04 November 2012

Down to the wire

With less than two days to go before Minnesotans put the right to marriage up for a majority vote, the latest poll — and, I'm guessing, the last one before Election Day — finds a majority of Minnesotan voters opposed to amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Here's the report directly from Public Policy Polling:

The more interesting findings on our final Minnesota poll deal with the state's high profile amendments to ban gay marriage and require voter identification. We find both narrowly trailing. 45% of voters say they'll vote for the gay marriage ban, compared to 52% who are opposed to it. ...

The marriage amendment is trailing because of a massive generational divide. Seniors support it by a 57/40 margin but every other age group opposes it, including a 36/62 margin against it among voters under 30. Republicans support it (79%) and Democrats oppose it (76%) in almost equal numbers, but independents tip the balance by opposing it 41/55.

Polling historically overreports support for marriage equality, and by margins more than big enough to wipe out a 52-45 majority. (E.g., California's Proposition 8.) Still, this is the first time we've seen better than 50% opposition to the amendment after a couple months of statistical ties. And that age gap means I made exactly the right choice when I signed up to spend Election Day doing get-out-the-vote work in the neighborhoods adjoining the University of Minnesota.

I'm hopeful, and scared to get too hopeful.◼

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