the myth about anti-marriage initiatives in 2004
by chiefscribe, Mon Oct 13, 2008 at 09:53:48 AM EDT
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  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.