Marriage Equality Has 21-Point Lead in Maine

Oct 3, 2012 Full story: EDGE 177

A poll revealed that that support for a referendum that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state has a 21-point lead, the Waterville Morning Sentinel reports.

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Since: Feb 10

Woodstock, Illinois

#1 Oct 3, 2012
I would be surprised if the vote actually carried that much support, but a win by a large margin would help greatly in the public arena in other states for the future. I find that most people just don't understand the issue. I recently spoke with a former Massachusetts native who thought that married same sex people who worked for the colleges received extra money as a bonus just because they were of the same sex. When I explained that the extra money was an effort to compensate for the extra taxation due to DOMA, he admitted that he was unaware of the unequal federal treatment. The more we educate the average citizen, the more support we receive.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#2 Oct 3, 2012
I'm suspicious of such a big number, too, but all we need is a small majority to send a HUGE message!

And I totally agree with you about most people not understanding the issue. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most people, even straight married people, have NO CLUE how harmful it is for a couple, ANY couple to not be married.

Like you, Ron, I spend a great deal of time talking to people and explaining to them things that never occurred to them. Like the taxation issues and the lack of access to spousal health care coverage and lack of legal standing in times of crisis. Most people simply have NO CLUE about it because they've never been denied all those protections.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#3 Oct 3, 2012
Ron, the poll says 57% support Question 1. You may as well assume that the 7% undecided are uncomfortable with the change and they're going to vote against. This is not homophobia. This is human nature to avoid change unless the reason for change is clear and compelling.

[I am the same way on the gambling issue in New Hampshire. I have no objection whatsoever to people enjoying responsible gaming. But I see no advantage to me or the state in institutionalizing it. So I do not support legalizing gambling, and I will probably vote against it if I have the chance.]

I have just returned from a week of canvassing for Yes on One in Maine, and I can tell you that--unsurprisingly--the question faces strong opposition in the rural parts of Maine. Unfortunately, that is basically the entire state.

In 2009--when "yes" on Question 1 was a vote to repeal the same-sex marriage law--polls showed a narrow loss up until election day. But the actual vote was a narrow triumph for repeal. So there is a swing of 4-6% between polls and ballots, and that range of swings can be confirmed by looking at many votes. Most recently, North Carolina showed its constitutional amendment winning with about 55% before election day. In the end, it won with over 60%.

In 2009, Question 1 passed by substantial margins basically everywhere except Portland and tiny Ogunquit. There is no population center in Maine capable of overwhelming the rural vote. Also in 2009, Referendum 71 was defeated decisively in most of Washington, but the overwhelming wins in Seattle and Spokane brought victory to our side.

The difference between 2012 and 2009 in Maine is that there is more support in Maine's smaller cities--small being operative here. Portland has a population of 65K. I was canvassing in Maine's 3rd largest city with a population of half that.

Several things struck me as we talked with voters.

First, voters were well aware of the issue and nearly all have made definite decisions with which they are comfortable and which they are willing to defend. This is a welcome difference with 2009, where many voters didn't even know about the question. Win or lose, Question 1 in 2012 will be fully debated and considered, as opposed to the type of knee-jerk reaction that NOM and its allies usually rely on to win.

Second--and perhaps this restates the previous point--supporters are decisive. We rated voters on a five point scale: Definitely yes, Probably yes, Undecided, Probably no, Definitely no. Almost everyone was in the definite categories. I was pleasantly surprised to find how committed the supporters were, even when many of them were not the most open-minded about homosexuality itself.

I began to worry, though, that the Probably Yes category will be highly vulnerable to the yet-to-be-launched campaign against the question. Generally, the probably yes group seemed to understand intellectually that marriage equality was fair, but they were emotionally or spiritually unready to make that change. NOM et al have been lying low so far. But they have a well-honed set of tools for exploiting those emotions.

So the 57% support in the polls is likely to shrink once NOM launches its campaign--but probably not as much as NOM expects. Most have definitely made up their minds. But if it drops below 55%, our campaign is highly vulnerable due to the difference between polls and elections. It will be won by making sure that every single supporter takes the opportunity to vote yes.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#4 Oct 3, 2012
It's NOT actually a "21 point lead".

