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Field Poll: Proposition 8 Very Close

Timothy Kincaid

October 31st, 2008

The Field Poll has been tracking likely voter support for Proposition 8 since equal marriage became legal. Previous polls have been released on May 28, July 18, and September 18. Trends were showing that there was a comfortable advantage to the opponents of the proposition.

Today a new poll was released (pdf). And it is not as encouraging. The No vote has decreased to less 49% and the Yes vote has risen to 44%.

There is mixed wisdom about using polls to predict vote outcome. There are a number of considerations; a few are:

The Bradley Effect. Named after California gubernatorial candidate Tom Bradley, this is the premise that some white voters will tell pollsters that they support a black candidate out of desire to appear politically correct even though they will, out of prejudice, vote for the white alternative. Although Bradley held a significant lead in most polls, he lost the election to George Deukmejian.

The Default No. There is a presumption that voters who are uncertain about propositions will vote no by default. While there are not likely to be many voters who are unaware of Proposition 8, the default no could impact some of those who are undecided.

The poll also revealed other relevant information about voter demographics. Most of it is about at expected. But the most important determinant will be the extent to which Obama voters turn out at the polls on Tuesday – early voters are expected to trend against us.

Comments

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cowboy
October 31st, 2008 | LINK

There should definitely not be any publishing of the trend of the early votes. Much like they don’t broadcast the early results in the national election to be fair to the still-to-vote voters in the Western States.

In my totally unscientific survey (just from random comments from my co-workers) there are a majority voting early because they are fed up with the current status and they are passionate Obama supporters. I want to extrapolate they would be more likely to NOT vote for Proposition 8. Just a guess.

I’ll admit, the Mormons are probably the ones out there motivated to vote early. Damn their strident determination and drive! Almost Stepford-Wives-ish.

Tara TASW
October 31st, 2008 | LINK

I just diaried about this over at dailykos. (Is “diary” a verb now?)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/31/132715/00/828/648036

The most interesting part is the generational difference. Voters over age 65 are going 2-to-1 for Prop 8. ALL other age groups oppose Prop 8 by double digits.

I hope we win this battle on Tuesday. but the generational trend is clear: we’re going to win the war in the long run.

-Tara the antisocial social worker

cd
October 31st, 2008 | LINK

This is not an infallible method, but often you can predict an election outcome for things by finding the largest polling numbers for and against in respectable polling. If they add up to 100% then that’s the split that will show up when all the ballots are counted.

Field Poll suggests the two numbers are 55% vs 45%. The other pollster (PPI iirc) gets 52/48.

All I really know is that if Prop 8 is passed, it will be by a small margin. Small enough that it can predictably be overturned in 2-4 years as American electorates everywhere trend in favor. And once electorates vote to permit legalization of gay marriage they just don’t reverse themselves. So if No prevails by 50.1 to 49.9, that’s it, even though the anti-SSM people will try again. The Yes On 8 people can’t really win- they can only achieve delays.

L. Junius Brutus
October 31st, 2008 | LINK

Cd, I think you’re wrong. And here’s why: it’s much easier to convince people not to take away a right that’s already there (the current situation). When you have to tell them to overturn the established order to give us equal protection, the ‘conservative instinct’ will work against us. If we can’t win this year, it’ll take a loooooong time.

Kim
October 31st, 2008 | LINK

Plus, in CA, the only way to overturn an initiative constitutional amendment is by constitutional convention. We don’t have the option of using a ballot measure in the future.

There are three ways to reverse this if it succeeds, and neither are pretty options.

1. CA Constitutional convention
2. Federal Court challenge

Dan
October 31st, 2008 | LINK

If proposition 8 passes, the battle will only begin…

First of all, the legality of prop 8 is in question since it does not amend the constitution but changes it. At the time that signatures were collected, the proposition (not yet having a number) was an amendment, but since the May 15th ruling it can be viewed a constitutional CHANGE. The process of a CHANGE to the constitution is vastly different than an amendment!

If prop 8 succeeds and the above legal argument does not hold, then the process to reverse it will be a constitional change which requires much more than 50%.

We better win this one!

Chino Blanco
November 1st, 2008 | LINK

I imagine everyone’s seen this already, but here’s the CBS5 report I uploaded to YouTube …

My Favorite Mormons: Steve & Barb Young Vote No on 8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akt908vnUT0

Now that the Youngs have come out publicly against Prop 8 (and donated $50K), I’m hoping it provides some cover for other Mormons to step up and publicly announce their opposition.

cowboy
November 1st, 2008 | LINK

Steve has remained mum on this issue. It is his wife who is opposed to the Proposition 8.

But, I find a rather interesting read on the mormonsformarriage.com website especially the debate between two lawyers. There is much more internal strife with this issue than what we see in the news.

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