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Gallup: Most Americans agree with Obama on gay marriage

The second paragraph in the following excerpt from THIS STORY gives me pause:

More than half of Americans say they approve of President Obama’s stance that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry legally, but 60% say that his shift in position will have no bearing on how they vote in the November election, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll.

Overall, 51% approve of Obama’s new position on same-sex marriage, compared with 45% who disapprove. Nearly 13% say his shift in position will make them more likely to vote for him, while 26% say it will make them less likely, suggesting that more supporters of likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney feel more strongly about this issue than do base supporters of Obama.

I would love to see in-depth interviews with the 13 percent of poll respondents who say Obama’s position on gay marriage make it more likely that they’ll vote for him — and especially with the 26 percent who say it will make them less likely to vote for him.

I mean, where have these people been? Are they actually surprised that the president endorses gay marriage? Anybody who’s been paying any attention has known that he would say something like this before the election. And am I supposed to believe that 26 percent of American adults were more likely to vote for Obama before he came out in favor of gay marriage but are now less likely to do so?

By the same token, I can’t believe that 13 percent of American adults suddenly are more likely to vote for Obama because of this issue.

I don’t even know why Gallup bothered to ask such a stupid question. My guess is that all but a very few people in both those categories — less likely or more likely to vote for Obama — were strongly leaning in those directions before the president endorsed gay marriage.

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4 Comments

  1. JRM_CommonSense

    New math at work when 51% equals “Most”!

  2. JRM: Tell us about the kind of math in which 51 percent is not “most.”

    I’ll be glad to pass that information along to the countless news organizations and Web sites that have for years now been suggesting that 51 percent represents “most” in their interpretation of poll results.

  3. JRM_CommonSense

    51% is a simple majority! You are correct that someone who gets a simple majority gets the most votes among the candidates. But that does not mean that he/she has gotten most of the votes that were cast.

    You should know that the last people on earth who know what poll results mean or are able to use the English language correctly are news organizations and Web sites. So,yup, go ahead and pass this on to those countless news organizations and Web sites that have for years been “suggesting” that 51% represents “most” in “their interpretation” of poll results. “Most” of the time they use the word “most” because they just want to make those polls look more definitive than they really are.

    BTW, I read the actual report by Gallup, and they use the phrase a “majority” of Americans, not
    “most”. They also “say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.” So maybe it isn’t even a majority….

  4. dogrescuer

    Does anyone really believe V.P. Biden “accidentally” opened the subject of gay marriage, thereby forcing Obama to declare his support of it? I may be wrong, but I think it was a brilliant ploy to bring the issue to the forefront. They have my full support.

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