the myth about anti-marriage initiatives in 2004

The more we know about 2004, the more we know how wrong the conventional wisdom was and has been:  No, Bush didn't win.  No, this wasn't a victory of right-wing so-called "values voters".  And no, marriage initiatives did not make a difference in the vote.

Kerry pollster Mark Mellman has found that [2004] anti-gay-marriage ballot initiatives didn't boost voter turnout for either party. Moreover, political scientists at MIT found that Bush's share of the 2004 vote increased in most battleground states, but not the three that had gay marriage bans on the ballot. Stephen Ansolabehere, one of the study's authors, concludes that the gay marriage referenda may have given Kerry a bump. "That suggests there might even be some sort of backlash against this kind of politics," he notes.

Of course, we already knew that civil rights battles should not wait for the mythical time when no elections are on the horizon, and that pro-equality plaintiffs can't be expected to back out of their years-long case because the timing is inconvenient.   We already knew that Karl Rove, not people fighting for their civil rights, "pushed the issue" in 2004.  Now we know that it didn't even work.  This should put an end to any more "those darn impatient gays!" nonsense about 2004.

Tags: 2004, anti-gay, ballot initiatives, Kerry, Marriage Equality, poll, wedge issues (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

crossposted on dailykos

meanwhile, please donate to protect marriage equality at NoOnProp8.com.

by chiefscribe 2008-10-13 01:36PM | 0 recs
Media have falsified the record on initiatives

Myths abound about initiatives generally.The media have seized on the problem initiatives. They generally kiss up to politicians. Ballot initiatives are the origin of most reforms, such as women's suffrage (passed in 13 states before Congress went along), direct election of Senators (4 states), publicly financed elections (passed by initiative in 6 of 7 states with them), medical marijuana ( in 8 of 12 states) and increasing minimum wages (in all 6 states that tried in 2006). See http://Vote.org/initiatives for more examples and references.

There are plenty of solutions available to fix problems with initiatives. Voters on initiatives need what legislators get: public hearings, expert testimony, amendments, reports, etc. The best project for such deliberative process is the National Initiative for Democracy, led by former Sen. Mike Gravel: http://Vote.org. Also http://healthydemocracyoregon.org/ and http://cirwa.org

by Evan Ravitz 2008-10-13 03:15PM | 0 recs

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