If you look at the polling data it's actually 57% approve and 36% oppose, with 7% unsure. We all know the 7% will vote against, so in reality it's 57% approve and 43% opposed.

Then you have to deduct 5% for those who typically lie about supporting marriage equality and end up voting against in the privacy of the ballot box.

So now we're down to 52%- 48%.

THAT is the true lead in the poll, and ONLY if everyone polled actually turns out to vote.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#5 Oct 3, 2012
For the record, I predict we'll win Maine by about a 52-48 margin; Washington by the same; Maryland will be a squeeker deciced by a few hundred votes one way or the other; Minnesota will be a 48-52 loss.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#6 Oct 3, 2012
And that's why Maine (Maryland and Washington) need every committed supporter who has time available to come help their voter outreach efforts.

“IT'S TIME TO ELIMINATE”

Since: Mar 11

PROP 8 AND DOMA!!!

#7 Oct 3, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
And that's why Maine (Maryland and Washington) need every committed supporter who has time available to come help their voter outreach efforts.
So, are we going to lose in Maine? I mean you made it sound that because of the rural areas, that people have made up their minds and can't be changed and that the population is much larger overall in the rural areas that we could lose again.......and I just don't believe that the ads from NOM or more specifically Frank Schubert will have as MUCH as an impact as they did 3 years ago......but you seem to think otherwise.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#8 Oct 3, 2012
Great News!

Now get them all to VOTE !!!
Gay Shampoo

Pittsfield, MA

#9 Oct 3, 2012
Voted down everytime and going down in vacationland and when it does I'm gonna take that fallacy 21% poll and................
Gay Shampoo

Pittsfield, MA

#10 Oct 3, 2012
The left leaning tooty fruity mob loving media misinforming and misleading the American public.
Again!

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/pat-caddell-say...
Gay Shampoo

Pittsfield, MA

#11 Oct 3, 2012
WeTheSheeple wrote:
It's NOT actually a "21 point lead".
If you look at the polling data it's actually 57% approve and 36% oppose, with 7% unsure. We all know the 7% will vote against, so in reality it's 57% approve and 43% opposed.
Then you have to deduct 5% for those who typically lie about supporting marriage equality and end up voting against in the privacy of the ballot box.
So now we're down to 52%- 48%.
THAT is the true lead in the poll, and ONLY if everyone polled actually turns out to vote.
When all is said and done you will stand there aghast!

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#12 Oct 3, 2012
RnL2008 wrote:
<quoted text>
So, are we going to lose in Maine? I mean you made it sound that because of the rural areas, that people have made up their minds and can't be changed and that the population is much larger overall in the rural areas that we could lose again.......and I just don't believe that the ads from NOM or more specifically Frank Schubert will have as MUCH as an impact as they did 3 years ago......but you seem to think otherwise.
No, I guess you could say that I was hopeful in 2009. I am optimistic in 2012. The point is that nothing is in the bag. We need to keep fighting with everything we've got. A 57% lead is not nearly as good as it sounds when it comes to civil rights issues generally, and to gay and lesbian issues particularly.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the interactions with voters was that the older Mainers were much more supportive than I'd have expected. Most of the supporters were strong supporters, although they said they just didn't talk to their friends about it. But we will not lose this demographic by huge proportions.

Maine Equality has a well-planned and well-executed ground strategy. They more than met their goals in 2009, but turnout was much heavier than anyone anticipated in an odd-year election with no statewide offices on the ballot. We're planning for a large turnout in a Presidential election, and we are meeting our goals to turn out yes votes.

NOM's strategy is the same as always: Spend a bunch of money on TV ads and get the churches to fire up their flocks. Otherwise, they have no presence in the state. All of their money comes from out-of-state or from church collections.

I am surprised they have waited this long to start the ads.[I think it's because they don't want to disclose.] Our ads have been on the air for over a month. Contrarily, the anti-gay ads have been running in Minnesota already, and I haven't seen a response from the gay organizations.

NOM is apparently counting on a last-minute barrage of ads to stop people from voting yes. I am not sure the ads will be that effective this time: Last time, their lies were "new information." This time, those same old lies have already been examined and will be less effective.

Furthermore, Mainers begin early voting this week. One of our strategies will be to get people to vote early. So we will lock in as many yeses as possible before the ads even start.

