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May 28, 2008



Is it similar to a May Pole?


Have they taken a poll to see what percentage of Californians object to activism by our judiciary yet?

Buford Gooch

More similar to a pole cat.

mike d

The editorial tactic here is plainly obvious: A slim majority of folks in California do not automatically object to the concept of same-sex marriage. Hence the Field Poll and other numbers reflecting that.

However, a more substantial majority of VOTERS DOES support the proposed Son of Prop 22 initiative keeping the legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Now, if you are a lib editor at the LAT/SF Chron/Sac Bee/San Jose Merc, which story are you more likely to report?

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Tom W.

Well, it's like national polls showing Americans oppose higher taxes, recognize that Democrats want to raise their taxes, and support Democrats over Republicans.

The electorate is a flock of domestic geese. Ever seen geese on the ground? They huddle together and honk and shriek and race from left to right, left to right, each following all the others, hysterical and incredibly aggressive. They're in a total fugue state.

You can't reason with geese or talk sense into them. You just herd them and ignore the noise they make.

Rick Ballard

The Field poll has an MOE of 3.2 (or 4 or 5, depending). The MOE on the LAT poll has to to be in the 4-5 range (much smaller sample).

The Field favorable range is 45-51 (or 44-52 or 43-53) while the LAT favorable range was 37-45 or 36-46. The range overlap indicates the value of the polls - not very high.

Shift 30 respondents in either poll to swing the weight young or Bay Area (or both) and the LAT poll would match the Field poll.

RVs ain't LVs and the LAT screening is laughable, they give an 85% RV response for adults while the actual VAP registration rate is 59% at the moment.

You can take a CA poll seriously when the RV sample size exceeds 2400 (2% MOE) and is drawn from registration lists, 'til then it' caveat lector - cum grano salis.

paul a'barge

Baffling? More like b*llsh*t.

There is only one poll that counts ... that's the one where the citizens of California get to vote on a California Constitution amendment to ban gay marriages.


Well its a little hard to drill down in the poll, but I do note that Field has fully 46% of the voters coming from two places. Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay area. That sounds high to me, but I did not go try to check prior voter turnout numbers to see. It is the two areas of the State where it passes, everywhere else Field has it failing or not having a big enough sample to call the sampling valid.

So if the moonbats turn out Field is correct.

Danube of Thought

I'll take Field over LA Times on any poll, any time. The initiative is going to fail, in any event.

The Fop

Why do people keep talking about same sex marriage as if it's something that applies strictly to gays?

Same sex marriage means passing a law that says that ANY man can marry another man, and ANY woman can marry another woman. It means living in a society that believes that a man marrying another man is perfectly normal, not just for gays, but for EVERYONE.

The gay rights crowd focuses on gay couples to tug on our heart strings. And if that's all this was about, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But the gay rights crowd has made it clear that their end game is an androgynous society where we shed our "hang ups" about sexuality and gender roles which are foisted on us by "outdated, repressive religious beliefs" and get in touch with our inner gay self just dying to come out, if only we'd let it.

My wife went to art school years ago, and her left wing professors brainwashed her into believing that every man wants to have sex with another man, they're just not willing to admit it.

Legalizing same sex marriage is a return to the decadence of ancient pagan societies.

Dave in Pa

"...Why the difference?" in poll results?
Perhaps the same reason that left-wing polls, or polls paid for by left-wing groups show either Obama or Hillary even or leading John McCain.

I saw the raw data on a few of those and their pollsters are oversampling self-described liberals, or self-described Democrats, or self-described as intending to vote Democrat this November.

For example, one poll so stacked had oversampled the left by a good 5% and undersampled the right also by a good 5%.
The poll result showed Obama beating McCain by 5% and Hillary beating McCain by about 2%. Now if you correct for the oversampling by deducting 5% from the Democrats and adding that to McCain, he would, according to accurately evaluating that poll data, beat EITHER Obama or Clinton.

So, we need to take these polls with many grains of salt...I expect we'll see a lot of Democrat-cooked polls this election year. They've been shameless enough to lie about just about everything else in public affairs, foreign and domestic.

