It’s Time To Start Legalizing Gay Marriage!

Yesterday, I noticed that even some of the brighter leftybloggers are figuring out – or drifting in that direction – that the DFL majority in the Legislature isn’t going to knock itself out to legalize gay marriage.

But there’s another angle to this.

The DFL (or, more accurately, the various non-profits that control the DFL’s entire messaging effort) created an unprecedented turnout against the Marriage Amendment.

The rhetoric was crude, zoomed in on the lowest common informational denominator; “Marriage is about Love!”   “Who are we to get in the way of Love between two people?!”  “Say no to hate!”

If you are a gay MInnesotan, who no doubt turned out in excess of 100% against the Amendment and for the DFL last month?

If you are one of the mass of Minnesotans who was inveigled into feeling warm fuzzy feelings about same-sex marriage by the parade of celebrities, washed-up ex-Republicans and model TV families?

If you’re one of those libertarians who figured “what can it hurt?”  Who believed that  the issue was truly about “no hate!”, and who didn’t wanted to be called a “bigot?”

Here’s the deal:  if the DFL doesn’t, on the first day of the session, put forth a repeal of Minnesota’s anti-gay-marriage law, and ram it through committee and to the Governor’s desk like Jared Allen chasing down a quarterback, then you were all played for suckers.   You and your vote were nothing more than pawns in the DFL’s political power grab.  And their inaction will mean that the DFL has no more use for you that for a used condom; you’ll get about the same treatment.

And if you are a DFLer – say, a DFL blogger or tweep – who doesn’t push, relentlessly, for the DFL to get the anti-gay marriage legislation repealed, and a gay marriage law enacted immedately, then you are not only aiding and abetting the DFL’s hypocrisy, but you are hypocrites yourselves.

So what’s it gonna be?

If you’re not complete hypocrites, you should have this done by March.

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Chanting Points Memo: “Minnesota Poll” Orders Material For A Narrative-Building Spree

If you take the history of the Minnesota Poll as any indication, yesterday’s numbers on the Marriage Amendment might be encouraging for amendment supporters:

The increasingly costly and bitter fight over a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is a statistical dead heat, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.

Six weeks before Election Day, slightly more Minnesotans favor the amendment than oppose it, but that support also falls just short of the 50 percent needed to pass the measure.

Wow.  That sounds close!

But as always with these polls, you have to check the fine print.  And the “Minnesota Poll” buries its fine print in a link well down the page; you don’t ever actually find it in the story itself.  And it contains the partisan breakdown (with emphasis added):

The self-identified party affiliation of the random sample is: 41 percent Democrat, 28 percent Republican and 31 percent independent or other.

That’s right – to get this virtual tie, the Strib, in a state that just went through photo-finish elections for Governor and Senator, and has been on the razor’s edge of absolute equality between parties for most of a decade, sampled three Democrats for every two Republicans to get to a tie.

If you believe – as I do – that the “Minnesota Poll” is first and foremost a DFL propaganda tool, intended largely to create a ‘bandwagon effect” to suppress conservative turnout (and we’ll come back to that), then this is good news; the Marriage Amendment is likely doing better  than the poll is showing.

What it does mean, though, is that they are working to build a narrative; that the battle over gay marriage is much more closely-fought than it is.

And the narrative’s players are already on board with this poll.  The Strib duly interviews Richard Carlbom, the former Dayton staffer who is leading the anti-Amendment

Actually, here’s my bet; the November 4 paper will show a “surge of support” that turns out to be much larger than any that actually materializes at the polls.

More At Noon.

UPDATE:  I wrote this piece on Sunday.  Monday morning, all of the local newscasts duly led with “both ballot initiatives are tied!”.

If you’re trying to find a construction job in Minnesota, you can get a job putting siding on the DFL’s narrative.

UPDATE 2:  Professor David Schultz at Hamline University – no friend of conservatism, he – did something I more or less planned to do on Wednesday; re-ran the numbers with a more realistic partisan breakdown:

Why is the partisan adjustment important? The poll suggests significant partisan polarization for both amendments, with 73% of DFLers opposing the marriage amendment and 71% of GOPers supporting. Similar partisan cleavages also exist with the Elections Amendment. If this is true, take the marriage Amendment support at 49% and opposition at 47%. If DFLers are overpolled by 3% and GOP underpolled by 6%, and if about 3/4 of each party votes in a partisan way, I would subtract about 2.25% from opposition (3% x .75) and add 4.5% to support (6% x .75) and the new numbers are 53.5% in support and 44.75% against. This is beyond margin or error.

If one applies the correction to the Elections Amendment there is about an 80% DFL opposition to it and a similar 80% GOP support for it. Then the polls suggest approximately 56.8% support it and 41.6% oppose.

Which brings us very nearly back to the 3:2 margin  for the Voter ID amendment, and the tight but solid lead for the Marriage Amendment that every other poll – the reputable ones, anyway – have found.

Chanting Points Memo: Nothing Here But Us Extremists

I was out of town last week during Governor Dayton’s frankly weird performance, referring to supporters of the “Right To Work” amendment as “Extreme”.

More on that – it ties in closely with my piece on the DFL’s new PR effort to flood the state with unsupportable memes on wedge issues designed to fool the uninformed and gullible – later this week.