We've also made it very easy to vote absentee by going door-to-door and by sending applications to supporters in the mail. By far, most people refuse the absentee ballot, but I know several of the people I got to take absentee ballots would have been unlikely to vote at the polls. These were working moms who didn't have time and would have to make arrangements for their small kids while they voted.

And don't forget: Every time Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan open their mouths, another Republican voter decides not to vote. Keep talking, Mitt. Tonight should be interesting!

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#13 Oct 3, 2012
Gay Shampoo wrote:
<quoted text>
When all is said and done you will stand there aghast!
No matter which way the vote goes, I won't be all that suprised.

It's gonna be a close vote either way, but I predict a 52-48 vote in favor of allowing gays to marry. If I'm wrong, then we'll be back again the next election, and the next election, and the next election until it finally DOES pass or the courts overturn all remaining bans.

“IT'S TIME TO ELIMINATE”

Since: Mar 11

PROP 8 AND DOMA!!!

#14 Oct 3, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
No, I guess you could say that I was hopeful in 2009. I am optimistic in 2012. The point is that nothing is in the bag. We need to keep fighting with everything we've got. A 57% lead is not nearly as good as it sounds when it comes to civil rights issues generally, and to gay and lesbian issues particularly.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the interactions with voters was that the older Mainers were much more supportive than I'd have expected. Most of the supporters were strong supporters, although they said they just didn't talk to their friends about it. But we will not lose this demographic by huge proportions.
Maine Equality has a well-planned and well-executed ground strategy. They more than met their goals in 2009, but turnout was much heavier than anyone anticipated in an odd-year election with no statewide offices on the ballot. We're planning for a large turnout in a Presidential election, and we are meeting our goals to turn out yes votes.
NOM's strategy is the same as always: Spend a bunch of money on TV ads and get the churches to fire up their flocks. Otherwise, they have no presence in the state. All of their money comes from out-of-state or from church collections.
I am surprised they have waited this long to start the ads.[I think it's because they don't want to disclose.] Our ads have been on the air for over a month. Contrarily, the anti-gay ads have been running in Minnesota already, and I haven't seen a response from the gay organizations.
NOM is apparently counting on a last-minute barrage of ads to stop people from voting yes. I am not sure the ads will be that effective this time: Last time, their lies were "new information." This time, those same old lies have already been examined and will be less effective.
Furthermore, Mainers begin early voting this week. One of our strategies will be to get people to vote early. So we will lock in as many yeses as possible before the ads even start.
We've also made it very easy to vote absentee by going door-to-door and by sending applications to supporters in the mail. By far, most people refuse the absentee ballot, but I know several of the people I got to take absentee ballots would have been unlikely to vote at the polls. These were working moms who didn't have time and would have to make arrangements for their small kids while they voted.
And don't forget: Every time Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan open their mouths, another Republican voter decides not to vote. Keep talking, Mitt. Tonight should be interesting!
Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate you being on the ground in Maine and I am hopeful that things will turn out differently this time:-)

I know that same approach was taken here in California, especially in the Central Valley area........getting out and meeting folks I believe really does help:-)

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#15 Oct 3, 2012
BTW: Terrific expositon of NOM's skulduggery in the Portland Press Herald today!

http://www.pressherald.com/news/group-returns...

