Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Recently I suggested, mainly as a result of pessimistic CNN-watching fatigue, that I was with those who think that the anti-gay vote raised Republican turn-out figures, and essentially that that lost Kerry the election.
Well, I'm more than happy to admit I was probably wrong. Polling data now available suggests that:
- 8/11 states with marriage amendments on the ballot would always have gone Republican
- Michigan and Oregon backed Kerry despite also backing a marriage amendment.
- In 4/6 recent elections Ohio has gone Republican.
- Kerry actually did better than Gore in the swing states where the gay marriage issue was on the ballot - including Ohio.
- More generally, only 2% of voters rate gay and lesbian issues as a top priority, compared to the quarter that rate 'moral issues' moral generally as a priority.
Another article points out, also, that many of those who voted for gay marriage amendments didn't realise that they were also banning civil unions, for which support has actually risen in the past four years. National exit poll data now indicates that 64% of Americans support civil unions (though not anywhere near this proportion of Republicans, which could still suggest that there is some, if only a weak, correlation between higher turnouts, anti-gay amendments and Bush voting).
None of this is decisive against the original inference, but it all suggests that it's very unlikely that it was gay issues that determined the vote in any significant way.
More depressing now is the statistic that 21% of gays and lesbians voted Bush, despite that fact that even the Republican gay lobby withdrew its support from him (as I pointed out sometime back now).