Danube of Thought

Field has enjoyed an excellent reputation for unbiased and accurated polling in California for decades. It's the gold standard out here.


Actually,this is one subject I don't give a bugger about.


gmax, if you look at California's voter map by county, you will see that nearly the entire state is red, except for the LA area and the San Francisco/Marin county blue areas. This issue has already gone to the voters once and was defeated. The court case overturned that vote and now it will be back on the ballot again. I would bet that it will go down again this time as well.

The gay community says they need this protection because of health care, survivor rights, etc., but that is a red herring, IMHO. My Mother and her best friend joined households after they were both retired, in their 70s, and trying to survive on their own during the horrible inflation of the Carter years. They easily put in place all the documents necessary to cover each of them as spokesperson, decision maker, etc for the other, with me as secondary. California has taken the lead in various powers of attorneys and legal docs covering non-married but joint households, common law partnerships, or the type of partnership my Mom and her friend set up.

Even those of us who object strenuously to a "same sex marriage act" aren't against a "civil union" act that covers any two consenting adults who happen to share a living situation or have a fiduciary responsibility to each other. I would go so far as to say that even unions between a man and a woman that are only civil (justice of the peace, judge), not church, should be called a civil union and not marriage. But, that isn't quite as popular a position.


Different sampling methodologies. The Field poll used registered voter lists as the sample frame, while the LA Times poll is Random Digit Dial. Those are vastly different target populations.

The Field poll is probably better at predicting vote outcomes; however, the LA Times poll is probably more representative of overall state opinion. If there is a substantial GoTV effort, it could make a huge difference.

Carl Tiombo

I want to marry my dog and my car? That's legal now, right?


I woke up this morning to this headline in today's Sacramento Bee and couldn't believe it. McClatchy news is known for leading with whatever the N.Y. Times, LA Times, AP and other biased sources run each day. It appears that they polled 1052 registered voters with San Fran and LA at 68% and 55% respectively. In my area of the Central Valley the "for" is at 38% so where the data is mined is a big part of it.

I can say that when it was last raised it went down and I have every confidence that it will again. Only this time it will be an ammendment to our state constitution. I recall 4 million Californians voting it down before and they can't have all changed their minds.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Seems to be changing fashion. Look who has moved out of the undecided column.


If I remember my history correctly Massachusetts was the last state to ratify the constitution, holding out until a Bill of Rights was included. Aren’t these rights, the rights that our founders believed come from a power greater than government, hence inalienable and government couldn’t take them away? I thought the founders were heavily influenced by John Locke and his theories on property rights and individualism? That we come into this world owning ourselves and therefore have a property right in our own person. As long as we were not harming another, we had the right to speak and roam freely. To worship or not as we choose? Aren’t we born with the right to defend ourselves with weapons if needed? Well…isn’t the right to love another human being one of those inalienable rights?

To paraphrase Scalia, the most important thing about the constitution is that the rights of the minority are protected from the will of the majority. I may not like it but I believe gays should have the right to be married.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Just shoot me.

just crazy

please go to church ,read the bible, god condems this ,gays,men on men ,women on women,.the ten commandments


"I want to marry my dog and my car? That's legal now, right?"

No,that is bigamy.


Lies, damned lies and statistics.


The Field poll has an MOE...

The polls motivate me and Rick's point makes me gotta say it -- Moe, Larry, CHEESE!


"I want to marry my dog and my car? That's legal now, right?"

Does your car have a pulse? If so, you could probably get it sanctioned in SF.


