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Not a good night for NOM

Timothy Kincaid

November 2nd, 2010

The Republicans picked up significant gains in the midterm election, gaining control of the House of Representatives, and bringing the Senate to within a few votes. This is not good news for the prospect of having issues of inequality addressed in the next two years.

However, this change in the direction of power was not a mandate for social conservatives. Indeed, it was those Republicans who made the most of their socially conservative credentials who fared least well. Christine O’Donnell lost miserably, as did Tom Tancredo, while Tea Party and Republican candidates that minimized or refused to discuss their positions on social issues attracted support.

But no indicator seems to have been more consistent this election than the extent to which a candidate was supported by the National Organization for Marriage. If you were a Senatorial or Gubernatorial candidate whom NOM supported, it seemed to be the kiss of death.

In New Hampshire, NOM has ran an anti-Lynch campaign for two years, and has ratcheted up the anti-Lynch television ads going into the election. Lynch just won his fourth consecutive election, a feat not accomplished for the past 200 years.

In California, NOM sponsored a bus tour for senate candidate Carly Fiorina, encouraging Latino voters to “vota tus valores“. Not only have the networks called this election for Barbara Boxer, Latinos found Fiorina’s valores not to be their valores by two-thirds.

NOM sued the state of New York in hopes of running anonymous ads in favor of Carl Paladino. Paladino’s homophobia sunk his campaign and he ended up pulling but 35% of the vote leaving Cuomo – a marriage support – one of the strongest winners of the night.

In Minnesota, NOM ran radio ads for Tom Emmer claiming that “Mark Dayton and Tom Horner want to impose gay marriage with no vote of the people.” Although Minnesota has not been called, Dayton is 7% ahead of Emmer with 85% of the vote counted.

This kiss of death is consistent with results of NOM’s electioneering in the District of Columbia during their primary. It would seem that using gay couples as a fear tactic seems to have peaked and dissipated.

This is not to say that NOM will not have any causes for celebration. The efforts to reject three supreme court justices in Iowa who were part of the unanimous decision to recognize gay Iowans as protected by the state Constitution, appears to have succeeded. Each appears to have only 46-47% support. Expect NOM to claim this as a clear mandate that the “people of Iowa have spoken” and that they don’t like their gay neighbors so much. NOM was not, however, successful in their effort to oust the Polk County judge who first found for marriage equality.

And NOM’s very own Andy Pugno – the attorney for the Prop 8 campaign – is running for state assembly in California’s 5th Assembly district. At present the vote is too close to call.

All in all, while NOM’s vindictive smearing of the Iowa justices may have proven effective (and may well prove to bring a chilling effect to future legal battles), we can say that they were big losers tonight.

UPDATE: 10:28 pm PST. LA Times:

With more than half the votes counted, Democrat Richard Pan holds a 51% to 45% lead over Republican Andy Pugno in a seat currently held by Republicans.

Not only may Pugno’s repugnant attack on gay couples have cost him the 5th Assembly seat, it may actually move the Democrats in CA closer to a supermajority. NOM must feel so proud.

Comments

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Stefano A
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

… while Tea Party and Republican candidates that minimized or refused to discuss their positions on social issues attracted support.

I’m not nearly as optimistic as you are about this. All this indicated to me was they knew focusing on already existing anger over the economy would be more effective at this time. I don’t think it provides any indication that once in officee they won’t be more vociferous in the anti-gay legislating and appeals. I think you only have to image Boehner (R-Ohio) to be one of those.

As for Iowa it was somewhat heartening that the constitutional convention was passed up by a vote of 2:1. I do think NOM was hoping for that so they could amend the constitution.

As an Ohioan, however, I’m completely despondent with how red the state went.

daftpunkydavid
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

what about new hampshire? few people are talking about this, but legislative repeal of marriage equality would be at least equally if not more troublesome than the 3 judges who got voted down, no? what do you think?

Stefano A
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Indeed, it was those Republicans who made the most of their socially conservative credentials who fared least well. Christine O’Donnell lost miserably…

I suppose that all I’m really saying is that I wouldn’t attribute deteats to a voter rejection of anti-gay rhetoric as much as it was a case, as in the example of O’Donnell, that the candidates were so wackadoodle in other areas as well.

Tone
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Thank you for pointing out some interesting correlations. It makes the Tea Party look quite marginalized tonight.

I find it alarming that sitting state justices can be removed from the bench by a simple majority vote. It is somewhat contrary to the ideal of an independent judiciary.

Stefano A
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

I find it alarming that sitting state justices can be removed from the bench by a simple majority vote. It is somewhat contrary to the ideal of an independent judiciary.

