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05/18/2012

FRC Flashback: When national polling was a more convenient selling point

by Jeremy Hooper

I just stumbled on this ad that the Family Research Council's action arm ran in newspapers back in 2004:

Screen Shot 2012-05-18 At 1.54.12 Pm

And I have to wonder, since public opposition was their number one reason for passing a Federal Marriage Amendment back then, what will they say now, should an FMA arise again under a Romney presidency (as he has promised)? I mean, not one credible poll puts America's opposition anywhere close to 64%—all credible polls put the split at near-even, and a growing number put support in the majority.

To me, this sort of flashback shows how much the past decade's rapid tide has surely stunned the "pro-family" world. Back in 2004, they were completely confident in national polling, because they simply could not envision how quickly that polling would turn with every passing year. Opposition was strong and support was tepid. With even one state, Massachusetts, granting equality, most could not envision two states. Or three states. Or six states, the nation's capital, a supportive President and other states and landmark court cases on the horizon. Most on their side were likely confident that backlash would give them fuel.

But now? We know that their overplayed hands actually gave us momentum. Yes, they still manage some "wins" and, yes, they still have plenty of fight left in them. But the "marriage protectors" do not own majority national support, even now. It, their onetime ace in the hole, will never be theirs again, neither to have nor to old.

It must be hard to work on this issue from that perspective, with that reality breathing down your neck.

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