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Maggie Gallagher, now that you've lost on marriage, might you lose these deceptive ways as well?

by Jeremy Hooper

In a new post on the 2016 campaign site that she and her conservative pals at the American Principles Project are trying to make happen, Maggie Gallagher writes under this headline and premise:

New Poll: Huge Drop in Support for Gay Marriage [Pulse 2016]

To make her claim, Maggie starts with a May 2015 Gallup poll that indicated 60% of Americans support the right of same-sex couples to marry. Then she took a just-released Reuters-Ipsos poll that shows 51% support the legal right (with 14% not sure). To Maggie, this means a 9% point drop.

Only thing? If Maggie had looked instead to an April 2015 poll from the very same polling company, she would have seen that there was virtually no change. At all. In April 2015, Reuters-Ipsos tracked Marriage equality at 52%, with a 16% unsure rate. That is near-identical to its current poll. With the margin of error, any change is statistically inconsequential.

It's disingenuous to compare two different polling companies' stats to indicate a "huge drop." They each have their own methodology and sampling and specific whatnots. We can debate all day which company is more accurate, and why or why not. However, when looking to any sort of historical trend, one has either look at the same company consistently, or he or she has to look at a collection of various polls through a longer period of time. To take one company's poll from one month and compare it to another company's poll from another month is just plain deceptive.

Plus either way, this "huge drop" that Maggie sees still shows her position to be a losing one. Even if every single "not sure" respondent in the current Reuters-Ipsos poll ultimately went to the wrong-side-of-history (which they wouldn't), she and her team would still come up short. Because marriage inequality is a loser here in America.

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