You know I may be in trouble here saying this..but i have to reply to this:
The gay rights crowd focuses on gay couples to tug on our heart strings. And if that's all this was about, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But the gay rights crowd has made it clear that their end game is an androgynous society where we shed our "hang ups" about sexuality and gender roles which are foisted on us by "outdated, repressive religious beliefs" and get in touch with our inner gay self just dying to come out, if only we'd let it.

you know, i don't think so..
My best friend who i grew up next door to..
We are best friends to this day..She was a great athlete and was always gay as far as i know.. she is a beautiful person and i went to her marriage some years ago ( yep they do that but the state doesn't believe it really happened ) In all my life, neither she nor her friends have ever expressed a political gay view you espouse.
My little Sister came out last year and she was very dignified and couragous.
Don't worry..she doesn't want you to secretly start kissing men..or wants to pass laws to force you to become gay.
They want something in thier lives that will make them happy..what we all want.. a special relationship we call marriage.
( why marriage? beats the hell out of me..
I think all of us married couples are thinking what the heck did i get myself into? Are you friggin crazy? Don't do it!!)
( but if you do you're stuck with all of us other poor souls..we'll pencil you in for the next 15 friday nights for dinner dates.)
you are a member of the country club aren't you? ( my head banging against the wall)
I believe everyone has the right to be as happy as your average american married couple..
( head banging )
But why?
Just live together..
But if you insist on all the rights and joys of marriage..
Well i always said while shivering in the water..'come on in!!the waters fine..'


Danube of Thought must be thinking of some other poll. Field has been a laughingstock for several years now, and routinely misses on election predictions. The poll's directors still haven't figured out how to avoid oversampling certain groups nor have they realized polls based on registered voter preferences aren't as accurate as those sampling likely voters.


Take a look at what is happening in Colorado.

The Democratic General Assembly has passed a bill that would make sexual orientation or the "perception thereof" the equivalent of race and national origin when it comes to defining discrimination.

Opposition to the measure has emphasized that its public accommodation section would require public restrooms and locker rooms to operate without regard to gender, opening up the possibility that sexual predators might exploit this provision.

If this doesn't get some kind of initiative going in that state from some reasonable folks--we are all doomed.

Frogg, USA

MacsMind Blog has some info on how the poll was weighted:


Fuzzy gay poll in California


Like any poll which is out of the norm with others (a decade’s worth) that show a majority NOT favoring the same, Jammie finds the expected discrepancy in the weight of the poll.

“Of course, if you refer to the poll, you see under ideology a full 70 percent of those sampled consider themselves middle of the road (53-35%), moderately liberal (72-23) or strongly liberal (85-11))and they overwhelming favor gay marriage. If you look at the 30% considered moderately conservative (61-32) or strongly conservative (85-11).

When broken down by party, the sample is 43% Democrat, 33% Republican, 24% non-partisan. In other words, Republicans are outnumbered 67-33%. Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area comprise 46% of those polled.

In other words, this poll doesn’t even come close to a fair representation of the population. Granted, California is a blue state, but you cannot possibly claim a poll where left outnumbers right 70-30% as valid.”

Prediction: The people of California will vote as they did in 2000 for a ban on Gay marriage and two weeks later a peacock on the 9th circuit will find a way to over step it.


On Surveys: Numbers can be manipulated to fit the agenda of just about anyone who cares to manipulate them. As the great comdian/satirist Stephen Colbert says, and I paraphrase, "You say only 30% of people approve of the job George Bush is doing? I say that 70% approve of the job he's not doing!"

On Gay Marriage: I personally am in favor of calling all "marriages" "civil unions" as far as the state is concerned. Any heterosexual couple can say their vows in a church tomorrow, but if they fail to sign the proper documents, those procedings are null and void as far as the state is concerned. The term "marriage" has been co-opted by the state and the church to mean two very different things: one a civil contract that extends state protections and priveledges and the other the church ritual that a couple undergoes to sanctify their bond in whatever belief structure they have (keeping in mind that many couples forego this route to no detriment to their future together). Either the church learns that they do not have exclusivity in defining what "marriage" means or he state abandon the term in favor of a universal term that is much less contested and subject to ultra-conservative hijacking.

