President Obama comes out for marriage equality. (
by Tony Petrangelo
May 15, 2012, 11:00 AM

BREAKING: Minnesotans want to gay marry Obama

The SurveyUSA poll released last week that I covered yesterday included a question I didn’t mention in that post, which of course was focused on the fallout of the Vikings stadium vote, but which I’ll reproduce below.

SurveyUSA (5/11, no trend lines):

President Obama says that same-sex couples should be able to get married. Do you agree with the president? Or disagree?
Agree 52
Disagree 42
Not sure 6
(MoE: ±4.4%)

This looks like terrific news for opponents of the anti-family marriage amendment, and it very well may be, but what this poll doesn’t do is ask the obvious follow up question, that being whether the respondent will vote yes or no on the language that will appear on the November ballot.

Even though they would seem to be the same thing, these are in fact two different things; to agree or disagree with President Obama about his stance on same sex marriage and to vote yes or no (or not vote) on the actual amendment that will be on the ballot.

It would certainly be nice if KSTP had asked that follow up, but they didn’t, and I’m not going to read too much into numbers that don’t really mean what some might want them to.

And that’s not the only problem with the results of this question. It was asked immediately after the Presidential ballot test and the same percentage of respondents who said they would vote for President Obama also said they agreed with his stance on same sex marriage. Shocking.

Now it’s almost always easier to critique a survey then to actually create one yourself, but this strikes me as an obvious example of bad survey design.

When creating a set of questions to ask in a survey, you don’t want previous questions to influence future questions (unless you do, but this isn’t one of those cases) and it certainly seems like that could be the case here.

People are asked who they will vote for for president and immediately after that are asked if they agree with a position the President has taken. Meaning the people who answered the previous question for Obama are already primed, so to speak, to support his positions.

I mean they just said they were going to vote for the guy right?

A better place for this question would have been at the end, after all the Vikings stadium stuff when people no longer had Obama – Romney on the brain.

While its possible that President Obama’s recent conversion will have an effect on voters, this poll is not evidence of that.

What we know will have an effect on voters though is a properly funded and staffed field operation, and to help out on that front, get in contact with Minnesotans United for All Families.

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