It’s just interesting to note how many “extremists” there are out there, according this SurveyUSA poll covering Minnesotans’ attitudes on the Gay Marriage, Right To Work and Voter ID amendments seem to show that a majority of Minnesotans are, by Governor Dayton’s self-indulgent standard, “Extremists”.

Let’s go through the numbers one issue at a time:

Marriage Amendment

This is the weakest of the bunch so far; it’s winning by 47-39, and over the top in most of the cross tabs (other than 18-34 year olds, cell phone users, Democrats, Liberals and people making over $80K a year).

This is in line – and maybe a little better – than the results I found in the fall of 2010, when a Lawrence Poll showed that Minnesotans’ preferences swung strongly to Tom Emmer when they were clear that Emmer supported referenda or legislative rulings on the issue, while Dayton and Horner both supported legislating the issue from the bench.

The problem is that these numbers aren’t nearly good enough to pass the bill, given one quirk in Minnesota’s law when voting on constitutional amendments; blank votes are counted as “no” votes.  Everyone who supports an amendment must vote affirmatively “yes”.

So let’s assume the numbers in this poll’s “Not Sures” – 4% overall – break evenly between Yes and No on election day, bringing the actual results to 49-41 in favor; then “Not Votes” stay on the sidelines, becoming “No” votes, making the final vote a bare 51-49 against.  That’s not counting “Ritchie Votes”: the dead, people being vouched into multiple districts, people who aren’t legally entitled to vote, and the like.

Even without that, the measure loses by default. By this count, the Marriage Amendment needs to arf up at least three more points – five as insurance against “Ritchie Votes”.

With a state this polarized, it’s a tall order.

Right To Work

Minnesota is much less polarized here – and it shows.  Governor Dayton’s memes on the subject have been more fact-free and desperate than usual – “right to work states have lower wages!”, he declared, ignoring the other context (closed shop states tend to be more urban, coastal and have much higher costs of living as well as wages) – showing how hard the DFL is going to have to dig for votes on this issue.

“Right To Work” leads 55-24% overall.  It leads in every single cross tab – the narrowest is 35-32 among identified liberals.  Bad news for the DFL – it leads among women even more than among men; more among the young than the old;

More importantly?   Even if you take the 12% “not sure” vote and split it evenly among “Yes”, “No” and “Not Voting” , the numbers become 59-28-13, which really means 59-41 (remember, blank votes become “No”, as noted above).  Even if every undecided voter decides to side with the unions – in other words, the hopelessly unrealistic breaks, things about as likely as me getting a third date with Amy Adams – or just sit the issue out, the issue ends up at 55-45.

It’ll take a lot of “Ritchie Votes” to beat “the extremists” on this issue.

Photo ID

Perhaps the best news of the poll is that the left’s idiot memes about Voter ID – “it disenfranchises the poor, the elderly and college students – are falling not so much on deaf ears, but ears that mock their idiocy.

During the 2010 campaign, the meme of the right was that Voter ID had 2-1 support in Minnesota.  The SUSA poll shows it’s actually 3-1 with a bullet; the measure currently leads 70-23.

The cross tabs?  Again – the measure is more popular among women than men (73% of women favor it, vs. 66% of men); more among younger voters, with a 77-20 lead among 35-49 year old voters); more among the educated (71-24 among college grads ys 63-23 among high school grads); about evenly across all income bands; even by 69-24 in the Twin Cities.

Most significantly?  Only 4% of Minnesotans are undecided on the subject, and 4% more claimed they’ll “not vote” on the issue.  Even if every single undecided voter is convinced to vote against the issue or sit it out, the measure passes 70-31%.

Even Mark Ritchie will have a hard time rigging this one.


Caveat up front; the conclusions below presume the SUSA poll is accurate.  The poll is of registered voters, rather than likely voters, which is inherently less accurate on the one hand, but traditionally skews things to the left on the other hand; for purposes of the conclusions below, I’ll presume those two factors roughly cancel each other out.

GOP legislative candidates need to closely align themselves with the Right To Work and Photo ID issues.  They need to hammer on their support for Right to Work and Voter ID, and the positive things that both bring to this state – more jobs, and an election system with actual integrity (although Voter ID is only one of many reforms needed).

The Marriage Amendment strikes me as a loser for GOP candidates – not because it’s off the ideological beam (although as a libertarian conservative, I’m less enthusiastic about it than some Republicans), but because presuming that this poll is accurate, candidates will spend more time and effort supporting the amendment than being supported by it.  By tying themselves to amendments that seem likely to pass overwhelmingly and which show the deep wedge between the DFL and the GOP, on issues where the DFL is both wrong and diametrically opposed to a crushing majority of Minnesotans, the GOP wins free votes; the Marriage Amendment will cost time and effort to prop up at the polls.  Not to say the votes can’t be found, but it’s going to take a lot of time and effort – which is the job of the various pro-marriage groups, not candidates.

The other takeaway, in light of the Governor’s prate and gabble on the subject(s)?  In every case, with all three of these amendments, the conservative, “extreme” position is the mainstream.

But we knew that.

See more on the subject from Ed Morrissey.