Indeed! And not somewhat contrary to an an independent judiciary, but completely contradictory.

what about new hampshire?

Agreed! I, too, find this development troubling. Doesn’t this, like Michigan’s senate, give Republicans a super majority; ie, a veto proof vote count?

MIhangel apYrs
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

In the UK a high court judge may only be removed by impeachment by both Houses – a bit like your supremes I imagine.

The only way to ensure an independant judiciary is by:

1
remove the popular vote (or at least choose the panel impartially then vote) so that people of proven integrity rather than political hacks are installed

2
make positions permanent (subject to impeachment)

If you have people looking over their shoulders to vox pop then you get bad law, as happens in law creation at state and federal level by politicians

tristram
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Stefano and dpd are correct. The Iowa judgeship and NH legislative results are disastrous. Since a number of the NH Republican legislators have pledged to reverse marriage equality, we will get an early indication as to whether the tea partiers are or are not as conservative socially as they purport to be fiscally.

Victor
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Good analysis, and I’d would add:

– NOM’s “independent” flyers and leaflets in support of a GOP candidate for Congress in ME resulted in a rebuke from the candidate.

– In CA, Pugno himself tried to run away from his Prop 8 background, proclaiming to the local press that he was not going to go to Sacramento to deal with social issues. This is not how a candidate would behave if momentum was on NOM’s side.

– When it comes to marriage, not all races are equal. It really doesn’t matter who won GA or OK or even 60+ House seats. What mattered was the governor races in HI, IL, MN, MD, and RI. And right now, it appears that we have won in 4 out of 5,and probably have won in all 5. At a bare minimum, we can say that RI is almost certain to get marriage next year.

– Fight Back NY appears to have achieved a shocker of an upset, knocking off Frank Padavan, a GOP senator who had a huge lead. In addition, earlier this year, they knocked off an upstate anti-gay Dem in the primaries, and tonight the pro-gay Dem in that district has beaten back the GOP challenger. We now need to switch only 3 senate votes in order to win.

– On NH, I haven’t seen any report that the GOP has achieved veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature. I know that NOM tweeted something about this, but I don’t see anything to suggest that it is true. And it would mean that both houses would have experienced Dem-to-GOP turnover of nearly 40%. Highly unlikely that this happened.

Stefano A
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

- On NH, I haven’t seen any report that the GOP has achieved veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature.

New Hampshire’s 424-member Legislature . . . election also ends four years of rare Democratic control of both the House and Senate . . . results last night hinted that Republicans might enjoy supermajorities in both the House and Senate. Numbers like that would enable them to override Lynch’s vetoes . . .

In the Senate . . . Republicans [have] a 19-5 majority, overturning the Democrats’ 14-10 majority . . .

it appeared last night that Republicans would hold their largest legislative majorities since at least 2002, when the GOP held a 165-seat advantage in the House and a 12-seat majority in the Senate . . .

Concord Monitor

Republicans were on the verge of taking a veto-proof majority in both the House and Senate Tuesday night. In addition to taking an apparent supermajority in the Senate, the GOP was poised to take more than 250 seats in the 400-seat Legislature. . .

in June, Democrats held 224 seats in the House and Republicans controlled 176. Democrats held 14 seats in the Senate to the Republicans 10. That balance was on the verge of being completely reversed . . .

At press time last night, House Republican Office spokesman Paul Smith said that Republicans had counted at least 205 wins, while Democrats took 59 seats.

State Republican Party chair John Sununu told supporters of John Stephen that the GOP will take 250 to 260 seats in the House. . .

Most experts predicted a shift in control of both chambers, but differed on how bit [sic] the swing would be. . . .

Union Leader

Lucrece
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

It’s hard to take this post with any optimism when I’m stuck with Marco Rubio because Meek just couldn’t get his sure-loss ass out of the run and siphoned away votes from Crist.

NH looks sad for LGBT people.

The ouster of the Iowa justices was the most saddening to me, however. People who did their job impeccably and were fired by a bunch of easily misinformed hicks.

This country’s political system will never work so long as so many poorly educated but easily excited people are allowed to vote.

Furthermore, having worked myself the polls this election, youth turn-out wwas abysmal. Apparently going to Kesha concerts and collecting friends on Facebook is more important than the shit they’re gonna be left with for this upcoming period of Republican obstructionism.

You can kiss ENDA goodbye now. They didn’t have the votes with a Democratic majority– they certainly won’t with a Republican one.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

They had a majority even in the Congress after 2006. You can thank the far-left gay rights groups that insisted on transgender inclusion for the fact that there now is no federal protection whatsoever. Well done, people. They are the best friends Tony Perkins could wish for.

