Take a look at this photograph… what a good looking man… what a sage pose… is that Nantucket seersucker?  (only a true member of the establishment can wear seersucket, and then only when he attains a certain age, notice the drape).  Central casting… send us a modern Walter Cronkite.  See Mr. Carroll’s biography, at the end of this column.

And now for the most breathtakingly biased statement from a pollster this year:

“New Jersey likely voters support same-sex marriage any way they can get it. By almost 2-1, including a lot of Republicans, they want Gov. Christie to drop his appeal of a judge’s ruling so same-sex couples can marry in the Garden State.” (Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute)

Read Mr. Carroll, and one would think that there was a queue tens of thousands long just waiting to be married — like these same proponents claimed about civil unions, which has managed in the years so far to get just above 3,000 couples.  3,000 couples out of 8.8 million people does not represent a population demanding something “any way they can get it”.  You do yourself an injustice, Mr. Carroll.

Mr. Carroll asked two very specific questions about same-sex marriage AND Governor Christie AND the judiciary AND the legislature.  How an individual respondent feels about each of these individually and the relationship of one to another necessarily shades the answers to these questions.  Here are the questions:

As you may know, a state judge recently ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in New Jersey. Governor Christie opposes same-sex marriage and is appealing the decision to the State Supreme Court. Do you think Governor Christie should appeal the decision or drop his appeal and allow same-sex couples to get married in New Jersey?

 As you may know, the state legislature has passed a bill that would allow same-sex couples to get married in New Jersey. Governor Christie has vetoed that bill. Do you think the state legislature should override Governor Christie’s veto so that same-sex couples are allowed to get married in New Jersey or not?

The first question produced a result of 32% (should appeal) to 61% (should not appeal) to 7% (don’t know/no opinion).  The second came in at 59% (yes, override), 33% (no), to 8% (don’t know/no opinion).

Now look at what happens when a different set of questions are asked:

A poll was conducted September 24-26, in five legislative districts in New Jersey.  Two were what could be described as conservative-Republican, two as moderate-Republican, and one as a “swing” district (currently held by a Democrat).  The poll was conducted by Magellan Strategies.  The poll targeted “likely” voters from a voter registration mix that reflected general election turnout.

The poll touched on issues such as the minimum wage, the Second Amendment, and same-sex marriage.  On same-sex marriage, the results were surprisingly consistent throughout the Republican held districts and in the Democrat district the numbers indicated a more socially conservative electorate, which was an even greater surprise.

Thinking now about the issue of same-sex marriage……………….

T6. As you may know, New Jersey is suffering from high unemployment and record housing foreclosures. Recently Democratic legislative leaders held a press conference to announce that the passage of same-sex marriage is New Jersey’s number one priority. Knowing this, do you agree or disagree with the Democratic legislative leaders?

18% Agree

77% Disagree

5% Unsure or no opinion


T7. Do you agree or disagree that the state legislature should focus on jobs and the economy instead of same-sex marriage?

81% Agree

13% Disagree

6% Unsure or no opinion


T8. Do you agree or disagree that the state legislature should work on reducing property taxes instead of same-sex marriage?

83% Agree

13% Disagree

4% Unsure or no opinion


T9. Some people have suggested that same-sex marriage should be placed on the ballot so that the people of New Jersey could vote whether to allow it or not. Do you support or oppose placing same-sex marriage on the ballot so that voters can decide this issue?

63% Support

29% Oppose

8% Unsure or no opinion


T10. As you may know, New Jersey currently has a civil union law that provides same-sex couples with all the legal protections of marriage. Knowing this, do you support or oppose the civil union law for same-sex couples?

60% Support

29% Oppose

11% Unsure or no opinion


T11. As you may know, a little over 3,000 same-sex couples have taken advantage of the civil union law in New Jersey. Now others are demanding that same-sex couples be allowed to marry as a husband and wife do. Knowing this, do you support or oppose same-sex marriage?

38% Support

51% Oppose

11% Unsure or no opinion

Maybe Mr. Carroll should try asking different questions that the two he posed?  Maybe he should ask the questions from the Magellan Poll. . . if for no other reason, intellectual curiosity?

And as for statements like “any way they can get it” — get hold of yourself, Mr. Carroll, you are an academician, not a marketing rep.


Mr. Carroll’s credentials:

Maurice “Mickey” Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, brings more than 40 years of experience as a political writer and columnist for New York and New Jersey newspapers.

Carroll is the chief spokesperson for the New York State, New York City and New Jersey polls and works with Douglas Schwartz to develop, analyze and present the results of the many polls conducted by Quinnipiac.

Carroll’s experience as a journalist includes work with The New York Times, Newsday, the New York Post, the Passaic Herald-News, the Jersey Journal and the Newark Star-Ledger.

Carroll taught journalism at Columbia University, New York University and Montclair State College and presently teaches in Quinnipiac’s mass communications program. He has a BA in journalism from the University of Notre Dame.

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