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November 18, 2011

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Mike

Intriguing polling, thanks.

Gerald

You know, I took some time to crunch the numbers from your MS poll and discuss them in what I believe was a thoughtful comment, a comment which has now disappeared. If you want to have your readers post anything more substantive than "First!," don't banish their comments to the nether world.

On CA, as with MS, TX, MO and SC, we see a very clear erosion in opposition to gay marriage. But the opposition moves to undecided, not to support. Here, opposition has eroded an amazing 9% in the 3 years since Prop 8. But PPP shows support at exactly where it was in Nov. 2008. The 9% went to undecided.
In all of these states, opposition to civil unions plummets and outright support for civil unions goes dramatically up, but that has no real practical significance in CA, which already has civil unions. Although it is puzzling that the pro-gay side hasn't managed to close the deal with these defectors, I think that if there were a rematch the pro-gay side would have a very good chance of snaring 2 out of every 9 of those undecideds for a win.


The latest slew of PPP polls does seem to bear out a finding of Nate Silver: as opposition to gay marriage declines, the pro-gay trend accelerates. So in a very hostile state like MS in which 86% voted to ban gay marriage in 2004, you have opposition to gay marriage eroding at about 1% per year. By contrast, in CA, which had opposition at only 52% in 2008, you get a 9% erosion in 3 years, for an annual erosion rate of 3%. This bodes well for states like ME, MD, CO, SD, and IA, where support/oppose levels have been coming into balance, thus laying the groundwork for an expected pro-gay acceleration. In states like MS, SC and AL, assuming current trends continue, you are looking at 2 decades before you get to the acceleration point.

Tom Jensen

Be patient. We get around to moderating comments eventually but all the work that goes into actually conducting the polls is always going to be a higher priority.

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