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March 19, 2014


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It is really unfortunate that PPP refuses to tailor its polling on gay marriage to the state in which it is polling, opting instead for its 2 cookie-cutter questions. As a result, your polling in CO is not as useful or as informative as it might have been.

CO currently bans gay marriage but also has a civil unions law. The policy change which Coloradans are most likely going to be asked to consider in the near future is a ballot initiative to repeal the state constitutional ban on gay marriage and to extend marriage to same sex couples.

Therefore, it would have been far more useful and relevant to ask whether respondents would support/oppose such a ballot initiative. Instead, you ask the same generic 2-option and 3-option questions that you ask everywhere else. But in the context of CO, these 2 questions shed very little light. The 2-option question suggests strong support for gay marriage - at 56%. But that doesn't tell us how people would feel about altering the state constitution in order to legalize it. Moreover, the 3-option question shows that if civil unions supporters are joined with the "no rights" supporters, the split is 49-48. Since CO currently has civil unions, it is certainly possible that most if not all of the civil unions supporters may prefer to vote no on a marriage initiative. So we can't really tell from PPP's 2 generic questions whether a ballot initiative is likely to get 56% or 49% or something in between.

I would ask you to consider strongly tailoring your questions in the future. Your work is so important and it is far above and beyond what any other polling outfit is doing. Please make it as relevant and impactful as possible.

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