On California: Republicans stand for the rights of the state above that of the Federal government. It is a long-standing belief that this is what makes our grand union work. With this in mind, I am outraged as a Californian that national lobbying groups, PACs, and outside interests are preparing for a campaign of hate, lies and deception over this matter in the run up to the November election. It's not your state. It's not your citizenry. If you live in any of the dozens of states that have banned gay marriages and civil unions, then relax in your comfy chair knowing that you've robbed your descendants (of whom some WILL be gay) of their rights to pursue happiness and to obtain a little bit of peace and security in a life that will already undoubtedly see heartache and ostracation for simply being who they are. In the meantime, stay out if California and her affairs. Don't visit. Don't write. The 8th largest economy and the global leader in environmental and civil rights (many of which your states have adopted to improve YOUR lives - you're welcome) will get along fine without you.


"Either the church learns that they do not have exclusivity in defining what "marriage" means or he state abandon the term in favor of a universal term that is much less contested"

I don't go to church however I do respect the church's right to their religious expression. That said; why actually yes the church does have exclusivity in defining 'marriage' since this is from where the traditional heterosexual ritual was established in order to unite (union) opposites (a man and a woman) and is consumated by the act of sex (as in penis joining together with vagina in perfect harmony to procreate) The State injected itself into this holy act because it is a benefit to The State, procreation (biologically speaking it is impossbile for those having sex with a member of the same sex to procreate)is necessary to the survival of The State, ie no children born means no State exists.

Back to the definition of the sanctity of the union as defined in the church the problem with 'Same-sex union between a man and a woman' is that this does not allow for consumation (ie penis joining with vagina in perfect harmony to procreate) so even if two people of the same sex were to 'marry' this union can never be consumated and therefore is null and void.

Like Camile Paglia stated to the effect 'gay activists forget the primary function of the sex organs is for reproduction' the orgasm is an byproduct of this function. The attempt to establish a belief that same-sex coming together in unity is equally the same as opposites coming together in unity is absurd since two people of the same sex are all ready in unityby the very nature that they are of the same sex.

Further, how can lawyers and law professor and legislators formulate laws based unpon a meaningless concept 'same-sex union between a man and a woman'?

These same lawyers, law professors and legislators managed to do this with the word 'fetus' which today the definition can change according to gender, time and need; can you understand why after three decades of a law based upon an undefined word which can change meaning according to gender, time and need has created a basketcase culture of irrational emotionalism?

"Republicans stand for the rights of the state above that of the Federal government"

Agreed, so why does the judical system attempt to over-ride the will of the people who vote to reject 'same-sex union between a man and a woman'?

Perhaps 'gays' (many of my friends who are in homosexual relationships are sick of the 'gay' rainbow and want their lives back, they don't even like the reference to gay because the damage gay activists have done the them however this is a subject for another day) need to formulate their own name for their union and stop the attempt to redefine an act conceived inside the Church!

When I was young I believe the rah-rah sisterhood of abortion however now that I lived long enough to understand just how irrational, deceptive and vicious was this 'feminist activism' I am not easily swayed into simply accepting 'same-sex union between a man and a woman' on the basis of satisifying a momentary convenience.

I learned from the abortion issue not to simply accept irrational, undefined pemises simply because it is a matter of convenience therefor unless 'gay activist' can defined what 'same-sex union between a man and a woman' means then I will not support until they do.

And please do not refer to me as a 'ultra-conservative' just because I do not accept irrational premises; that's what I used to do to others who did not agree with me when I was a 'brain-dead liberal'.


"In Perfect Harmony', a melody of laws, by the Chorus of the Spheres.


So, we are ruling by Poll now? I thought California had a VOTE on the issue. Now the court has tossed out the vote based on a poll? How progressive.


This is an issue that often separates what people think about it from how they feel. Those also seem to change as people get older and have families. In Wisconsin the amendment defining marriage as one man one woman passed by a larger margin than polls predicted. In Arizona a similar amendment failed narrowly. One difference with these examples is they went beyond one man one woman and banned any similar arrangement for same sex couples. It seems to me that California already has a civil equivalent to marriage and I expect support for an amendment would be less about denying the benefits of marriage to same sex as it would be about preserving its traditional meaning for opposite sex couples.

