Matthew J. Franck: It Depends How You Ask the Question

Matthew J. Franck at First Things Blog: Barone led with the Gallup poll, which reported in May that for the first time since it began surveying on the subject of same-sex marriage fifteen years ago, a majority of respondents declared they approved of it. In 1996 the responses were 27% in favor, 68% opposed; in May of this year they were 53% in favor and 47% opposed. As Barone remarked, on most issues, change in public opinion is far more more gradual if it shifts at all, so this is big—and he finds it mostly explained by the high numbers of young people who approve of same-sex marriage. Gallagher had at her disposal a quite different set of survey results, obtained in the same month by the firm Public Opinion Strategies (commissioned by the Alliance Defense Fund). That poll found only 35% who seemed to accept same-sex marriage, with 62% opposed (I’ll explain that “seemed to” in a moment.) That’s quite a significant difference . . .