image Two polls on gay marriage, one at KCCI Channel 8 (Des Moines’ CBS affiliate) and the other at The Des Moines Register, The Register also released their Iowa Republican Gubernatorial Primary Iowa Poll.

Looking at the gay marriage polls first…

KCCI claims that a majority of Iowans support same-sex marriage with 53% saying they favor it with 41% opposed.  They don’t include a link unlike their Governor’s race and Senate race poll (also just released) that shows details like sample size, party breakdown, gender breakdown, etc.

I have a hard time believing that it isn’t the same polling company, Research 2000, that conducted that poll.  It doesn’t make sense to commission two separate polls when you could just ask additional questions while you have people on the phone.  If that is the case I’ve already pointed out problems with that particular poll, and the recent track record that company has had.  They have been off the beaten track on numerous occasions, compared to other polling done.

Regardless of whether KCCI, Research 2000, or some other company did the polling, I have a hard time believing that Iowa is more liberal than Maine, California, or the 31 states that have voted in favor of the traditional definition of marriage.  Recent polling has suggested that Iowa still is a center-right state, so this poll is fishy.  The last polling done by The Des Moines Register showed that Iowa was pretty split so this is a pretty hefty leap in just six months.

Then for those who wonder where Iowa’s likely Republican voters land on this issue, you have the Register’s Iowa Poll which resoundingly states that this is an important issue for them, as you can see the chart below.  Unfortunately it tells us nothing about where all voters likely stand.

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The Register describes the poll:

The Iowa Poll, conducted for The Des Moines Register by Selzer & Co. Inc. of Des Moines, is based on interviews with 1,793 Iowans ages 18 or older, of which 501 said they would definitely vote in the June 2010 Republican primary election. Interviewers contacted households with randomly selected telephone numbers. The full sample of 1,793 respondents was adjusted for age and sex based on recent Census reports. Questions asked of the 501 likely Republican primary voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

While this should lay to rest the meme that this issue isn’t important to the party, 77% say otherwise, and 62% say that same-sex marriage opponents have not over-reacted.  At the same time the same sample polled favor Governor Terry Branstad over Bob Vander Plaats by a 2 to 1 margin.

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A couple of likely reasons for this, while the same-sex marriage issue is important, jobs and the economy are the pressing issue.  I think that is a given.  Those polled trust Governor Branstad with Iowa’s economy and fiscal matters, they also feel he is the one who has the best chance of beating Governor Chet Culver.  It is hard to advance this issue if Culver retains his seat.

There could also satisfaction that he is on the right side of this issue, at least personally and also demonstrated by his signing the Defense of Marriage Act.  I feel at worst he’ll be neutral on this issue which still makes him better than Culver.  Governor Branstad if he wins, and he beats Culver in all head-to-head polls I’ve seen, needs to keep the Register’s gay marriage poll in mind.  It is an important issue.

I admit the Governor’s poll isn’t good news for my guy, Rod Roberts or for Bob Vander Plaats.  I am encouraged that 55% of people could still change their vote – that is pretty significant.  I have also said before the only poll that counts is the one that takes place this Tuesday and then in November.  Nothing will be done on gay marriage or sound fiscal policy if the current make up of the General Assembly and the current resident at Terrace Hill remain the same.

16 comments
  1. Seriously. Who cares? Gays are married in Iowa, and how does it affect YOUR life one bit? It doesn’t. You should be focusing your energy on those starving in Africa, or how about discovering a cure for cancer, or how about some issue that is REALLY important? If marriage is so important to you, why not create a constitutional amendment that bans divorces? It certainly is NOT gay people that causes the current 50% plus divorce rate; yet, I don’t see you writing about that eh?

    1. Randy, you obviously don’t read my blog but only topic hop. I have written numerous times on divorce.

      The definition of marriage impacts society, children, the stability of the family. How it does or does not impact me is irrelevant.

    2. Randy says, “If marriage is so important to you, why not create a constitutional amendment that bans divorces?” I agree divorce is much to easy to get and people don’t take marriage seriously. There should be only a couple reasons for a divorce, 1. Abuse, 2. Adultery. If this is happening, then a divorce should be granted. We need to get rid of no fault divorce. And the Christian right would do better pushing this!