Some claim marriage is a religious ceremony or that it is a legal contract. I claim it is a component of human nature with an instinctive meaning. For obvious reasons any instinctive component would be based on biology and reproduction, hence with an opposite sex requirement. For the sake of argument assume the instinct definition of marriage is “at least one man with at least one woman” to cover all the bases.

When culture defines marriage as “one man one woman” that fits well with the instinctive definition. If culture defines marriage as “two people who care about each other and want to be a family” that does not fit the instinctive definition.

The situation in California is that traditional marriage and civil partnership have similar or identical legal benefits but the traditional form had the extra advantage of satisfying the instinctive definition. The new situation removes the more traditionally satisfying definition but by forcing all couples into the same institution improves instinct satisfaction for same sex couples. Their satisfaction increases because the great majority of members are opposite sex couples so what the institution lacks in definition, it mostly retains in form. For opposite sex couples something is lost, but if they try and put that into words they are quickly accused of homophobia.

While there may be no significant or measurable short term effect, the change, based on the claim of instinct, reduces by one more step the incentive for choosing marriage as the best way to have and raise children.

I would not be surprised if a majority of voters express their instinct in the privacy of the ballot box.


Only most of the beasts with two backs are supported in law because the non-procreative ones are exuberant and luxurious. In hard times with respect to species survival, the laws will toughen and in easy one, ease. Exuberant and luxurious is not to say useless.

Summertime, and the livin' is easy.


You know, sneering at breeders is like whistling past the ash heap of history.

Danube of Thought

Actually, Kyle, DOT is thinking about the Field poll:

"DiCamillo [of the Field organization] says the ‘90’s were the most accurate decade in the Field Poll’s 52-year history. Mitofsky analyzed poll accuracy in an academic article published in 1996. He doesn’t see it getting worse."

As a resident of CA for the past thirty-two years, and for a total of forty, I can assure everyone here that the Field organization has no agenda of any kind.


DOT with proper respect, we are well into the 00s. How have they done in the last 8 years ( or 12 if I am reading right that the analysis was done in 96 ).

I have pointed out as did Mac that 46% of votes in the poll come from LA co and San Fran area ( not sure if this would be two or three co ). California is a big place and Orange Co , and San Deigo co and San Bernadino Co likely would swamp La Co alone with their votes. Dont you think the rest of the State swamps a couple San Fran counties.

I dont have the time to go figure out the vote totals in 2004 from these counties versus the State total, but it has to be available. If its close to to 46%, I will be amazed but right now my spider senses are tingling.


Another twist to this topic is, only Liberal gays desire and need state sanction of their "marriages."

Less radical, Libertarian-leaning gays couldn't give a care whether the state approves of their unions, nor would they ever ponder accepting benefits from the state as a result of their choices.

This is the divide that a commentator like Tommy and SF's Mayor Newcomb dare not explore...because it highlights the fact that the Gay Marriage issue is a proxy issue disguising what is only a Welfare-ist issue.

To make my point, consider two responses to this question: "Honey, do we need the government's blessing to form a partnership?" The urban, "Gay Rights" governmentalist would answer, "Of course, we do. Like, duh."

The more traditional "American" gays (more likely to be living comfortably in a 'burb of Kansas City, than in a Gay ghetto like the Castro neighborhood) would answer, "Hell no, Dear."

In the end, the Dem's just want to expand the Gub'ment's stock of dependents...in any way that they can!

Danube of Thought

Gmax, I don't know, at this point, how they've done since that study was performed. If I were aware of any more recent analysis of their polls vs. ultimate results I would post it. But for the time being I would put that study up against any contrary evidence that is purely anecdotal and unsubstantiated.

I have not checked to confirm the relative numbers from L.A. and S.F., but I am very confident in the ability of the organization when it comes to sampling and weighting, and I am even more confident that it has no agenda and no built-in bias. If anyone has evidence to the contrary I would be very interested to see it.

Danube of Thought

Here's a comment from the Mystery Pollster, November, 2005:

"The Big Three. Californians are blessed with a remarkably strong tradition of public polling. Collectively, the Field Poll, the LA Times Poll and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) are among the most respected survey research organizations in the country."


