Rasmussen Reports brings us the latest results of outrageous outrage over political/social opinions, which curiously look a lot like every other instance of outrageous outrage. More than two weeks ago, CNN misreported an interview with Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy in which the well-documented Christian businessman pled “guilty” to believing in the long-standing Christian definition of marriage. This shocking revelation (from the CEO of a company that stays closed on Sundays to observe the Christian sabbath) touched off protests around the nation, with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declaring the fast-food-chain unwelcome for its lack of inclusiveness while welcoming Louis Farrakhan and his organization to patrol Chicago’s streets, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino threatening to block Cathy’s business for his religious beliefs before belatedly realizing that such an act would be illegal.
This, by the way, is a demonstration of official tolerance, in case you wondered.
Last week, the restaurant chain found itself in the middle of opposing protests, although the outcome was a clear no-contest. Those results are hardly scientific, though. What do people really think about Chick-fil-A, even after all the political controversy? More than six in ten view the restaurant chain favorably, according to Rasmussen:
Ever since the president of Chick-fil-A volunteered his definition of marriage, the fast food chain has been the center of attention for friends and foes. While most voters view Chick-fil-A favorably, most don’t plan to change their eating habits because of the controversy.
Just 13% of Likely U.S. Voters are likely to participate in a boycott of Chick-fil-A restaurants, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. …
On the other hand, 31% say they will participate in efforts to show their appreciation for Chick-fil-A by eating more often at the restaurant chain. Fifty-five percent (55%) do not plan to eat more often at the chicken restaurant, but another 14% are undecided.
Color me shocked, shocked! to find that people don’t care about politics when it comes to choosing their restaurant. If you think 13% is an impressive number of boycotters, earlier Rasmussen surveys showed that 17% wanted to boycott GM after the Bush/Obama bailouts, and only 27% actually chose or knew someone who chose not to do business with GM for that reason — and that was an issue that impacted every taxpayer, and inspired both the Tea Party and Occupy movements. This result shows that the activist outrageous outrage over Cathy’s political expression was a fringe position all along. (For that matter, so does the results of this week’s Starbucks Appreciation Day for backing same-sex marriage, as pronounced by none other than Michael Musto of the Village Voice.)
The lack of interest to Cathy’s position can’t be blamed on inattention. More than two-thirds of all respondents (71%) followed the story somewhat or very closely, while only 6% said they hadn’t followed it at all. Even among demographics favorable to the boycotters, the results tend to favor Chick-fil-A. The chain had unfavorable ratings from Democrats (37/51), liberals (29/63), and … that’s about it. Younger voters (under 40) lean favorable 49/42, and that’s the closest the company comes to an unfavorable demographic in the rest of the survey.
Not surprisingly, that leads to even worse results for activists on the question of a boycott. The best demographic for personal action in boycotting Chick-fil-A is among self-professed liberals at 33/51. In almost every demographic, more than 2/3rds reject the idea of a boycott. The “buycott” for support doesn’t win any demographics either, but it scores better than the boycott in every demo except Democrats (21/10 boycott/buycott), 18-39YOs (19/17), and liberals (33/5).
This makes the response for the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day even more remarkable. Musto gripes that “it seems like we may have lost this particular battle, especially since the haters cagily framed their actions as being pro-freedom-of-speech,” but that explains the big turnout a lot more than opposition to same-sex marriage does — and that’s especially true when one notes the lack of opposing protests for SSM-activists’ celebration of Starbucks’ position on the issue.