On Saturday, CBS came out with its latest polling, showing that Americans by a 3:1 majority support repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, 69% in favor to 23% opposed, with 8% not sure.
In light of the upcoming vote (or failure to vote) on repeal, today I'll examine more polling on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There are a lot of polls on this subject, each with its own slightly different wording, and there are multiple polls from the same organizations. (In my last diary I looked at some polling data and trends on marriage equality. Check it out).
For this analysis, I decided to take the most recent poll for each organization that has polled at least once on Don't Ask, Don't Tell over the last two years.
Below is a table of those results.
Averages: Pro: 62.5%, Con: 30.2%, Unsure: 7.3%, Ratio: 2.1:1
One could use a different methodology; perhaps averaging all the polls, not just the latest one by each organization; perhaps throwing out the best and worst polls as outliers. It turns out that it really doesn't matter. Any reasonable polling aggregation and averaging strategy will show that Americans support repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell by approximately a 2:1 ratio.
In fact, according to a Pew poll taken earlier in the year ( not included above) which sampled more than 6000 Americans, there are only two demographic groupings that do not support DADT Repeal by a statistically significant margin:
White Evangelical Protestants: 43% – 47%
Conservative Republicans: 39% – 50%
For every other crosstab — by age, by race, by sex, by education, by geographic region — each subcategorization supports DADT repeal by a large margin.
But make no mistake: despite a favorability ratio rarely seen on any issue, the votes for repeal in the Senate are not there. The owners of the those critical votes, Collins, Brown, and Lugar, want to make it seem like they will vote for repeal, but in fact they have attached so many conditions to their affirmative vote to allow debate to begin on the National Defense Authorization Act (the bill that contains DADT repeal) that their recent statements advocating repeal are meaningless:
- “Once the tax issue is resolved”
- “Once the budget process is complete”
- “Sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments”
- “if Democrats permitted Republicans to introduce amendments”
Do not be fooled. Even if these conditions could be met (and what does 'having the tax issue resolved' really mean?) other conditions will likely suddenly appear out of nowhere. “Oh The moon is full?– Sorry, there can be no vote today.”
The Republican caucus is not about to give Democrats in Congress or this Democratic administration a victory of any kind as long as they are able to breathe. They know very well that failure to pass DADT repeal will rend the Democratic Party (as well it should, for being utterly spineless in the face of discrimination) into groups shouting recriminations at each other, and that such will carry through the 2012 elections.
Could I be wrong? I could. The Republicans could suddenly be struck by lightning on the road to Damascus and return from the weekend longing to be paragons of bipartisanship.
It could happen; after all, it did once 2000 years ago.
Or they could be swayed by their constituents, by Lady Gaga redux, and by impassioned pleas. It's not much of a hope — it didn't work in September — but it's pretty much all we can do at this point.
Here's the contact list, you know what to do:
501-375-2993 870-382-1023 870-910-6896 479-251-1224
912 West Fourth Street, Little Rock, AR 72201
207-622-8414 207-945-0417 207-780-3575
One Canal Plazam, Suite 802, Portland, ME 04101
207-786-2451 207-622-8292 207-945-0432
3 Canal Plaza, Suite 601, Portland, ME 04101
2400 JFK Federal Building, 55 New Sudbury Street, Boston, MA 02203
216-522-7095, 513-684-3265, 419-259-3895
1240 East 9th Street, Room 3061, Cleveland, OH 44199
101 12th Ave, Room 216, Fairbanks, AK 99701
180 Market Tower, 10 West Market St., Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
7700 Bonhomme, #615 St. Louis, MO 63105
202-225-4835 (Congressional office)
email (Congressperson form)
847-940-0202 (local Congressional office)
707 Skokie Boulevard, Suite 350, Northbrook, IL 60062
email (governor's page)
304-205-5889 (senate campaign office phone)
Senate Majority Leader:
702-388-5020 775-882-7343 775-686-5750
Lloyd D. George Bldg., 333 Las Vegas Blvd S, Suite 8016 Las Vegas, NV 89101
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman:
124 West Allegan, Suite 1810, Lansing, MI
White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111
Email the White House: form
Contact information for all Senators: US Senate