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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Gay Marriage Wars in California

The epicenter of the latest battle in the war over gay marriage is California, where Proposition 8, which would ban celebration or recognition of same-sex marriages, is fueling an expensive and highly competitive campaign.
Polls earlier this year showed Prop 8 losing decisively, which led to a lot of premature talk about the decline of this classic conservative wedge issue. But the pro-Prop 8 campaign, rooted in evangelical churches and heavily bankrolled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), made definite gains and appeared to pull ahead in public opinion last month.
Now there are dueling polls on Prop. 8. A Survey USA poll on October 17 showed the initiative ahead by a narrow 48-45 margin. But last night, the Public Policy Institute of California released a poll showing Prop. 8 losing among likely voters, 52-44.
It does appear by all accounts that the momentum behind Prop. 8 may have peaked a bit early. Spending on both sides is heavy (over $20 million each), and roughly equal.

One comment on “Gay Marriage Wars in California

  1. Stuart Elliott on

    Hasn’t there been a general pattern that “protect marriage” referendums move in anti-same sex direction as the vote approaches?
    That was the case here in Kansas. Polls 6 mos in advance showed an almost even split between the anti-gay marriage and the combined pro-gay marriage and pro-civil union.
    The vote at the polls was very lopsided.


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