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Political Campaigns Move Marriage Votes Very Little

06/26/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Roberta Sklar over at the Washington Blade has written a wonderful article about a recent study into the effects of political campaigns on marriage votes. The study, apparently, shows that there are no real effects when it comes to the political campaigns on the outcome of a vote. Basically, votes on marriage equality are determined long in advance of the actual vote, and it takes a while before attitudes change. This would mean that, if a vote on something like Prop 8 were to happen today in California, it would fail and marriages between same-sex couples would be legal. Attitudes about marriage equality have been changing in the United States over time, and there is a day approaching when even an electoral challenge will not be sufficient to keep lesbians and gays from marrying.

Here is the start of Ms. Sklar’s article, the rest can be read at The Washington Blade:

A groundbreaking study by Patrick Egan was released last week related to polling on ballot measures on marriage equality and same-sex relationships. The study shows that voters don’t move during campaigns. They vote the way they said they would right from the start. “Whaaa?,” I said to myself when I first read it and did a double take.

So what are all the energy, time, resources and money spent about? The ads, the door knocking, the name calling. I said to friends and colleagues: “This report will knock your socks off.”

According to NYU professor Egan’s report, a study of 167 polls taken in 33 states over a decade, there’s no evidence to support the notion that voters move one way or another on marriage equality over the course of a four to six month campaign. Both Geoff Kors of California Equality and Kate Kendell of NCLR believe that the reason voters don’t move is they are being hit by arguments from both sides, are skeptical of all political arguments and stick with where they were.

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