Tony P
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Bad for the nation but good for most states. It’s going to be two years of lots of state action and a gridlocked federal system.

It also appears Obama will get a 2nd term too. Remember, this played out the same way with Bill Clinton.

Timothy (TRiG)
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

On 2fm this morning in Ireland, Ryan Tubridy was talking about the US elections. He described Christine O’Donnell as a cartoon caricature of Sarah Palin.

***

Brutus, take your transphobic bigoted nonsense elsewhere.

TRiG.

Matt
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

It doesn’t matter if Lynch retained the governorship in New Hampshire if the GOP took both state houses by veto-proof margins.

Nobody paid any attention to the lowly state legislature in NH, and now there’s a good chance we’re going to go backwards on marriage equality because of it.

Hall
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

What I’m wondering is if the Republicans in New Hampshire would really be willing to repeal the same-sex marriage law. To do so would be pretty foolish, if you ask me. As well, it may well be that some Republicans in that state support marriage equality.
The other problem is that public support is still growing tremendously towards support of marriage equality. If they were to repeal the law, it would be a bad decision on their part for the future.

Michael
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

If you are right, then NOM deserves all the support you can give it. Kiss of death, after all. I, for one, just wrote them a $1,000 check. Next time they target judicial activism that way, I’ll write them a $5,000 check.

AJD
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

One possible silver lining to Iowa and New Hampshire is that if marriage equality in those states is repealed, it’ll bolster our argument in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that we’re unable to win by popular vote or in the legislature because any victory can simply be reversed if the other party wins a majority.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“Brutus, take your transphobic bigoted nonsense elsewhere.”

It’s the truth, and there is nothing “transphobic” or “bigoted” about it. Deal with it. ENDA could have passed in 2009 or 2010, as it passed in 2007 with a much smaller Democratic majority. 60 Democrats in the Senate, when is tat ever going to happen again?

People in San Francisco and New York decided to deny people in Mississippi protection, because of their need to feel morally superior. Nice job, now no one has any protection. Woo hoo!

jcrr
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Bad night for NOM?! Gay marriage is DOOMED in New Hampshire — the GOP took over the state legislature and with have a veto-proof majority. This is very bad news.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Jcrr, when they tried to repeal gay marriage in 2009, 40 Republicans voted against the repeal. I think that we can handle a veto-proof majority.

AJD
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Somebody at Joe.My.God mentioned that 40 of the Republicans re-elected in New Hampshire voted against repealing marriage equality, and 13 of the new ones are Free Staters, i.e. libertarians, while four of the Democrats kicked out were anti-equality.

Pomo
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

UPDATE ON ANDREW PUGNO

100% of precincts reporting

Andrew Pugno (R) 46.1%
Richard Pan (D) 49.1%

Though I rarely vote for a democrat, I did my part to bring down Pugno… All the votes are in. I just don’t know if Pan can win it since he got less than 50%. There was a 3rd party candidate which took in 5% of the vote. I hope there is not another run off between Pan and Pugno.

Tim do you remember the community college student body government from Sacramento that voted in favor of prop 8 back in 2008? One of their Slavic members was running for community college board to push his anti-gay agenda but he was handily defeated.

Priya Lynn
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Junius said “It’s the truth, and there is nothing “transphobic” or “bigoted” about it. Deal with it.”.

Right, there’s nothing transphobic or bigoted about wanting to deny transpeople the same rights you want – gotcha.

Timothy Kincaid
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Pomo,

Excellent news about Pugno and the ARC student.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“Right, there’s nothing transphobic or bigoted about wanting to deny transpeople the same rights you want – gotcha.”

Wanting to? No, recognizing reality is not “bigoted”. It is common sense. Just look at the results of your approach: no ENDA for how many years? Good job! Who exactly is better off now than they would have been if an ENDA with sexual orientation had been passed?

Priya Lynn
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Right, got it Junius, your constant demands that trans people be removed from equality legislation aren’t because you want transpeople removed from equality legislation, you’re just “recognizing reality” – gotcha, I’m on your side.

justsearching
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

I agree with Brutus. For the sake of political expediency, we should push all the trannies off the boat. We should also do it very publicly so the rest of society will be more willing, and quicker, to accept us with open arms into the blessed harbor of equality-for-most.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“Right, got it Junius, your constant demands that trans people be removed from equality legislation aren’t because you want transpeople removed from equality legislation, you’re just “recognizing reality” – gotcha, I’m on your side.”

