Double Take: Fox News Online Poll Shows 71% View Anti-Gay Marriage Proposition 8 as Unconstitutional

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fox forum.jpgIs it possible that even the center-right tilting viewing audience of Fox news programs is also open to significant upgrades of gay civil rights? That is what a surprising new, unscientific survey of a Fox web audience seems to be showing.
With pleasure, I direct you to this interesting Fox News online poll in which at the time of this posting 300,499 votes had been cast.
The poll poses the following issue and question:

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Prop. 8, California’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. Do you agree with the judge’s decision?

Kudos to Fox for asking this important question straightforwardly.
Although Fox notes that this is not a scientific poll, the response thus far strongly affirms the decision by Judge Vaughn Walker to strike down the California anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8.
Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has now filed a brief with the courts calling for gay marriages to immediately resume.
Here are the current responses to the Fox poll:

Yes — Prop. 8 violates the Constitution. 71.1% (213,547 votes)
No — Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. I don’t care what the judge thinks about the Constitution. 24.8% (74,455 votes)
I’m not sure but shouldn’t the voters views count for something? 3.6% (10,812 votes)
Other (leave a comment). 0.6% (1,685 votes)
Total Votes: 300,499

I have mixed feelings about online polls, but I voted in this one.
No matter which side of the issue you find yourself on, I’d encourage you to vote in this poll given the very large number of participants (you can only vote once).
— Steve Clemons

Comments

10 comments on “Double Take: Fox News Online Poll Shows 71% View Anti-Gay Marriage Proposition 8 as Unconstitutional

  1. questions says:

    nadine,
    You are so totally caricaturing interpretation theory.
    Learn some Derrida for real. He is probably the most careful reader the world has produced in quite some time.
    When you’ve gotten some interpretation theory down for real, go back to your foolish statements comparing originalists and living documenters and figure out all the problems with those characterizations.
    You’ve thus far provided cartoons, not serious scholarship. Not a real understanding of what interpretation is about.
    There are people who put a whole lot of time, effort, brilliance and care into these issues and this work shouldn’t be quite so cartoonishly dismissed.

    Reply

  2. nadine says:

    “* – I am not saying here that there is broad consensus on the issue of gay
    marriage; rather, I am saying that there is broad consensus regarding the
    fact that judges are qualified to interpret the constitution.” (frouglas)
    …well sort of, except there is no consensus whatsoever as to what the word “interpret” means.
    Originalists think it means to interpret the words of the Constitution according to their meaning, the intent of the Founders, and legal precedent.
    Living Document-ers think it means to make up whatever you feel is right. This judge just found a Constitutional right for gay marriage. Now tell me, where was that right hiding in the words of the document, Madison’s intentions, or the last thousand years of English and American legal precedent?
    But the judge felt the right was missing, so he declared that the stated wishes of 7 million California voters did not pass the Rational Basis test. This is judicial wilfulness, not interpretation.
    The judge said moral disapproval is not a valid reason to prohibit gay marriage. Should I assume on that logic, that the prohibitions against polygamy, polyandry, group marriage and zoophilia will also be struck down? Where does this end? What ends it?
    “But I think that there’s an increasingly strong
    voice on the right that is not interested in debate, or acknowledging good
    points made by the other side. The examples I chose to illustrate this
    (“gay marriage is wrong, i don’t care how the judge interprets it”*,
    global warming, and unemployment benefits) are issues on which I think
    there is a broad level of consensus among people who have studied it. In
    cases like this, opposition voices need to be more than just “no, you’re
    wrong because I don’t agree with you”. There needs to be some aspect of
    “no, you’re wrong because of the following reasons”.”
    It’s interesting that you should feel that, because the right feels just the same – that the left, esp. “elite opinion” is not interested in debate. They just declare what is “right” according to their feelings, and if you disagree, you’re a neanderthal, a bigot or a racist. They use the power of a predominantly liberal mass media to try to browbeat and propagandize the opposition into silence.
    For example, the media bulldozing we’ve had to endure on global warming is incredible, most of it reporting without a shred of scientific validity – e.g. thousands of stories on the terrible effects that will be felt in a certain region/by a certain species/by humanity when the not-to-be-doubted climate change rolls in Real Soon Now. In the media, “climate change” has become the ultimate unfalsifiable thesis; everything proves it, heat, cold, drought, floods, everything.
    Dissenting climatologists, of which there are many, are bullied into silence, refused publication (see Climategate), or ignored when they ask reasonable questions like, “why has the actual temperature over the last 20 years failed to follow the global warming predictions of 1990?”
    One thing that helps make the divide in viewpoints is the domination of the mainstream media by left of center viewpoints. Conservatives see more of both viewpoints in the media just by virtue of being a minority voice. It’s easy for someone left of center to literally never hear the argument on the right; or see conservatives presented other than as racists or reactionaries.

