by Brig Bagley
19 August 2014
A poll provided by Zions Bank (owned by the LDS church) put out a survey claiming that the majority of Utah opposes gay marriage.
Although 400 is a big enough number to estimate (statistically) the population, it is very unclear that the sample was a random selection of Utahns.
Another way to look at the accuracy of this survey is LDS activity levels in Utah and to cross-reference with the support of SSM per level. (http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/3258-poll-shows-same-sex-marriage-is-a-difficult-issue-in-utah).
Using 2012 stats for LDS Utah, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_in_Utah), 1.9 million members in 4,815 congregations yields 402 members per unit. Any church leader could tell you that 250 in church is a HUGE ward. Even being optimistic, this is only 62% activity.
About 60% of Utah is Mormon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah#Religion). That includes less/non active Mormon. 62%*60%=37% of Utah is active LDS. So 32% of Utah represents the "majority vote" in this survey. Every other category overly supports SSM (except protestants). If you add all of the other numbers in this fashion (23% non/less active, 10% Catholic, 7% Protestant, 16% non-religious, and 7% other), the most you can get is 49% oppose, and 40% favor SSM, 11% undecided. This suggests that this poll DOESN'T represent Utah—the numbers are closer than you think. With a less religious population today, numbers are probably more in favor of SSM.
Read more here: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=31197800