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Show us the data!

by Jeremy Hooper

CornerStone Policy Research, the New Hampshire group who we found to be linking to an SPLC-certified hate group in order to "prove" all the damage that marriage equality has supposedly done to Massachusetts, has now released these almost laughable claims:


Over the last two days, CPR-Action surveyed EVERY HOUSEHOLD IN NH - that's right, 432,398 households - and asked a simple question:

Do you agree that marriage between one man and one woman should be the only legal definition of marriage in NH? The results?

64% of the New Hampshire public said "YES". Republicans, Democrats, and Independents have sent a clear message: do not re-define marriage in New Hampshire!
CPR Action

But of course they reveal no data, no actual documentation, no further information -- just this bold announcement. So we are asking two things:

To all New Hampshire residents: (1) Has your household been polled by CPR?

To Cornerstone Policy Research: (2) Will you please provide us with even a shred of evidence to back these very strong claims?

Because while we are obviously (and proudly) biased against CPR's work, we find this impressively industrious, oddly margin-of-error-less undertaking to be circumspect, even when viewed through a temporarily objective lens. And considering how personally these findings affect so many, we don't think it's at all unreasonable to demand to see a little proof!

So please, give us some feedback on this. We've already found reliance on a certified hate group's survey to be one Cornerstone of our opposition's anti-equality Policy. Let's see if arse-pulled data sets are another!

**UPDATE, 5/11: Nashua Telegraph columnist Kevin Landrigan looks at the shoddy poll questioning.

**UPDATE, 5/11: Focus on the Family is running with this "every household" claim.

**SEE ALSO: We've put this whole thing into a YouTube clip. Feel free to distribute:

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Your thoughts

Facts are the natural predator of the bigot.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | May 8, 2009 7:52:07 PM

In 1949, when California overturned bans on interracial marriages with the Perez v. Sharp decision, 90% of Californians were opposed.

Posted by: David | May 8, 2009 7:54:20 PM

There are two things I'd love to see. First I'd love to see NOM's 990 forms, and second their donor information.

The only reason for the latter being so I know who to boycott.

Posted by: Tony P | May 8, 2009 8:09:27 PM

How many younger voters in NH actually have a telco phone in their houses? I would doubt that many of them do. And most of the people (under 50) that I know, who do have a land line, only have it for messages. They don't even answer it, but listen to the messages and return calls that need a return.

On the other hand, most of those 60 and older probably only have a land line, and answer it every one of the 10 times a week that it rings. So, even if they do come up with some "evidence" that they did what they say they did, WHAT they say that they did probably isn't very indicative of the actual population of NH.

That, plus the fact that their question was purposefully biased makes them less than credible. I don't even trust the numbers that come from reputable polling firms, let alone those that come from groups where they already "know" the answer before they ask the question.

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 8, 2009 8:12:17 PM

This afternoon I polled every person in the United States and 72.6% of them think that SPR just pulled this out of their butt.

Posted by: Timothy | May 8, 2009 8:25:31 PM

Ok, well, I just asked a couple of friends that live in NH if they ever got this call. All of them said no, but I asked them to ask their parents and friends if any of them were polled.

We'll have an answer either tomorrow, next day, or on monday. ~<3

Posted by: Clicky the Fox | May 8, 2009 9:15:15 PM

I am currently living in New Hampshire with my parents and we have definitely not been called by these people. We don't have a land line, however, though all 3 cell phones are NH area code numbers. I will ask others if they have gotten this call...

Posted by: Tamar | May 8, 2009 9:47:05 PM

If they phoned all New Hampshireites in a 48 hour period that would mean 150 calls per minute or 2.5 calls per second. I don't even think Lack Bauer could do that on "24"

Posted by: Bob Miller | May 8, 2009 10:17:43 PM

To make such a claim is beyond ridiculous. I'm in the harness racing industry and have week to week connections with dozens of "households" in New Hampshire that have New Hampshire residency and race at Rockingham Park - not one of them received such a call, and this quick survey took me all of 5 minutes calling my buddy at the training center, who surveyed every stable on the grounds over the PA system.

