Erick in Seattle commented on the blog post Washington voters are more ready than ever for marriage equality
I’m encouraged that attitudes are changing. Have they changed enough? That’s the big question. Relying on polls is a dicey proposition, especially when it comes to our issues. There was a recent Elway Research poll that asked potential voters if they would “support legalizing homosexual marriage in Washington State.” 48% said “yes”, 44 said “no”. The rest, 8%, are presumably “undecided”. If you look back at past ballot measures on our issues, and then look at the polling that happened beforehand, you would usually get a close prediction if you added the “undecideds” to those who would vote against us. The polls leading up to the Prop 8 vote are a good example. Here, the Elway poll should be interpreted as 48% likely yes and 52% likely no.
As for the Washington Poll asking if they would vote to keep or reject a marriage equality law in a referendum, I trust the 47% figure. I would not trust the 8% soft supporters. I wonder if they could be swayed by arguments about how marriage equality would cost state taxpayers millions of dollars at a time when prisoners are being released early and teachers are being laid off due to budget cuts. (benefit parity under the DP law does not take effect until 2014).
The Washington Poll citing 43% in favor of full equality is also illustrative.
I agree the polls show we’ve made a lot of progress. Enough, however, to survive a referendum? I don’t know. Will we get help from the national organizations to help fend off NOM and their allies?
I’m not sure if this should make a difference as to whether to try to pass a marriage equality bill next term. Some people think it’s better to not to try if it might get rejected at the ballot box. Others think its better to pass the bill, even if it’s likely to get overturned, than to wait. I’m tired of trying to understand the reasoning behind each argument. I wish I could spend nine months somewhere else during the referendum battle. It wouldn’t be good for my kid to see me upset all the time.