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As Prop 8 Trial Concludes, Study Shows Risk of Rushing to Ballot
Calitics • Jun 16, 2010
Today, the Proposition 8 trial in San Francisco Federal Court will hear its long-awaited closing arguments - as gay marriage advocates prepare to return to the ballot. And a new study conducted by the Haas Jr. Foundation looks at pre-election polling data from 33 states that passed anti-gay marriage initiatives. It concludes (a) we always do worse than what polls say, and (b) voters don't change their minds about this issue during campaigns. The lesson, of course, is that we must work harder to move hearts and minds - and that work can't be done in a short election season. Sadly, the implications of this study will strike many as discouraging - was all the money, time and energy we spent in California and Maine somehow a waste? It's true gay marriage is a sensitive topic that voters develop hard feelings about that can't be changed overnight. But the study did not focus on the small sliver of "persuadable" voters in each election who decide the outcome.
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