SHELLA: Youth vote might negate marriage polls

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Jim ShellaTwenty-fourteen will be a year of love and politics in Indiana.

At this stage, it appears the dominant issue from the beginning of the legislative session to the November election and beyond will be the marriage amendment, the proposed addition to our state constitution that would permanently ban gay marriage. It’s about who you can love, or at least, whose love is legally recognized.

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how the public feels about it. At least at first glance, it seems to be conflicting. Let me help explain some of it.

A recent poll by the Indiana Family Institute (supporters of traditional marriage between a man and a woman) showed that the public supports the marriage amendment by 62 percent to 39 percent, a solid majority. It’s a poll conducted by a GOP pollster familiar with Indiana, Chris Wilson, and it measured likely voters. That’s a key and I’ll get back to that in a minute.

A recent poll by Freedom Indiana (advocates for gay marriage) showed that the public opposes the marriage amendment by 46 percent to 43 percent. It was conducted by Christine Matthews, a highly regarded pollster who did all the survey work for Mitch Daniels. She measured registered voters, and that’s a very different sample.

Late last year, the WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey found that just 38 percent supported the marriage amendment with 54 percent opposed. The survey was conducted by Pew Research, another highly regarded source of information. Pew didn’t use a voter screen. That means that the poll measured the feelings of all adults in Indiana, a sample used because the public policy created by the marriage amendment will affect everyone.

(There will be a new Hoosier Survey out soon that will measure adults and registered voters in separate samples.)

Here’s what you can draw from all of this: The public is more liberal on this question than voters are, and registered voters are more liberal than likely voters. And, of course, everybody now has scientific data that they can point to in fundraising efforts.

Ah, fundraising! Here’s why that’s important. If the marriage amendment is approved by the Legislature (and that’s a more conservative bunch than just about any sample), there will be a statewide referendum on the marriage amendment in November 2014.

That referendum will attract more attention, by far, than the race for the secretary of state that will be at the top of the ballot. Freedom Indiana is promising what it calls “governor level funding” for a television campaign.

What’s that mean? Let’s go back to the Indiana Family Institute, where head honcho Curt Smith has established a political action committee. He plans to raise about $5 million for TV ads to drive marriage amendment supporters to the polls. He expects his opponents to raise $15 million, three times as much.

(Freedom Indiana has already studied the ads used effectively in Minnesota last year to defeat a similar referendum.)

That’s the sort of spending that could have a big effect on the number and thinking of likely voters.

One Republican legislator has told me he worries the amendment will produce a turnout of young and liberal voters of the sort Barack Obama produced in 2008.

That means a poll of likely voters means little at this point.

A poll of registered voters means even less.

We’re going to have to play this game to see who wins.

Don’t you love politics?•


Shella is WISH-TV Channel 8’s political reporter as well as host and producer of the Emmy-nominated “Indiana Week in Review.” Send comments on this column to ibjedit@ibj.com.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!