Several recent polls show a dramatic shift in favor of same-sex marriage, which means that conservative groups that oppose legalization might be fighting a losing battle in terms of public opinion. But one of the leaders of those groups is sounding the alarm about "skewed" polls.
If Republicans learned one thing from the 2012 election, it’s this: If the polls show that the other guy is winning and people on your side are trying to downplay the whole thing by saying the polls are skewed, things are not looking up.
It seems like it’s now time for the same-sex marriage edition of the old lesson.
Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a conservative group opposed to gay marriage, is the latest to downplay recent polls that show the tide is turning on public opinion of same-sex marriage. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Bauer to weigh in on the result of the Washington Post-ABC News poll out last week showed that showed 58% of Americans feel that gay marriage should be legal, with 36% saying it should be illegal.
“Do you worry that this only puts the Republican Party further out of touch with the mainstream of American voters?” Wallace asked.
“No, I’m not worried about it because the polls are skewed,” Bauer responded.
But the Washington Post-ABC News poll is not an anomaly and it shows numbers at almost exactly the opposite of where things stood in 2004, when 55% said same-sex marriage should be illegal, and 41% were in favor of legalization.
Earlier this month, a Quinnipiac poll showed a plurality of Americans to be in favor of same-sex marriage. The same poll also showed a jump in support from Catholics voters, and strong support from other constituencies such as Hispanics, young voters, and college-educated white voters. A CNN/ORC poll, also conducted in March, showed that 53% of Americans think that same-sex marriage should be legal, while 44% feel it should be illegal.
In the Bauer interview, Wallace reminded the evangelical that voters in four states had the opportunity to weigh in on same-sex marriage in the November election, and his side lost. Washington, Maryland, and Maine all approved gay marriage while an amendment to ban same-sex marriage was rejected in Minnesota.
Bauer however sees some silver lining in how these votes turned out—anti-gay marriage amendments may have lost, but hey, at least they were more popular than Mitt Romney.
Take a look at the Hardball Sideshow for the latest talk of bad polling, courtesy of the far-right.