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#16 Oct 3, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
Ron, the poll says 57% support Question 1. You may as well assume that the 7% undecided are uncomfortable with the change and they're going to vote against. This is not homophobia. This is human nature to avoid change unless the reason for change is clear and compelling.
[I am the same way on the gambling issue in New Hampshire. I have no objection whatsoever to people enjoying responsible gaming. But I see no advantage to me or the state in institutionalizing it. So I do not support legalizing gambling, and I will probably vote against it if I have the chance.]
I have just returned from a week of canvassing for Yes on One in Maine, and I can tell you that--unsurprisingly--the question faces strong opposition in the rural parts of Maine. Unfortunately, that is basically the entire state.
In 2009--when "yes" on Question 1 was a vote to repeal the same-sex marriage law--polls showed a narrow loss up until election day. But the actual vote was a narrow triumph for repeal. So there is a swing of 4-6% between polls and ballots, and that range of swings can be confirmed by looking at many votes. Most recently, North Carolina showed its constitutional amendment winning with about 55% before election day. In the end, it won with over 60%.
In 2009, Question 1 passed by substantial margins basically everywhere except Portland and tiny Ogunquit. There is no population center in Maine capable of overwhelming the rural vote. Also in 2009, Referendum 71 was defeated decisively in most of Washington, but the overwhelming wins in Seattle and Spokane brought victory to our side.
The difference between 2012 and 2009 in Maine is that there is more support in Maine's smaller cities--small being operative here. Portland has a population of 65K. I was canvassing in Maine's 3rd largest city with a population of half that.
Several things struck me as we talked with voters.
First, voters were well aware of the issue and nearly all have made definite decisions with which they are comfortable and which they are willing to defend. This is a welcome difference with 2009, where many voters didn't even know about the question. Win or lose, Question 1 in 2012 will be fully debated and considered, as opposed to the type of knee-jerk reaction that NOM and its allies usually rely on to win.
Second--and perhaps this restates the previous point--supporters are decisive. We rated voters on a five point scale: Definitely yes, Probably yes, Undecided, Probably no, Definitely no. Almost everyone was in the definite categories. I was pleasantly surprised to find how committed the supporters were, even when many of them were not the most open-minded about homosexuality itself.
I began to worry, though, that the Probably Yes category will be highly vulnerable to the yet-to-be-launched campaign against the question. Generally, the probably yes group seemed to understand intellectually that marriage equality was fair, but they were emotionally or spiritually unready to make that change. NOM et al have been lying low so far. But they have a well-honed set of tools for exploiting those emotions.
So the 57% support in the polls is likely to shrink once NOM launches its campaign--but probably not as much as NOM expects. Most have definitely made up their minds. But if it drops below 55%, our campaign is highly vulnerable due to the difference between polls and elections. It will be won by making sure that every single supporter takes the opportunity to vote yes.
GADS !!! It's GREAT to read someone who knows and understands political campaigning. Refreshing, in fact.

Take that, format it a bit differently, get a couple of know somethings to feed you some of that as quotables, and send it to the "EDGE" editor. That NEEDS to get into print.

Since: Feb 10

Woodstock, Illinois

#17 Oct 7, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
Ron, the poll says 57% support Question 1....
Thank you for the insight. I do believe that the margin of voters who poll one way and vote another will also be narrowing. As people realize that they know more gay people than they thought, and that we are still the same people, they find it difficult to vote against equality.

I also wonder if NOM can launch as well funded a campaign as they have in the past. With the possibility of having their names made public, they may lose some of their fundraising power.

The next 4 weeks should be interesting to watch.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#18 Oct 7, 2012
nhjeff wrote:
BTW: Terrific expositon of NOM's skulduggery in the Portland Press Herald today!
http://www.pressherald.com/news/group-returns...
fta:

" ... Oh, the irony of it all. That closet once reserved for gays and lesbians in justifiable fear for their safety is now crammed with deep-pocketed donors who fear ... being identified as anti-gay and anti-lesbian?... "

ROFL

This needs it's own thread.

“KiMare'a the Monster Mutation”

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#19 Oct 9, 2012
Marriage has always described a distinct relationship. In fact, the evolutionary birth place of every single other human relationship. It is simply ignorant denial to pretend there is no difference. In fact, it is dangerous to do so.

There are numerous critical distinctions between the union of duplicate genders and marriage. You have to dumb down marriage to 'two people in a relationship' to equate gay unions to marriage.

Marriage is the only relationship that possesses the ponderous propensity to bear human fruit in a natural and beneficial way.

Gays can and have obtained needed rights through 'gay unions'.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#20 Oct 9, 2012
KiMare wrote:
Marriage has always described a distinct relationship. In fact, the evolutionary birth place of every single other human relationship. It is simply ignorant denial to pretend there is no difference. In fact, it is dangerous to do so.
There are numerous critical distinctions between the union of duplicate genders and marriage. You have to dumb down marriage to 'two people in a relationship' to equate gay unions to marriage.
Marriage is the only relationship that possesses the ponderous propensity to bear human fruit in a natural and beneficial way.
Gays can and have obtained needed rights through 'gay unions'.
Nope, we'll take marriage and make it our own.

Don't like it, TOUGH SH!T.

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