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September 20, 2012

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Ben

I think there is very good evidence that PPP nails the pro-SSM number to within 1 percentage point. This was shown most recently in NC in May. All undecideds need to be allocated to the anti-SSM position, and then you get a very accurate result.

However, I am puzzled at the drop in the pro-SSM number in this poll. There have been no major external events that are likely to have moved the needle, only the pro-SSM side has been on TV, and the pro-SSM side clearly has the more active campaign going. Does this suggest that the pro-SSM campaign might be doing something to hurt itself?

SC Guy

We have to be honest with ourselves: polling understates public opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Even PPP's final poll understated the final margin in North Carolina by a whole 6 percentage points so a 10 point gap should be encouraging for Maine's foes of same-sex marriage.

What's interesting this year is that 4 very blue states are holding marriage votes (Washington, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine). Conservatives have more than a fighting chance in 3 out of those 4 states and even in Washington, where the polling is bleak, there is still a chance conservatives will prevail.

So what does this mean? In spite of national polling suggesting that a small majority of Americans support same-sex marriage (which is obviously not true), it's pretty clear that the real flashpoints in the culture war are being waged in the blue states, not the purple states, let alone the red states. It's by no means settled that gay marriage is a blue state vs red state thing, at least not yet.

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