Ok based on the quote the LA Times poll with opposite results deserved as much respect.


OK I went to the 2004 GE at the SOS site and dug out the vote totals. 12.6 million votes were cast statewide. LA Co cast 3.1 mm. If I cast a very wide net and include San Francisco County, Contra Costa Co, Santa Clara Co, San Mateo Co, Marin Co, and Napa Co I get 700k, 770k, 600K, 300K, 140K and 60K or 2.57 mm.

That would total up to 45%. That is being quite generous on what comprises San Francisco area ( its not defined in the Poll that I could see ).

So I would say even that is off 1%. And it would make a huge difference if you ended up with a lot more of San Fran Co ( or the Castro district specifically ) and less of anywhere else especially Santa Clara Co.


So the Governor of NY has decided to allow gay marriage by fiat.

Way to go Paterson. If you want people to hate gays for the next kazillion years, you have figured out the proper methodology.

How pathetically stupid.

Danube of Thought

"Ok based on the quote the LA Times poll with opposite results deserved as much respect."

I would say that's probably true, subject to possible differences in the wording of the questions, which I haven't gone back to re-check. I did notice on an initial reading that there was one poll question that asked about gay marriage, and a separate question about the initiative to amend the constitution.

The reason I'm not particularly interested in whatever are the differences in the polls, or even in the questions, is the very long history of the initiative process in California. If an initiative is to have a chance of passing, it has to poll above 60% or so in the early going. Support for inititiatives of every kind historically erodes as election day approaches.

My sense of today's California electorate, reinforced by what I am seeing in the early polling, is that the initiative has very little chance of passing.

I should add that I am appalled by what the CA supreme court did. I'm just telling you what the tea-leaves seem to be saying now, and I would urge you all not to assume that the pollsters are distorting their numbers in order to drive a particular outcome. It's not in their interest to do so; they're much more concerned with maintaining a good track record over a long period of time.


it has to poll above 60%

When an instinct that's less than PC is involved there's probably an invisible fudge factor between how people respond publically to a poll and in the privacy of the voting booth.

Danube of Thought

I'm not sure, Boris. I do know that, for whatever reason, the pattern plays out time after time: successive polls show support for any initiative slipping as time goes by, whether it's an initiative to impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies or to make English the official language. The burden is on the party proposing the action, and whatever the action may be, it generally seems to do best at the very first blush.


Hmmm how much money was spent by opponents in trying to defeat some of these initiatives versus what was spent by advocates? I doubt either side wants for funds this go round, and given that the last initiative passed decisively, I think I would put my chips on the Pass line. But I do agree that it will have somewhat lesser support in the land of fruits and nuts, than most places elsewhere in the US.


OT but on a cheery note McCain goes up by 5% on Obama in the RAS daily tracking poll. Well beyond the margin of error. He is clearly leading but its a long way to go. Keeping fighting Dems, we appreciate the help!

Danube of Thought

I think there is also some slice of the electorate who were willing to vote for the last initiative (legislative), but who will be reluctant to amend the constitution to overturn a decision of the state's supreme court.

Funding on these things is of course a huge determinant, although some of the positions (yea or nay) that have been badly outspent have nevertheless prevailed. If the teachers' unions are on the other side, you've got a problem.


whether it's an initiative to impose a windfall profits tax

Unlike windfall profits I think it is an interesting test of the instinct theory. Unlike other examples this one is purely a definition question apart from legal benefits. People in general don't believe they even have instincts which are far more likely to affect how people act than how they think. IMO polls are more about what they think and voting on an issue is more of an action with consequences.

Danube of Thought

Weekly Standard Blog today has a link to a site that rates the pollsters. Survey USA and Rasmussen finish 1-2. Field Poll places sixth out of 32.



It will be interesting to see what happens on Props. 98 and 99. If 98 goes down by a big margin I'd say the chances of a marriage amendment passing are extremely remote.

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