bigot and keep out of my bedroom. You’re nothing but a cog for the thought and sex police.

    Go blow up an abortion clinic or better yet shoot an abortionist. Now there’s some important work…

  • yeson8won

    @stevenelliot: I have no interest in anything going on in your bedroom, why do you homosexuals always make that comment?

    But I value the importance of marriage and the family, as do most Americans.

    We cannot stand idly by and see marriage violated and devalued by redefining it for homosexuals. polygamists, bestialists etc.

  • stevenelliot

    @yeson8won: Yeah I have a family and its just fine without you and your ilk butting into our business. I have a straight mother and father and brother who happily accept that I have been “married” to a man whom they love for twenty years.

    Whats your problem with that?? You cant control with whom I have sex and you cant control my relationship, and it fucking drives you right wing nuts crazy.

    Whether you like it or not I AM MARRIED. get the Fuck over it, cog. Go get a divorce that what you straights love to do.

  • timncguy

    @yeson8won: why do you insist on equating homosexuality, which is a sexual orientation, with things like polygamy and bestiality which are NOT sexual orientations? Do you have any understanding at all of what sexual orientation means? Yesterday you added pedophilia to your list as well. Are you aware of the FACT that most pedophiles are already married and most of them are white, male heterosexuals? Based on your logic, we should deny while, male heterosexuals from marrying because they are more likely than anyone else to be a pedophile.

  • dgz

    why is this troll always fed?

  • yeson8won

    @timncguy: why do you insist on equating homosexuality, which is a sexual orientation, with things like polygamy and bestiality which are NOT sexual orientations?

    Because they all require a redefinition of marriage, which the majority of Americans find unacceptable.

    To make child marriage legal the pedophiles only need to get the age of consent reduced. Think it will never happen? That’s what people thought about homosexual marriage.

    And any male who molests another male is a homosexual by definition.

  • yeson8won

    @stevenelliot: Why are you homosexuals always to hateful, bigoted and intolerant?

    Shouldn’t you be trying to lead by example?

  • stevenelliot

    @yeson8won: We are what we’ve been fed (a bunch of horse shit) by people like you for a loooong time buddy.

    We homosexuals are angry because your type made us this way.

    I agree with DGZ. Im not talking with you anymore, Mr or Ms yeson8won. Youre nothing in my life but in the way of progress. goodbye

  • timncguy

    @yeson8won: did I say anything about the gender of the children that the white males are molesting? I did NOT. The majority of children who are molested are girls, not boys

    Plus, you need to do a little more research. It is well documented that the sexual orientation of the molester is NOT based on the gender of the children he molests. It is based on the gender of the ADULT relationships he participates in.

    Molesting children is about POWER in the same way that rape is about POWER. It isn’t about sexual orientation.

    As I said, the majority of child molesters are middle-aged, white, male, MARRIED heterosexuals. Look it up if you don’t believe me. You are on a computer after all.

  • Forrest


    We are no better and no worse than heterosexuals. Criminal behavior has no orientation. But your ignorance is quite amusing.

  • yeson8won

    @stevenelliot: We homosexuals are angry because your type made us this way.

    A homosexual blaming everyone else for his faults??

    Surely not??

    How unusual!

  • yeson8won

    @timncguy: OK I looked up ‘homosexual’ and it says:

    ‘feeling or involving sexual attraction to people of one’s own sex’.

    No mention of any age qualifiers. Sorry.

    I guess your side hasn’t had time to re-write the Oxford dictionary to suit your agenda yet!

  • yeson8won

    @stevenelliot: I agree with DGZ. Im not talking with you anymore, Mr or Ms yeson8won.

    Bye Stevie, don’t forget to pout and fold your arms after you slam the door sunshine!

  • timncguy

    @yeson8won: I thought I would pass along the GOOD NEWS so you can help us celebrate. N.H. House and Senate both approved same-sex marriage today. The Governor says he will sign the bill. So, NH is set to become the 6th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

    Put on your party hat Yeson8Won and start the celebration…

  • timncguy

    @yeson8won: But, I directed you to look up information on PEDOPHILES. You can’t even follow simple directions.

    Look, you are entitled to your own opinion. But, you are not entitled to your own facts. The fact is that most pedophiles are married, white, male heterosexuals whether you like it or not.

  • yeson8won

    @timncguy: So you are saying that the Oxford Dictionary is wrong?

    Perhaps you should call and tell them, I’m sure they would enjoy a good laugh.

  • timncguy

    @yeson8won: No, I had something more like this in mind for you to do research on

    “Another problem related to terminology arises because sexual abuse of male children by adult men is often referred to as “homosexual molestation.” The adjective “homosexual” (or “heterosexual” when a man abuses a female child) refers to the victim’s gender in relation to that of the perpetrator. Unfortunately, people sometimes mistakenly interpret it as referring to the perpetrator’s sexual orientation.

    To avoid this confusion, it is preferable to refer to men’s sexual abuse of boys with the more accurate label of male-male molestation. Similarly, it is preferable to refer to men’s abuse of girls as male-female molestation. These labels are more accurate because they describe the sex of the individuals involved but don’t implicitly convey unwarranted assumptions about the perpetrator’s sexual orientation

  • yeson8won

    @timncguy: Did you make that up yourself?

    I looked up ‘homosexual’ and it says:

    ‘feeling or involving sexual attraction to people of one’s own sex’.

    No mention of any age qualifiers.

    No tap-dancing by some gay shrink.


  • Bagelman999

    @adamblast: Lol. “Blown their whole wad”… only in each other’s mouth. Seeing as the cum-catching closet cases of the Religious Reich get their rocks off committing hate crimes and beat off to the thought of gays being murdered.

  • Larry


    Did you also bother to look up “heterosexual”?

    “Of, or having desire for those of the opposite sex.” You will notice, there is no age qualifier. You will also note that the hetscontinue to bring up pedophilia, etc. It seems to be an obsession with them (you?).

  • Tony

    Well, Obama will not be running in 2010, so a lot of people who voted for Prop 8 may stay home because Barry ain’t runnin’. And many of the elderly gay haters will either be dead or too frail to vote by then, so eliminate those and you eliminate part of the hate.

    Just sayin’. Now call me a racist.

Comments are closed.