Lie on, religious right, lie on.

Posted by: Dale | May 8, 2009 10:25:37 PM

So 64% of New Hampshire residents oppose same-sex marriage.

...so what?

Posted by: The Watcher | May 8, 2009 11:37:59 PM

As someone who is involved in Sociology, and especially quantitative methods, I would be shocked if they were able to poll the entire state of New Hampshire, plus it's simply not necessary to do so.

1) 1,000 randomly sampled individuals will give a good point estimate of where public opinion lies on any subject. Within a margin of error of course, but the margin often being small enough not to impact much.

2) I would like to know the construction of their survey. Did they ask..."Do you support marriage between a man and a woman" well many people would say they would support that. "Do you support traditional marriage" well some people's idea of traditional may be different...did they use loaded words like Gay Marriage, Homosexual Unions, or did they simply ask do you believe marriage should be limited to the union of one man or one woman...All of these various ways to ask the same question can provide you with stark differences in data.

3) Did they really conduct a survey at all?


Posted by: Zak | May 9, 2009 4:48:49 AM

The Watcher: I agree that even if 64% were against us, it would change nothing in terms of the merits of our fight. But it's the sheer absurdity/implausibility of CPR's claims that are of interest here. It shows to what lengths they are willing to go.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 9, 2009 8:21:09 AM

If your gonna lie out your ass atleast pick a number bigger than 64%, its only a matter of time until some resident points out that they where never surveyed *not that any of the bigots will ever acknowledge this* they might as well claim 90% while they can.

Posted by: Penguinsaur | May 9, 2009 10:59:08 AM

I've received responses from 17 people and their families so far and not one of them received a call.

Posted by: Jamie | May 9, 2009 12:34:44 PM

There's a reason why polling firms typically call around 1000 people to survery (well two reasons really, one being statistical validity) and that is the cost and effort that goes into it. It simply isn't practical and cost effective to survey a vastly larger number than that. To claim to have surveryed over 400,000 people in two days is laughable indeed. Obviously they're not very bright to be claiming to have accomplished such a herculean task - it makes their lying rather obvious.

Posted by: Priya Lynn | May 9, 2009 2:42:18 PM

The results of an actual poll were released on April 29. Here is what they concluded:

A University of New Hampshire Survey Center Poll found that 55 percent of New Hampshire residents support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 39 percent oppose doing so. The poll surveyed 491 voters from April 13 to 22 and was sponsored by the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, which favors allowing same-sex marriage.


Posted by: Dick Mills | May 9, 2009 11:36:13 PM

1) The statistic (against gay marriage) is ridiculously higher than the national average. For a more liberal state like New Hampshire to be THAT much higher against gay marriage than the national average is a joke. An obvious lie.
2) When real polling organizations make calls nation-wide for 1,000+ data points, it usually takes three days. If you LOOK at organizations like Gallup Poll, you'll see them state the three day period during which they asked those people the question.
These nuts claim to have done over 4 times that in just TWO days??? That is over SIX TIMES FASTER than a professional polling organization! Again, an obvious lie...

Posted by: foundit66 | May 10, 2009 12:49:40 AM


"On the eve of the Senate vote, a University of New Hampshire Survey Center released a poll showing 55 percent of New Hampshire residents in favor of civil marriage for same-sex couples and 39 percent opposed."

55% going the OTHER way than what the CPR claims...

Posted by: foundit66 | May 10, 2009 1:48:35 AM

"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord." (Proverbs 12:22)

Posted by: Michael | May 10, 2009 4:22:30 AM

I live in texas and have actually received a call from similar "surveys" just out of curiosity i decided to answer. The surveyor informed me that she would ask me several questions and it would only take a few minutes. I said ok and the first question i was asked was how many times in a given week do I attend church (2 times,more than 2 times,never) I answered never (honestly) then the surveyor stopped asking questions and said she had to let me go. The first thought through my mind was yup I didn't think you wanted that answer.