Priya in 1964:

People who don’t want to include gay people in the Civil Rights Act are homophobic. What do you mean, it can’t pass if we do? Who cares? Can’t you wait another 40 years to give black people equality? I want to feel morally superior!

Priya in 1994:

Finally, we have the votes to pass the Civil Rights Act with sexual orientation. Unfortunately, there is a change of plan: now we have to include transgenders. You are against it? You are transphobic!

Priya in 2010:

Right, got it Junius, your constant demands that trans people be removed from equality legislation aren’t because you want transpeople removed from equality legislation, you’re just “recognizing reality” – gotcha, I’m on your side.

Priya 2020 (still no ENDA)

Yay, I made the world a better place.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“I agree with Brutus. For the sake of political expediency, we should push all the trannies off the boat. ”

What boat?

Priya Lynn
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

No, I’m with you Junius. In the same way that you oppose including transpeople in ENDA because the majority of the public is against it you also oppose including gay people in marriage because the majority of the public is against it – you’re entirely consistant here. Just because you’ve worked tirelessly to exclude transpeople from equality doesn’t mean you’re transphobic or bigoted.

Priya Lynn
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

This sums up Junius’s position exactly:

“Finally, we have the votes to pass the Civil Rights Act with sexual orientation. Unfortunately, there is a change of plan: now we have to include transgenders.”.

Yes, so unfortunate to want to include transpeople in equality legislation.

Priya Lynn
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Junius said “What boat?”.

The equality boat. Can’t have all those nasty transpeople working towards the same rights honest and decent gays like Junius need.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“Yes, so unfortunate to want to include transpeople in equality legislation.”

If it doesn’t pass, that is very unfortunate. Of course, you rejoiced when a sexual orientation ENDA did not pass – and probably more so than the religious right.

So tell me, if you lived in 1964, would you insist on including gays in the Civil Rights Act, when you knew that would wreck its chances?

Priya Lynn
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

There’s no proof that would have wrecked its chances.

I stand up for what is right not just what is popular. Righteous people don’t pick and choose who deserves equality – you do. You stand up for bigotry and transphobia.

Show us your consistency. Tell us how you oppose including transpeople in equality legislation because the majority is against it just as you oppose including gays in marriage because the majority is against it – tell us how you consistently recognize reality and act accordingly.

The fact is that reality doesn’t matter, you support marriage for gays even though the majority opposes it and you oppose equality for transpeople given the same reality.

Timothy Kincaid
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

The ENDA/transgender debate is WAY off topic. Let’s get back to NOM and/or election results.

Jason D
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

[Comment removed: off topic]

John D
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

[Comment removed: off topic]

Matt
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“Somebody at Joe.My.God mentioned that 40 of the Republicans re-elected in New Hampshire voted against repealing marriage equality, and 13 of the new ones are Free Staters, i.e. libertarians, while four of the Democrats kicked out were anti-equality.”

This is heartening, and I hope that gay people/organizations make a real effort to reach out to the Republicans who are on our side or persuadable, and don’t just write them off.

L. Junius Brutus
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

The race has been called for Pan.

Timothy Kincaid
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

In re New Hampshire:

The expected tally in the House is 298 Republicans to 102 Democrats, leaving Republicans with a strong veto-proof majority (267 required).

However, we must recall that these are New Hampshire Republicans, not Alabama Republicans. New England Republicans are often quite socially progressive.

And we must recall that it is one thing to not move forward on equality and quite something else to take away an existing right. One may be hesitancy to go too far, while the other is quite clearly an attack on a subset of the constituency.

In March of 2009, 13 Republican legislators voted to enact marriage equality (and were needed for a majority).

Eleven months later, on February 17, 2010, 40 Republican legislators voted against a bill to repeal same-sex marriage.

I think it is likely that at least 31 Republicans in the house will vote against a repeal (and would be quite surprised if it were not more than the 40 who have already done so). So, as Gov. Lynch is certain to veto such a bill, it’s rather unlikely that New Hampshire will repeal its marriage equality law.

swampfox
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Simply put the trend is on our side and I don’t think that trend will change.

Victor
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Thanks for the info on NH. Not a good development, and I think we can expect a challenge to marriage. But I agree with the commentary above: there was a solid Dem support for marriage and a decent amount of GOP support. I don’t think that the opponents would have enough to repeal it. Also, as I mentioned, the exit polls show overwhelmingly that the voters first, second, and third priorities are jobs, jobs, and jobs. Gay marriage did not even show up as an issue. So there would be a real cost for the GOP to start a battle royale on this tertiary issue. Of course, one big question is how many pro-gay GOP legislatures survived this election and how many are coming in with this new wave of legislators.