    Reply

  3. frouglas says:

    nadine – you misinterpret my comment as an indictment of the entire right,
    a claim that there are no intellectuals on the right and they all belong
    to the left. that is not what I am arguing at all.
    if you look at my comment carefully, you’ll see that it was inspired by
    the language in the fox news poll, specifically the phrase “i don’t care
    what the judge thinks about the constitution.” my argument is that this
    is representative not of people like mr. hewitt, but of an increasing
    segment of the right that refuses to engage the other side but instead
    dismisses them summarily despite (or sometimes BECAUSE of) their
    qualifications to decide such an issue. were the language in the poll to
    say instead “No. Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman, and
    Judge Walker improperly applied the constitution in his decision.”, then I
    would have no problem with it. Questioning his application of the law is
    one thing, but dismissing his application altogether (“I don’t care what
    the judge thinks about the constitution”) is quite another.
    I apologize if I came off as implying that the intellectual force in the
    country is uniformly left, and that the right is devoid of any thought
    whatsoever. I think that there are a number of conservatives that engage
    in respectful, open-minded debate of issues and that can contribute a lot
    to the national dialogue. But I think that there’s an increasingly strong
    voice on the right that is not interested in debate, or acknowledging good
    points made by the other side. The examples I chose to illustrate this
    (“gay marriage is wrong, i don’t care how the judge interprets it”*,
    global warming, and unemployment benefits) are issues on which I think
    there is a broad level of consensus among people who have studied it. In
    cases like this, opposition voices need to be more than just “no, you’re
    wrong because I don’t agree with you”. There needs to be some aspect of
    “no, you’re wrong because of the following reasons”.
    I do take your point though, and think it is a good one. I no more
    approve of the people on the left who dismiss the concerns of the people
    on the right because they are “dumb hicks” than I do those on the right
    who reflexively dismiss “intellectual elites.” I do not begrudge anyone
    the right to have their opinions, but would hope that everyone bases those
    opinions on a careful consideration of the views of all parties involved.
    I may think that my evaluation of a given issue is more valid than someone
    else’s, because it reflects my worldview and my weighting of various
    factors, but I don’t think that anyone else’s view on something is
    completely invalid just because it’s not the same as mine.
    * – I am not saying here that there is broad consensus on the issue of gay
    marriage; rather, I am saying that there is broad consensus regarding the
    fact that judges are qualified to interpret the constitution.

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    frouglas, don’t kid yourself. The right contains plenty of experts who question a view (in Judge Douglas’ case, it’s not even a consensus) not from ignorance, but from plenty of expertise, just coming from a different view of life and politics. For example, see this column by right-wing talk show host and practicing lawyer and law professor, Hugh Hewitt: http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/d8a46393-e509-4ad0-a263-e85e9a7fab55 He points out that the legal arguments are quite complicated, and the non-lawyers are making a hash of the explanations.
    Left-wing pundits, often young one with only journalist degrees, like to pretend that right wingers are dumb hicks who are clinging to old prejudices; all the brilliance, they tell each other, must be on the left. ‘Tain’t so.

    Reply

  5. frouglas says:

    I took the poll on the day the ruling came out,
    and the early results were almost the opposite as
    I recall, and I think probably more reflective of
    the views of the people who visit foxnews.com
    regularly, but I can’t say for sure. But what I
    find amazing (and illuminating) about that poll is
    the wording of the second answer: “No — Marriage
    is an institution between a man and a woman. I
    don’t care what the judge thinks about the
    Constitution.”
    This continues the trend on the right of
    dismissing the value of experts in a given field,
    whatever that field may be.
    So what if a judge who has been interpreting the
    constitution for 20 years thinks that Prop 8 is a
    violation of the equal protections afforded to
    everyone by that document? I don’t care what HE
    thinks.
    So what if 95% of scientists who are actively
    engaged in studying the climate think that climate
    change is anthropogenic
    (http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-
    scientific-consensus.htm)? I don’t care what THEY
    think.
    So what if leading economists say that
    unemployment benefits are a highly effective way
    to stimulate the economy
    (http://mediamatters.org/research/201007020030)? I
    don’t care what THEY think.
    I’m not trying to argue that the experts are
    always right. But I think that there is a big
    difference between questioning a consensus view
    and dismissing it. And what we’re seeing from the
    anti-intellectual right is increasingly the
    latter.

    Reply

  6. Tony says:

    Online polls are pointless. I’m sure it’s been partially Pharyngulated by PZ Myers’ readers. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/foxnews_and_an_already_corrupt.php

    Reply

  7. questions says:

    Beware of online polls.
    The left knows how to “freep” them!
    I so hope for no major backlash on the end of Prop H8.
    I so hope that Gerry Rosenberg is wrong wrong wrong on judicial decisions that are slightly in front of public opinion.
    And I so hope that public opinion on this one really has shifted.
    Best of luck to us all on getting the human being thing down in yet another arena.
    ***
    Tahoe,
    American Prospect’s current dead tree issue takes on the mandate and finds no constitutional problem under broad (standard at this point) readings of taxation, interstate commerce, and one or two other clauses throughout.
    The question is mostly whether or not the right wing of the Supreme Court will decide to continue the broad reading of the Commerce clause, or if they will suddenly find a new religion and toss out a huge amount of precedent. And what will Kennedy do? If Kagan is good, Kennedy will swing left and we’re ok.
    OR, we’ll get a public option in to deal with the “buying from private corps” issue which American Prospect finds to be a weak argument anyway.

    Reply

  8. Tahoe Editor says:

    How about Dr. Dean saying the healthcare mandate is unconstitutional?

    Reply

  9. Steve Clemons says:

    Carroll — remember the gift horse thing….
    best, steve

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    O.K. I voted.
    It’s still at 71 to 24 %.
    I can’t believe Fox put this poll up, maybe they expected different results,or that the Pat Roberson and Hagee crowd hasn’t attacked it yet.

    Reply

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