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View Diary: Why the "morals vote" didn't cost us the election. (281 comments)

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  •  Gay Marriage Ballot Initiatives (4.00)
    Bush improved his share of the national popular vote by 3.2% from 2000 to 2004 (47.9 in 2000, 51.1 in 2004).  Now how did he do in the states which had anti-marriage ballot initiatives?

    Arkansas +3.0%
    Georgia +3.3%
    Kentucky +3.1%
    Michigan +1.8%
    Mississippi +2.2%
    Montana +0.7%
    North Dakota +2.2%
    Ohio +1.0%
    Oklahoma +5.3%
    Oregon +0.8%
    Utah +4.2%

    Only in two states (Utah and Oklahoma) did he gain a significantly higher vote share than he did nationwide.

    Let's compare each of those states to a neighboring, state which did not have an anti-marriage initiative on the ballot:

    Missouri +2.9 (AR +3.0)
    Florida +3.4 (GA +3.3)
    Tennessee +5.7 (KY +3.1)
    Wisconsin +1.5 (MI +1.8)
    Alabama +6.0 (MS +2.2)
    Idaho +1.2 (MT +0.7)
    South Dakota -0.4 (ND +2.2)
    Pennsylvania +2.0 (OH +1.0)
    Texas +1.8 (OK +5.3)
    Washington +1.2 (OR +0.8)
    Wyoming +1.2 (UT +4.2)

    In the case of North Dakota, the hotly contested Senate race in South Dakota may have skewed things; a better comparison might be Nebraska, where Bush was +3.0% better in 2004 than in 2000, a better improvement than what he got in North Dakota.

    That leaves two states, Oklahoma and Utah, which had an anti-marriage initiative on the ballot and in which Bush's vote share improved more both relative to the nation as a whole and relative to the neighboring state selected.

    It is certainly possible that the fact that the Bush administration raised the issue to the level to which did led to increased turnout among religious conservatives nationwide, which then resulted in Bush's overall improved vote share over his 2000 performance. However, one would also expect that this vote share improvement would have been particularly high in states in which the marriage issue was particularly relevant. On the contrary, there is no evidence that suggests that the strategy of putting the anti-marriage initiatives on the ballot in several states did anything to improve Bush's performance in those states.

    •  Not sure this tells the (none)
      whole story though.

      If we assume at least some of the 2000 Bush supporters did not vote to reelect (yeah I know its hard, but stay with me here--remember the Lincoln Chafee's still call the Republican party home), then an analysis of the increase in Bush votes this year must factor in the 2000 Bush voters who stayed home or voted for someone else.

    •  That was exactly it (none)
      You hit it on the nose. Had those anti-gay marriage measures NOT been on the ballot, many of those Bush supporters/evangelicals would probably not have shown up at the polls.

      It was the anti gay marriage amendment in 11 states that drove them to the polls. It was Rove's baby - and it worked. That was how he got them there. They didn't show in 2000; this time he was going to make sure they showed up - and that's how he did it.

      •  I wonder about this (none)
        It just doesn't seem right.  Bush increased his share of the popular vote pretty much equally in every state.  Or is this wrong?  Is the author looking at the data wrong?

        Note, it's on Andrew Sullivan's site, but he didn't write it, it's an email he received.

        •  Whoops, I'm an idiot (none)
          Didn't realize the data I was linking to was the same presented above.  It just seems the interpretation is off somehow...
        •  Yes (none)
          I emailed this to Andrew Sullivan.  I also am the one who made the above post and created this diary entry.

          However, my assertion in all three instances has been that the gay marriage initiatives did nothing to boost Bush's vote share.  

          there is no evidence that suggests that the strategy of putting the anti-marriage initiatives on the ballot in several states did anything to improve Bush's performance in those states

          Someone interpreted my comments above backwards.

      •  No (none)
        I am arguing the exact opposite.  Sorry it wasn't more clear.

        there is no evidence that suggests that the strategy of putting the anti-marriage initiatives on the ballot in several states did anything to improve Bush's performance in those states.

        I also wrote this diary entry.

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