Chanting Points Memo: “Minnesota Poll” Orders Material For A Narrative-Building Spree

If you take the history of the Minnesota Poll as any indication, yesterday’s numbers on the Marriage Amendment might be encouraging for amendment supporters:

The increasingly costly and bitter fight over a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is a statistical dead heat, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.

Six weeks before Election Day, slightly more Minnesotans favor the amendment than oppose it, but that support also falls just short of the 50 percent needed to pass the measure.

Wow.  That sounds close!

But as always with these polls, you have to check the fine print.  And the “Minnesota Poll” buries its fine print in a link well down the page; you don’t ever actually find it in the story itself.  And it contains the partisan breakdown (with emphasis added):

The self-identified party affiliation of the random sample is: 41 percent Democrat, 28 percent Republican and 31 percent independent or other.

That’s right – to get this virtual tie, the Strib, in a state that just went through photo-finish elections for Governor and Senator, and has been on the razor’s edge of absolute equality between parties for most of a decade, sampled three Democrats for every two Republicans to get to a tie.

If you believe – as I do – that the “Minnesota Poll” is first and foremost a DFL propaganda tool, intended largely to create a ‘bandwagon effect” to suppress conservative turnout (and we’ll come back to that), then this is good news; the Marriage Amendment is likely doing better  than the poll is showing.

What it does mean, though, is that they are working to build a narrative; that the battle over gay marriage is much more closely-fought than it is.

And the narrative’s players are already on board with this poll.  The Strib duly interviews Richard Carlbom, the former Dayton staffer who is leading the anti-Amendment

Actually, here’s my bet; the November 4 paper will show a “surge of support” that turns out to be much larger than any that actually materializes at the polls.

More At Noon.

UPDATE:  I wrote this piece on Sunday.  Monday morning, all of the local newscasts duly led with “both ballot initiatives are tied!”.

If you’re trying to find a construction job in Minnesota, you can get a job putting siding on the DFL’s narrative.

UPDATE 2:  Professor David Schultz at Hamline University – no friend of conservatism, he – did something I more or less planned to do on Wednesday; re-ran the numbers with a more realistic partisan breakdown:

Why is the partisan adjustment important? The poll suggests significant partisan polarization for both amendments, with 73% of DFLers opposing the marriage amendment and 71% of GOPers supporting. Similar partisan cleavages also exist with the Elections Amendment. If this is true, take the marriage Amendment support at 49% and opposition at 47%. If DFLers are overpolled by 3% and GOP underpolled by 6%, and if about 3/4 of each party votes in a partisan way, I would subtract about 2.25% from opposition (3% x .75) and add 4.5% to support (6% x .75) and the new numbers are 53.5% in support and 44.75% against. This is beyond margin or error.

If one applies the correction to the Elections Amendment there is about an 80% DFL opposition to it and a similar 80% GOP support for it. Then the polls suggest approximately 56.8% support it and 41.6% oppose.

Which brings us very nearly back to the 3:2 margin  for the Voter ID amendment, and the tight but solid lead for the Marriage Amendment that every other poll – the reputable ones, anyway – have found.

8 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: “Minnesota Poll” Orders Material For A Narrative-Building Spree

  1. The party breakdown in 2008, a DFL wave election, was D+4, 40/36/25. So now they’re saying the DFL will have a +13 advantage over the Republicans? And +10 over Independents? News for our friends at the Minnesota Poll, DFL voting is not going to substantially surpass what we saw in 2008. It won’t match it. Rather it will be somewhere between 2008 and 2010.

  2. And one thing not considered in this poll is the truth that the marriage amendment does NOT “ban gay marriage” in any way, shape nor form. Whether this amendment passes or fails will have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on gay marriage in Minnesota!

    There is one and only one reason to vote “NO” and that is to make it easier for a few gay activists to go into court and find one judge that will impose gay marriage on millions of Minnesotans whether they like it or not. Talk about your dirty little secrets!

  3. This poll is a fantasy, but it reinforces liberalism. Which, according to the Strib means it’s fact – and that’s what they report!

  4. Pingback: Chanting Points Memo: Camouflaging The Battleground | Shot in the Dark

  5. The one crazy thing here is that on one side the people likely to vote for the marriage amendment believes marriage between a man and a man is a sin. The other side believes it’s cool or okay for marriage between a man and a man.

    I think there are far more of the first group than the second and that everyone in the first group is going to come out and vote. The second group? Um.

    One side note everybody thinks that Obama will carry the no vote to victory. Lets remember in 2008 Obama in much more liberal California dramatically kicked butt and it lost.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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