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Opening Arguments

Dueling polls

Whoda thunk it? Interest groups commission polls and get the results they were hoping for:

Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban has become a battle of dueling polls.

A group that backs the ban, the Indiana Family Institute, released poll numbers Thursday that say almost two-thirds of likely voters favor an Indiana constitutional amendment that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The results contrast with a poll sponsored by Freedom Indiana, a coalition of gay rights and business groups, which found that registered voters were almost evenly split on the marriage amendment, or leaning against it.

The conflicting results, from polls conducted in successive weeks last month, comes as both sides are positioning themselves for the upcoming session of the General Assembly, where lawmakers must decide whether to put the marriage amendment to a statewide vote in November 2014.

As the cliche goes, the only poll that counts is how Hoosiers will actually vote in a referendum.

My gut feeling is that the vote will be close but the proposed amendment doesn't get approved. That's because opponents are united, but proponents are split. Even some of those who are against gay marriage think the law banning it is sufficient and that the state constitution is for statements of general principle, not something this specific.