Maybe you caught some coverage of a poll commissioned by TheIowaRepublican.com (News for Republicans, by Republicans) showing that 67 percent of Iowans surveyed want a statewide vote on what the survey calls a “traditional marriage amendment.”
The poll of 500 people, which also included a long list of questions about Gov. Culver, the 2010 campaign etc., was taken earlier this month.
But why only ask this:
Question: The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled gay marriages can legally be conducted in the state. Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, do you think Iowa voters should have the chance to vote on a traditional marriage amendment to the constitution or is the issue best decided by the Supreme Court?
…when you could have also asked something like this:
“Do you support or oppose adding an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would end the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in Iowa?”
TheIowaRepublican’s editor Craig Robinson explained in an e-mail:
The issue at hand is whether or not people are allowed the opportunity to vote, not how they would vote. That is the question that Republicans will be campaigning on, since that is all that passing a marriage amendment would do. If they are somehow able to pass the amendment, then polling on whether or not they support the amendment would be a viable question.
Robinson also was quoted in the story linked above saying “This isn’t necessarily about gay marriage, but rather it’s about the people being allowed their constitutional right to vote”
Call me an old fashioned, heck, call me a gimlet if you want, but I’m more interested in how people would actually vote.
But instead of cutting to the chase and polling to find out how Iowans feel about the real issue –and, yes, it is about gay marriages — TIR decided instead to poll test a Republican campaign talking point (It’s not about taking civil rights away from people, it’s about giving you the right to vote. Honest.)
I do not doubt that 67 percent of Iowans want a vote. But the assumption on the right is that if they want to vote, they surely must favor an amendment.
That’s a pretty big assumption. It might be right. But it might be wrong. I would have liked to see it tested.