Also i googled this for like ten minutes and never found anything or anyone mentioning this survey except conservative sites referencing the CPR news release but i did find this from the concord monitor April 29 2009

"The conservative Cornerstone Policy Research-Action called 150,000 households in nine state Senate districts during its campaign against same-sex marriage, said Executive Director Kevin Smith. Of those who answered questions in the unscientific survey, about 61 percent opposed same-sex marriage, Smith said."

and then there is this (http://www.cpraction.org/documents/PR_Survey_30209.pdf) NOTE that it says they only called their "constituents"

Posted by: Kitt | May 10, 2009 6:25:03 AM

Excerpt from the link:

Upon request, Cornerstone Executive Director Kevin Smith supplied the summary of the poll that included the wording of the queries.

In the interest of no-spin, here's how the first question went that gay marriage opponents said led to 64 percent agreement.

"This survey concerns a new law the state Legislature just passed that will affect marriage in New Hampshire. Do you agree that marriage between only one man and one woman should be legal in New Hampshire?'' the question asked.


My question: who on Earth would answer "No" to that question? Wow, this is breathtakingly bogus push-polling.

Posted by: Chino Blanco | May 11, 2009 7:28:51 AM

Foundit66 said "When real polling organizations make calls nation-wide for 1,000+ data points, it usually takes three days. If you LOOK at organizations like Gallup Poll, you'll see them state the three day period during which they asked those people the question.
These nuts claim to have done over 4 times that in just TWO days??? That is over SIX TIMES FASTER than a professional polling organization!".

No, its much worse than that. They claimed to do over 430,000 points in two days - that's over FOUR HUNDRED TIMES FASTER!

Posted by: Priya Lynn | May 11, 2009 2:42:06 PM

I live in NH and did get a number of messages asking me to take a poll. I did not even get past the poll part when I deleted the message. Since this is one household who did not take the poll they are lying!

Posted by: mat1492 | May 12, 2009 12:24:09 PM

My wife took this poll. As stated by Chino Blanco the question was: "Do you agree that marriage between only one man and one woman should be legal in New Hampshire?'' Both of us support same sex marriage but she said yes to this question as we don't think we should have to stop being married(over 30 years). My question is did 36% really disagree with the question and the idea that men and women can be married? Such a phony poll!

Posted by: JoeInNH | May 13, 2009 12:04:15 PM

My brother-in-law (married to my brother in California) received this question from the Cornerstone Creeps: "Do you think it should be legal for a man and a woman to marry?" He was smart enough to hang up. Apparently a "yes" response would be recorded as anti SSM. So they are polling people in other states and including it in their NH data? This is just sickening. But typical of the sick right.

Posted by: Rep. Claudia Chase | May 14, 2009 7:07:18 AM

Watcher and others-- read what the question asked in the link provided; it does not preclude same-sex marriage. The wording only asks if marriage between a man and a woman ought to be legal, but it is easy to confuse exactly what the question is asking. Anyone who has taken any level of experimental design would know that this question is going to lead to results that are ultimately useless. Cornerstone researchers doubtlessly knew this, too, and were intentionally misleading to get the results they thought they would. The instrument, in short, is completely invalid.

Posted by: Mathme | May 16, 2009 9:10:23 PM

Throwing names such as bigot or prejudice may make some feel good but the fact is many who oppose gay marriage are neither of these. Marriage should be defined between a man and a women. A family is natually created by a man and a women. This is the order of this. This is the foundation of society. If others want to divert from this, let them do so, but not ruin what the defination of marriage is and should be.

Posted by: Thomas | Jun 3, 2009 10:02:08 PM

THomas: It should be noted that this site did not use the word bigot, and does not use the word bigot, but still ably makes the case for marriage equality on a daily basis. It's easy to act as if gay activism begins and ends at "You're a bigot!" but the reality is that our collective message is one thousand time more reasoned and reasonable than that/

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 3, 2009 10:08:40 PM

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