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Exclusive: FOF admits NH poll is bunk!

by Jeremy Hooper

Yesterday, we showed you how Focus on the Family was running with the Cornerstone Policy Research's thoroughly unbelievable claim that they had "surveyed every New Hampshire household" on the topic of same-sex marriage. Well today FOF's Gary Schneeberger, a genuinely nice guy with whom we happen to have profound disagreements, is owning up to FOtF (and, by extension, CPR's) inaccuracy:

Picture 26-26
(*posted with Gary's knowledge and support)

So there you have it: An admission that CornerStone Policy Research, New Hampshire's leading anti-marriage group (with ties to NOM) is running a false claim. A claim they are still running on their website and that they have fed to local media outlets, without making note of any margin of error/unreported households. Gary is telling us that he has personally confirmed it to be faulty!

So let's see: That means CPR has both linked to a SPLC-certified hate group and run a deliberately false set of polling data, while our side has simply stated our deserved desire to have our loving monogamy as legally recognized as our heterosexual peers. Tough choice, huh Governor Lynch?

- Focus of the Family's use of the flawed stat: Every household was polled? Yea? You kids are really sticking with that? [G-A-Y]

- Our initial report on the matter: Show us the data! [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

Oh, of course, they made an "error." They seem to make many "errors," don't they? Of course it wasn't one of malice, of course.

"Unfortunately, that happens from time to time in the business we're both uin (sic - I'll forgive all typos, but will never forgive ending a sentence with a preposition)."

No, it happens quite often from your side, and very little from our side.

I honestly don't care if the actual statistic is correct, but to claim such a statistical impossibility beggars belief.

Lying for Jeebus never ends with these... I'll stop there.

Posted by: Dale | May 12, 2009 7:17:33 PM

Two things: First, anyone (everyone) who read that "statistic" from the lying liars at CPR would have paused for at least a minute to question the veracity of the claim. But, the Fofers just went ahead and printed the lies anyway, as if they were truth. Just like they do with all of their other lies.

But, secondly, where is the retraction from the Fofin' Fofers? They knew that it was a lie when they printed it, they printed it anyway, and now that they have been called on it, and have admitted their lie, ARE THEY GOING TO RETRACT IT? Are they going to inform their loyal flockers that CPR conveniently LIED for them, and that their perpetuation of the LIES is equally as (if not much more) egregious?

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 12, 2009 8:52:12 PM

I have a feeling that the error was, in fact, done in malice. But it's just a hunch of mine.

Posted by: Name must not be blank :) | May 12, 2009 10:43:07 PM

Great job on pointing this out to them and actually getting a response.

Posted by: Shaun | May 12, 2009 10:52:13 PM

We are, indeed, planning to broadcast a corrected story -- as I've already mentioned to Jeremy. It's important to note the poll numbers don't change -- in terms of the 64 percent figure of support for marriage. But we will correct the misstatement that "all households" in New hampshire were surveyed.

I begged -- OK, asked -- Jeremy to fix my typo; he was correct in saying his readers are gracious about them. Ending a sentence in a preposition? C'mon, that's picking nits, particularly in an email exchange when the goal is to write like people talk. You can rest assured, were I sending Jeremy a term paper to be graded, ending a sentence with "in" is a situation into which I would not have gotten myself.

Posted by: Gary Schneeberger | May 13, 2009 1:57:03 AM

"It's important to note the poll numbers don't change -- in terms of the 64 percent figure of support for marriage."

Not sure what you mean by that, Gary. Are you suggesting that despite this blatant and deliberate misrepresentation, their failure to provide any documentation, and their nonacknowledgment of any sort of margin of error, we should still accept their poll figure as accurate?

If so, then that's just silly. Especially considering we have a new, far more sound Dartmouth College poll that shows an even split:


Posted by: G-A-Y | May 13, 2009 7:21:40 AM

It's like any other poll, really. You have to choose to believe it or not based on what you know about methodology, margin of error, etc,., as you indicated in your original post. My commitment is that we'll make those factors clear -- and, obviously, everyone is free to accept or reject the numbers based on their own opinions.

As for different polls coming up with different numbers, that's nothing new, is it? We got it a lot during the presidential election, and still see some differentiation in numbers with political approval ratings, etc.

Polls are not an exact science. As you properly pointed out, because of that it's important to be transparent about methodology.

Posted by: Gary Schneeberger | May 13, 2009 8:52:25 AM

But that's the thing, Gary: Because polls are naturally and rightly scrutinized, it is that much more important to put out as much information as possible. But CPR didn't put out anything other than their word, which we have now learned to be unbelievably faulty. We have asked them for more info, and we get a brick wall.

Let's call a screw up a screw up. CPR screwed this one up royally. The best thing would be for them (and you) to move on to a new poll.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 13, 2009 9:36:52 AM


Even if the poll is flawless -- and even if every household in the state HAD been surveyed -- just because 64% of a given population holds a certain opinion, that doesn't mean they're right. Not so long ago, you might have received a similar response if you'd asked how people felt about interracial marriages. A bit longer ago, a majority of literate people believed that the sun revolved around the earth, that the earth was flat, and so on. Poll numbers don't make anything right or wrong, and they don't make anything true or false.

That said, thanks for your replies here -- I've enjoyed reading them.

Posted by: Yaara | May 13, 2009 10:41:07 AM

If polls are not an exact science and this particular poll was highly suspect...why use it? Why continue to defend it. Not only is this poll not scientifically valid it is morally reprehensible to continue to defend it.

This story on CPR is as valid as "over-the-fence gossiping". Tsk tsk.

Posted by: cowboy | May 13, 2009 10:47:58 AM

Gary, what about the fact that answering Yes to the question that CPR posed doesn't in any way validate their claim that those respondents oppose same-sex marriage? To say that it does is an outrageous LIE!

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 13, 2009 1:39:14 PM

Here is the acurate data and You all can attest to its truth.Ready, here goes,Gay is not ok! Gays have no claim to equality in marriage, as not one gay couple can reproduce in their gay union. Not just the few of them like with the hetero couple but all of them, two of the same sex will never be able to reproduce with-in the dynamic that is marriage.

Posted by: sinner | May 14, 2009 6:56:57 AM

Well sinner, I'll give you one thing: Your "data" is about as accurate as CPR's!

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 14, 2009 7:18:03 AM

Some facts about Civil Marriage in America as is currently practiced under state law:
1) There is no religious requirement.
2) There is no requirement to procreate: no ban on infertile couples.
3) Only two consenting adults can get married, as long as they are not closely related.
4) It is the ONLY way to get access to the over one thousand rights and responsibilities that are tied to a marriage license, particularly inheritance, parenting and immigration rights.

To those who oppose marriage equality, please point out the one thing involved in civil marriage which would disqualify the gay citizens of America from being included on an equal footing with everyone else.

Posted by: Pauliji | May 14, 2009 11:13:51 AM

Well some one must think a lesbian couple can have their own children. Recently, I was required to have a pregnancy test before having a hysterectomy even though I have not had sex with a man in over 30 years (and that was at the suggestion of a therapist when I was trying to change my orientation). When I objected, the nurse explained that any one on the surgical team opposed to abortion could demand to see a negative pregnancy test. If the result was not available then the surgery could not go on.

Posted by: WithChild | May 14, 2009 11:46:32 AM

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