The New Normal: Poll Finds Pop Culture Influenced America’s Support for Same Sex Marriage

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It turns out, conservatives were right about something: Pop culture is changing America’s opinions, and pop culture is not conservative.

The majority of Americans favor same sex marriage according to recent polls. And guess what? According to a new survey by Ipsos MediaCT, 18% of television viewers aged 13-64 say that TV in general has changed their opinion of same-sex marriage in a positive way. In other words, the evil Hollywood elite are indoctrinating your children.

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Ipsos MediaCT is a marketing research company working  with technology, entertainment and all sectors of media (TV, online, print, mobile, outdoor, radio). Their latest poll showed that 18% of television viewers aged 13-64 say their opinion of same-sex marriage has been changed in a positive way by TV.   Just 10% say TV impacted their opinion of same-sex marriage negatively. A little under half (44%) say they are in favor of same-sex marriage and TV has not changed their opinion, while 28% have not changed their opposition.

Ben Spergel, Senior Vice President and Head of TV Insights at Ipsos MediaCT, concluded that pop culture is shifting culture,”Based on this data, I think we can conclude that TV has, at least in part, moved the needle of public opinion to see same-sex marriage in a positive way. With everything from higher profile portrayals of gay characters, to celebrity support of gay marriage, to last year’s groundbreaking endorsement by President Obama, we are seeing a shift in our culture that is being influenced by popular culture.”

Conservatives have been bemoaning TV’s influence on culture, specifically the same-sex marriage issue, for as long as they themselves been on TV trying to influence the culture with their incessant talking points. The Atlantic Wire compiled a recent round-up of the Blame Game.

Exemplifying how conservatives aren’t exactly in step with what’s currently hot, just ten days ago Bill Kristol blamed Friends and Dharma and Greg for gay marriage, noting, “As if they’re going to respect you if you just embrace the views of some 26-year-old who doesn’t know anything honestly. Can’t adults say young people are sometimes wrong? ”

Perhaps telling people how wrong they are is a great way to influence culture, and no one knows it yet. Keep trying, Bill.

Rick Santorum blamed Will and Grace Naturally. One Million Moms (actually, they don’t have one million members, but whatev - propaganda is evil) blamed The New Normal and Bristol Palin blamed Glee. Her quote  demonstrates just how out of touch conservatives are with the rest of the country, “Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking. In this case, it would’ve been nice if the President would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.”

It’s always good when you can come out against your mother’s employer and bash the President as you bash a very popular TV show, coming off several reality TV shows yourself — one of which your mother managed to get the US taxpayers to supplement. Winning.

It’s important to give conservatives their due: When you’re right, you’re right. It’s true. The culture is moving far, far away from beliefs like Bristol Palin’s, and Bill Kristol’s decades old examples might be suggestive of why that is.

The fact is that our government is supposed to work this way. It’s called the will of the people. When public support swells, the law follows. This is why political capital and political will/support are so important with any legislative agenda, and why framing matters so much. Cultural shifts drive legislative changes. Conservatives sense this, and they know they are on the losing side of this battle.

Survey method: Monday, April 1 – Sunday, April 7, 2013 using Ipsos MediaCT’s TV Dailies survey among a nationwide sample of 1,096 persons aged 13-64 who watch primetime TV at least two nights a week.

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