Campaigns On Same Sex Marriage Ballot Measures Fail To Move Voters

  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jun 15, 2010 10:38 PM GMT
    Campaigns On Same Sex Marriage Ballot Measures Fail To Move Voters

    [quote]
    The report also found that pre-election polls were consistently unreliable because they underestimated voter support for bans on the legal recognition of same-sex couples. In addition, the report saw no evidence backing the theories that voters misrepresented their support for bans to pollsters, or that they were confused about the meaning of a “yes” or “no” vote.

    However, the most notable finding was that those favoring and opposing the ballot measures ­have largely fought to a draw, meaning that the share of the public saying they intended to vote for or against these measures typically changed very little over the course of the campaigns.

    “Most political scientists think that election campaigns do little, in the end, to move many voters one way or another,” said Egan. “This report indicates that ballot measures on same-sex marriage are no exception: neither advocates nor opponents tended to gain support in any consistent fashion in these campaigns, despite the millions of dollars spent by both sides over the past decade.”
    [/quote]

    http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2010/06/15/campaigns-on-same-sex-marriage-ballot-measures-fail-to-move-voters.html

    (This study just came out today)
    The Study:
    http://www.haasjr.org/sites/default/files/Marriage%20Polling.pdf

    http://alturl.com/723p
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jun 16, 2010 12:40 AM GMT
    [quote]

    Conclusion
    State‐by‐state battles over the legal recognition of same‐sex partnerships yielded some of the most hotly contested ballot measures of the past decade. Despite the tremendous attention paid to these initiatives and the level of resources devoted to them by both sides, expressed voter sentiment changed little over the course of the typical campaign. However, polling consistently under predicted the level of opposition to the legal recognition of same‐sex couples, with the actual vote in favor of banning same‐sex marriage typically running about three percentage points ahead of projections drawn from pre‐election surveys.

    Evidence is scant for the explanations offered so far by scholars and advocates for the gap between polling and election results. It does not appear that voters are particularly reluctant to express their support for banning same‐sex marriage, and no support is found for the hypothesis that the gap is due to confusion among survey respondents about the meaning of a “yes” and “no” vote. Therefore an understanding of the reasons for this gap remains outside our grasp, and more investigation is needed.

    Perhaps more than any other group in American politics, lesbians, gays and bisexuals have witnessed their rights determined at the ballot box. This has been true since at least 1977, when voters in Dade County, Florida repealed an ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And additional battles loom on the horizon, as social conservatives have begun to use direct democracy to prohibit gay people from adopting children (as they did successfully in Arkansas in 200icon_cool.gif. A sound empirical understanding of exactly what happens when these measures are contested is thus necessary—both for comprehending the past and adequately planning for the future.

    [/quote]
  • darkeyedresol...

    Posts: 171

    Jun 16, 2010 12:56 AM GMT
    Its not that hard to understand, there are more people highly motivated to ban gay marriage than to support it. Maine is a perfect example. Only about half of the eligible voters turned out, and then a slim majority voted to repeal the gay marriage law. You basically had a a quarter of the electorate deciding to keep marriage privileges from gay and lesbian couples. If you had that referendum in a presidential election, it might have failed since more over all voters come out.

    Until you have larger plurality of motived voters to come out to protect marriage, its not going to happen. The problem is the groups that support marriage equality, the young, do not turn out to vote as much as elderly voters, who are more than likely against it.

    All about voter mobilization, which is a pretty basic rule of politics.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2010 1:14 AM GMT
    darkeyedresolve saidIts not that hard to understand, there are more people highly motivated to ban gay marriage than to support it. Maine is a perfect example. Only about half of the eligible voters turned out, and then a slim majority voted to repeal the gay marriage law. You basically had a a quarter of the electorate deciding to keep marriage privileges from gay and lesbian couples. If you had that referendum in a presidential election, it might have failed since more over all voters come out.

    Until you have larger plurality of motived voters to come out to protect marriage, its not going to happen. The problem is the groups that support marriage equality, the young, do not turn out to vote as much as elderly voters, who are more than likely against it.

    All about voter mobilization, which is a pretty basic rule of politics.


    Mobilization of voters affects every issue. Not everyone can be motivate to vote for every issue.

    Both in California and here in Maine, the "Yes" campaigns used fear as their biggest tool. Lies were spread, and people bought into those lies.

    I'm close to my family (and out to everyone); being "good Catholics," my aunt and uncle both voted against marriage equality--they were told, "gay marriage is the first step to polygamy." The Church scared them.

    Fear is a very powerful tool in the political arena (look at the teabaggers).