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Gay Marriage did not elect Bush

Old 11-05-04, 09:46 PM
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Gay Marriage did not elect Bush

This is the line the media and the Democrats are playing now, that it was "gay marriage" that got Bush elected, since the very vague and broad "moral issues", which could mean anything to any voter, was considered one of the most important issues in the otherwise admittedly-flawed exit polls.

But it's just not true. This is the kind of analysis the Mainstream Media should be doing, but once again, it's left up to the blogosphere for the serious work:

http://andrewsullivan.com/index.php?...68333683256538

EMAIL OF THE DAY: "So lots of pundits, including you, have been attributing Bush's success nationally to his having excited the base over the gay marriage issue. In particular, the strategy of using the ballot initiatives in 11 states, thereby dragging religious conservatives to the polls to vote against marriage and at the same time check the box next to Bush, is regarded as having been particularly effective.

That is, of course, fiction. Bush improved his share of the 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. Maybe comparing to the national popular vote is misleading, so let's compare each of those states to a neighboring, politically-similar 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)

Again, not much. In only 3 cases (UT-WY, ND-SD, and OK-TX) did Bush improve a lot more in a state with an anti-marriage initiative than he did in the state with which it was paired. And, in the case of North Dakota, the hotly contested Senate race in South Dakota may have skewed things a bit; 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."
- 3:34:36 PM
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Old 11-05-04, 09:47 PM
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I've been saying this over and over for three days now.
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Old 11-05-04, 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
I've been saying this over and over for three days now.
Yes, but aren't you glad "they" still don't have it right?
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Old 11-05-04, 10:28 PM
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Not that I think that gay marriage had anything to do with it, I think that's a red herring.

But I don't know if you get this, I'm guessing not. Those statistics don't say a damn thing about any impact gay marriage did or didn't have in those states. Comparing to 2000 isn't useful, it is as much a red herring as those saying it made a difference. To really know, you'd have to compare to what he would have got in those states without the gay marriage issues. Of course we can't do that, that's why ineffective poll data is often used.

But your numbers are meaningless, they don't show anything, sorry. Before you go off on me, reread my first sentence where I agree with your basic point, that gay marriage did not play any key role.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:38 PM
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The assumption is flawed, but it still has some merit.

You can assume that all the unique factors of the 2004 election different from the 2000 election outweigh any individual issues regarding the states themselves. Consequently, if state A had no gay marriage amendment in 2000 and none in 2004 while state B had none in 2000 but did in 2004, you could set up a crude equation that the change from 2000 to 2004 was relatively constant in states A and B, and the difference between those changes was the effect of gay marriage. Obviously it's very crude, but it's not "meaningless." If gay marriage amendments were a major factor in this election, it's reasonable to assume that states with gay marriage on the ballot would have seen significantly different gains than those without.

It's certainly far from proof, but if it were really the factor people are claiming it is, wouldn't you expect different results?

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Old 11-05-04, 10:40 PM
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LOL - Not going to go off on you, and I realize this analysis is not perfect.

But it's a fairly strong case for discussion, among even more data out there on the subject and just outright common sense.

"The story" is rapidly becoming that "Bush won because of gays" and/or "religion" - that meme is cropping up everywhere so as to marginalize Bush's clear win.

But the only real evidence people have to go on that is the exit poll question of "moral values", which polled strongly. THAT'S the red-herring, because what the hell does "moral values" mean? It means lots of different things to lots of different people - to some, it means going into Iraq as a humanitarian issue, for example. To others, it may very well mean gay marriage, but I doubt many thought of that when calling "moral values" their top issue.

And the fact that Bush didn't increase his lead in states with gay marraige issues on the ballots any more, on average, than states that didn't have it on the ballot, is a pretty decent case for this election not being "about" that.

This election was about National Security, and the fact that Bush was viewed as the stronger leader by almost all the electorate.

If the Democrats want to continue to hide under their blankets about the implications of this election, I guess that's okay with me - they'll just get thumped again next time, but it would be so much better for the country if they "got it" and we had two viable political parties again.

