3 News 28 May 2012
Poll after poll shows public support for same-sex marriage steadily increasing in the US, to the point where it’s now a majority viewpoint. Yet in all 32 states where gay marriage has been on the ballot, voters have rejected it. It’s possible the streak could end in November, when Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state are likely to have closely contested gay marriage measures on their ballots. For now, however, there remains a gap between the national polling results and the way states have voted. It’s a paradox with multiple explanations, from political geography to the likelihood that some conflicted voters tell pollsters one thing and then vote differently.
…Political consultant Frank Schubert, a leading strategist for campaigns against same-sex marriage in California and elsewhere, said such polls are misleading and he asserted that same-sex marriage would be rejected if a national referendum were held now. “The pollsters are asking if same-sex marriage should be legal or illegal, and that phrasing is problematic because it implies some government sanction against same-sex couples,” Schubert said. “People want to be sympathetic to same-sex couples, so polls that use that language aren’t particularly useful.” The more useful question, Schubert said, is whether marriage should be defined as the union of a man and a woman – the gist of the constitutional amendments approved in 30 states. “If you ask that question, you get strong majorities,” Schubert said.