by Jonathan Singer, Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 10:09:58 AM EST
On Tuesday, South Dakotans will have an opportunity to vote on two measures of particular note, one banning gay marriage the other outlawing abortions without exclusion for rape, incest or the health of the mother. Mason-Dixon polling on the latter issue shows that voters in the state are prepared to say no to new restrictions on abortion by a 52 percent to 42 percent margin. On the former issue, South Dakota voters are split on the issue of banning gay marriage, with 47 percent opposing a ban and 46 percent supporting it. In Colorado, where voters will also be deciding whether to ban gay marriage, new SurveyUSA polling shows voters similarly split, with 41 percent opposing the ban and 40 percent supporting it. No matter how you slice these numbers, they represent a major shift in public opinion from just two years ago.
Oregon, where I vote, is seeing a similar shift. A new Oregonian / KATU News poll (.pdf) conducted by non-partisan firm Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall finds some interesting results from the three (of ten, total) ballot measures that they poll. On Measure 43, parental notification for teen abortions, 50 percent of Oregonians oppose the measure while just 42 percent support it. Independents oppose the measure by a ten-point margin. On legislative term-limits (Measure 45), which passed a decade ago but was later tossed out by the courts, the measure goes down 57 percent to 32 percent. Majorities of all partisan groups oppose the measure. And on Measure 48, a Colorado-like TABOR law, Oregonians overwhelmingly vote no, 57 percent to 24 percent. Looking at the cross-tabs, even a plurality of Republicans opposes the measure, 45 percent to 34 percent (large majorities of Democrats and Independents also vote no).*
If all of these numbers hold on election day and Democrats are able to win to anywhere near the extent predicted by most analysts, not only will voters have roundly rejected the Republican Party but they will also have shouted a resounding "no" to the conservative politics and tactics used by Republicans and the far Right alike in recent years and tactics, fundamentally undermining the Right not only in the short term but also in the long run.
* - All numbers include leaners