Victor
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

[Comment removed: off topic]

GavinC
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

What about Wisconsin’s Domestic Partnership registry? Republican governor, republican controlled senate
and a republican controlled assembly!

tristram
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Timothy – re NH – why the assumption that Gov. Lynch would veto legislation rescinding the marriage equality law? Last year, he was intially against marriage equality, but eventually signed the bill primarily out of party solidarity and under cover of honoring the ‘will of the people’ as expressed through their legislators.

As an aside (but not off-topic!) there’s an interesting (strangely circumspect) election post-mortem by Albert Mohler in the On Faith column in todays WaPo:

http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/r_albert_mohler_jr/2010/11/new_political_equation_for_religious_right.html?hpid=talkbox1

Timothy Kincaid
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

tristram,

Lynch has faced a year and a half of horrific electioneering against him in a very personal and vituperative way for his decision to sign that bill. I cannot imagine that he feels anything but contempt for anti-gay activists at this point or any willingness whatsoever to give in to their viciousness.

And besides, having matured in ones thinking to the point of accepting equality as the reasonable standard, few ever go back to discrimination. It is too freeing to be on the side of that which is right, fair, and equal.

occono
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

I don’t really care about Legislative elections, as eventually things will swing back and more progress will be made. The Iowa retention vote was important to me, because it has much longer-lasting consequences, and was hugely depressing and enraging. :(

Timothy Kincaid
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

By my count, there were 27 Republicans who voted against repeal earlier this year that were reelected.

12 did not choose to run again (no Republican marriage supporters were voted out)

And 1 ran as a Democrat.

While that’s not quite as good as having 40 in the house who already voted “no” to repeal, it is a good start.

Of the four Democrats who voted for repeal, two were reelected, two were defeated by Republicans.

This means that if all other Democrats vote against repeal and the 27 already opposed to repeal hold steady, then 5 more Republicans need to be convinced to vote against repeal. This is not a sure thing, but it is probably doable.

Stefan
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

“By my count, there were 27 Republicans who voted against repeal earlier this year that were reelected.

12 did not choose to run again (no Republican marriage supporters were voted out)

And 1 ran as a Democrat.

While that’s not quite as good as having 40 in the house who already voted “no” to repeal, it is a good start.

Of the four Democrats who voted for repeal, two were reelected, two were defeated by Republicans.

This means that if all other Democrats vote against repeal and the 27 already opposed to repeal hold steady, then 5 more Republicans need to be convinced to vote against repeal. This is not a sure thing, but it is probably doable.”

That is also assuming that everyone shows up too. The vote to try and repeal it in February only attracted about 320 representatives. Clearly a large amount didn’t even care enough to show up and vote.

We also need to be sure to drive the point home that no Republican was voted out of office for supporting gay marriage (other then the one that switched parties, which was a stupid move) while 4 Democrats who voted against gay marriage were voted out.

Mykelb
November 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Did anyone or does anyone actually hold out hope for equality through legislation at the federal level? Keep dreamin. It will be done, but it will be done through the Judiciary, not Legislative Branch of government.

GavinC
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

And Minnesota is gone as well

Dakotahgeo
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

Remember, all you GLBT hating people… the pendulum also returns from whence it came. Two years goes by fast, and the Democrats hopefully will be faster learners. The problems besetting this country are multitudinal. All played into the angst and faux anger of the Republicans/Teabaggers. My goodness, they can’t even get along with themselves! The Republican Party has a lot of fence-mending and healing to d within its own ranks, not to mention the Teabagging Whackamoles. Good luck with that!

BobN
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

This article is silly.

NOM lost some races and WON in a lot more.

They successfully brought down three Iowa Supreme Court Justices (and would have brought down all seven had all of them been up for a vote).

In the next few months, at least three more states will vote to ban same-sex relationships and at least two will win.

We could all stand to “lose” like NOM does.

octobercountry
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

“NOM lost some races and WON in a lot more.”

Um, do you have the numbers on that? I’m curious—nationwide, does anyone have the PRECISE figures of how many candidates were backed by NOM—and exactly how many of these people won in their races?

Ben Mathis
November 5th, 2010 | LINK

NOM won only 32% of the races it backed. That’s losing more than winning in any mathbook.

octobercountry
November 5th, 2010 | LINK

32%? That’s not a terrible impressive showing.

Given the fact that 1) there was bound to be a strong conservative swing this election, with or without NOMs participation, and 2) the way that NOM continually trumpets that their anti-gay agenda is the will of the majority of the American people…

Well then, a 32% success rate on their part actually seems kind of pathetic.

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