“Majority of NC voters OPPOSE gay marriage ban.” So reads the headline accompanying a recent a Daily Kos blog post.
The headline was based on a poll, conducted by Elon University, in which 54 percent of respondents said they would reject a measure, appearing on the Tar Heel State’s May 8 ballot, which declares: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”
Supporters of same sex-marriage, including the Daily Kos, the flaming left-wing Democrat blog, cheered the Elon poll numbers. But there’s a glaring problem with the poll’s methodology that distorts its results to the point of being completely unreliable.
Indeed, the most accurate predictor of how a ballot measure – like North Carolina’s Amendment 1 – will fare at the polls is to survey likely voters. Less accurate – and, therefore, less preferable – is a survey of registered voters.
Well, the Elon poll, done in partnership with the Raleigh News & Observer, Charlotte Observer, WCNC TV Charlotte and News 14 Carolina, neither confines its survey to likely voters or even to registered voters.
Instead, it draws upon a sample of “the population in general,” according to Elon. The all-too-egalitarian pollster “does not restrict respondents by voter eligibility or likelihood of voting.”
That is precisely the methodology a politically-biased pollster would employ when producing a “push poll,” which is designed to influence voters by appealing to the innate desire all of us have to be on the winning side of a political campaign.
If Elon produced an accurate poll showing Amendment 1 leading with little more than a month before North Carolina voters go to the poll, it would dampen the campaign against the ballot measure.
But, by playing fast and loose with the numbers, suggesting – as Daily Kos did – that the majority of “voters” opposed the proposed state constitutional amendment, same-sex marriage proponents make it appear that momentum is on their side.
Such deception is to be expected from the Daily Kos, which makes no pretense of observing rigorous journalistic practices. But I would have expected more from the News & Observer and Charlotte Observer, both mid-major daily newspapers. And even from the two TV news organizations.
Alas, the North Carolina media has almost completely abandoned objectivity in its coverage of Amendment 1.
News organizations in the Tar Heel State are so transparently supportive of same-sex marriage that the papers in Raleigh and Charlotte, along with WCNC and News 14 Carolina, were perfectly happy to have their names and reputations attached to an all-too-obviously biased poll.