As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Field Poll Shows Continuing Opposition To Prop. 8

Maybe it's all the endorsements (the latest from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors), or that the anti-equality side has thus far been confined to right-wing zealots and religious forces trying to impose their doctrine on the state, but Proposition 8's chances of passage are getting worse.

Opposition to a California ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage is mounting following Attorney General Jerry Brown's move to change the language on the initiative, according to a Field Poll released today.

The poll found that just 38 percent of likely voters support the measure, while 55 percent intend to vote no. That compares with 42 percent in support and 51 percent opposed in July.

Brown amended the Proposition 8 summary language after the state Supreme Court's decision on May 15 to overturn California's previous ban on same-sex marriage.

The pollsters found the amended language played a role in that growing opposition, especially among the 30 percent of likely voters interviewed who had never heard of Prop. 8.

Those voters were much more likely to oppose the measure when read Brown's wording (58 percent against it and 30 percent for it) than those in the same category who were read the old version of Prop. 8 (42 percent against and 37 percent for it), according to the Field Poll.

Yes, how dare that Jerry Brown put into print what the initiative would actually do, which is eliminate the right granted by the state for same-sex couples to marry. The Yes on 8 folks are whining that Brown "interfered" with the election, when actually, words with meaning did.

You can get the internals of the poll here. The initiative is running weak among DTS voters (56-28 against) and young voters (58-31 against). Hispanics are against it 51-36, which actually is not as solid as whites (55-39 against). And the key stat to me is that among divorced or separated voters, Prop. 8 fails 65-33. That makes perfect sense; those who have lived through a bad marriage have less illusions about how equality would ruin its sanctity.

The way I would view this is the way that California initiative watchers commonly view the "Pro" side of the argument. You have to start out 55% or higher before the negative ads kick in. Right now the Yes on 8 folks are outraising the No side 3:2, mostly with out-of-state checks. They're going to blanket the state with ads and so we should not let our guard down.

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