  2. How funny that people forget their history. Iowa repealed their Anti-miscegenation laws in 1851 and allowed interracial marriages over 100 years before Loving Vs. VA. In fact they were the third state to do so, just after Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

    So why is it so hard to believe that Iowa could be so progressive. If they got interracial marriage right 100 years before the rest of US, perhaps we should listen to them.

    1. Interracial marriage and same-sex marriage are not the same thing.

      Tell you what though, how about going through the hard work of codifying it rather than turning our state and nation into a judicial oligarchy.

  3. I see what you did tharr.

    Discount polls that disagree with your conclusion. Cling to a conclusion, only accept information that backs it up!

    Typical theocratic Republican.

    You also don’t know much about hiring polling firms, do you? It costs more to obtain the additional information, that’s likely why they didn’t bother getting it for that minor issue. And all polling (atleast, that I’ve seen done by the Des Moines Register) has suggested that it is one – but I’m assuming you disbelieve in that.

    I’m excited for the Christian version of Saudi Arabia you want us to be!

      1. I think only if a DOMA law or a state constitutional amendment gets struck down in federal court will they get involved. They’ve pretty much left this to the states.

    1. Adam.

      I’ve never promoted a theocracy on this blog. That is an ignorant comment.

      Seltzer & Co has been extremely reliable, and no I’m not happy with the results of the Governor’s poll – I’m backing Roberts so it doesn’t look good for me.

      Research 2000 has done some really hinky polls lately that haven’t meshed with other polling done. Even with the GOP gubernatorial primary poll they both say Branstad’s leading but Research 2000 says he has 44% of the vote; the Register says 57% – that’s a considerable difference.

      Also, I’m well aware that polling more people costs more. All I said is that knowing how Republicans view this position doesn’t give us an accurate picture (via the Register’s poll) of how the state lines up. Am I wrong in saying that? They’ll probably do that poll closer to the general election.

  4. Your editorial begins with two premises; Polling not reliable which you into great detail about complete with links and so on.. Then the unsubstantiated premise that republican and gay mix like BP in the Gulf. Republican means smaller government. Controlled spending. Perhaps the portion of republicans who don’t buy into that God crap really don’t care about gays and think we should move past this old boring argument. Shane van der Hart must be in his 60’s, his beliefs mimic my grandmothers.

    1. I’m 38, and it’s Vander Hart, only my family in Holland spell their last name that way.

      Yeah, old boring argument since the law was just struck down a year ago.

      Let a vote happen and if Iowans want gay marriage it’ll fail. Let’s not let the court decide it for us. We don’t live in an oligarchy.

  5. If Iowa is so “center-right” as you say, then why have it’s citizens elected a Democratic governor and a democratic-controlled legislature???

    1. Because people were peeved at Republicans, and rightfully so. That was the Register’s Iowa Poll that said that, I was just referring to that polling.

      If you didn’t notice 2006 and 2008 were bad years for the GOP just about everywhere.

  6. Shane:

    Please explain to me, really, how my legal marriage to my husband (after 13 years together before being able to legally marry) adversely “impacts society, children, the stability of the family.”

    I think our recognized commitment makes our extended family stronger, by proving to everybody that I am not just a “boyfriend” in my husband’s life, but am committed to the responsibility of caring for him “til death do us part.”

    Also, I’m curious about your thoughts on the recent study that shows children of two-mother families may actually be *better* adjusted than children of “traditional” families.

    Arthur Breur
    Editor
    ACCESSline, Iowa’s LGBT+ Newspaper

  7. Good blog. I personally believe that most homosexual behavior is a health hazard and should be treated as such there are numerous studies out there that support this point if anyone cares to do a little research. My problem is so many things start out as “not that bad”, my concern is, where are we going to end up. It is such a small step from where we are to a loss of freedom of speech and religion through rediculous “hate crime” laws. It will not be long before it will be illegal for pastors and priests to refuse to marry gay couples or to even speak openly in disagreement. This is why a lot of people are against the institutionalization of the gay life style as “normal.” Yes, homosexuality has been around as long as humans, but so has murder, insest, rape, theft and many other things. It does not justify anything. Some people may have a natural trend toward violence, you may even say they were born that way. We, however, as a civlized society do not deem this behavior as acceptable. AND EVEN IF SOME COURT DECIDED THAT MURDER OR RAPE WAS NOT A CRIME, THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS SO. IT IS STILL WRONG. Some things are just wrong no matter what a court may say. That is why we were given a way to ammend our constitution and go around the court’s activism.

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