If they continue like this, with calls for going even MORE to the left, as much of the commentary today suggests, then the Democrats will just marginalize themselves even furtther. Bush is not the one who has to "reach across the aisle" - he won. The American people have clearly put the Democrats in the position of having to "reach across" to Bush if they want any sort of "unity". The losers have no capital to demand that of the winners, and in this case the losers are rapidly moving to a position where they seem to be demanding only that Bush reach across or that they'll get even more strident in the other direction, as if the American people are simply wrong, and the majority party should alter what it's doing to be more like the party that lost.

Doesn't make much sense. I was hopeful by the Democrat response on the first day - but now they've all switched to a much different tune, as if they all got together and decided what the talking points were going to be, blasting that one day of candor from the public discourse and landing right into the "red states are a bunch of dumb hicks!" spin.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:50 PM
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If the Democrats want to continue to hide under their blankets about the implications of this election, I guess that's okay with me - they'll just get thumped again next time, but it would be so much better for the country if they "got it" and we had two viable political parties again.

Doesn't make much sense. I was hopeful by the Democrat response on the first day - but now they've all switched to a much different tune, as if they all got together and decided what the talking points were going to be, blasting that one day of candor from the public discourse and landing right into the "red states are a bunch of dumb hicks!" spin.
I agree. I voted for Bush, but the last thing I want is Republican domination and a marginalized Democratic party. That's bad news for all of us. Yet, talking shit about the religious, continuing to dismiss the red states as stupid, and drawing a line with the gay marriage stuff is a recipe for further failure.

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Old 11-05-04, 10:52 PM
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How is this the Democrats who are saying this. I've heard several Republicans and conservatives say something very similar.

However, I agree that it is probably not that likely. While moral issues was supposedly the #1 most important issue for voters -- it was only about 22% who said this. The other 78% had some other issue that was most important to them.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:55 PM
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Why would Gay Marriage even vote for W?
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Old 11-05-04, 10:57 PM
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And I think the actual question was "moral vision" - again - that could mean anything to any voter - I think out of the 22% who made that their top issue, a much smaller number actually felt they were answering that question in the way in which the media is spinning it now - as some kind of ultra-religous, anti-gay crusade.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:58 PM
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However, I agree that it is probably not that likely. While moral issues was supposedly the #1 most important issue for voters -- it was only about 22% who said this. The other 78% had some other issue that was most important to them.
Yeah, this has been really glossed over. Sure, it was #1 at 22%, but Economy was at 20% and Terrorism was 19%. Combine that with the incredibly vague nature of "moral values," a default bucket for any beliefs you may have from religion to war, and it's not nearly as significant as the media has been making it.

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Old 11-05-04, 11:02 PM
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And Das, you're right - we really do need two viable parties to keep each other in check.

I think we will always have that check and balance in a way - even if it's within factions of the dominant party. In our educated, cynical, media-driven society, I don't worry too much about one-party domination taking the country onto some dangerous course that it doesn't want to go.

But I'd be happier if the Democrats moved back to the center and become more viable for some healthy competition - their ultra-left radicals like Michael Moore have completley hijacked the party, and the country is the worse for it.

Where are the Kennedys? A big tax-cutter who was very tough on National Defense? There is no room for that kind of Democrat in the party leadership today, and until these guys kick out their radical element that has taken the reigns of their party, and stop acting like such nuts, I can simply not bring myself to support them in any way.

If they go low enough, the saner elements of their party will prevail and take the party into a better direction. At least that is my hope.

Not only is it better for the country, but I'd much rather see an election between a Reagan and a Truman than a Reagan and a Michael Moore or John Kerry.

How many more election cycles will the Democrats have to get slapped around until they come to their senses?
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Old 11-05-04, 11:09 PM
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I wonder if Amazon will carry Zell Miller's new book ... I Told You So.

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Old 11-05-04, 11:10 PM
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So you want Democrats who are more like Republicans? While I'm not fond of the the ultra-left in the D-party or the ultra-right in the conservative party -- If they both move to the center, we essentially have 1 party (which some already accuse us of having).

No offense Nate, but your partisanship often seems as extreme to me as you probably see Moore's.
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Old 11-05-04, 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by DodgingCars
How is this the Democrats who are saying this. I've heard several Republicans and conservatives say something very similar.
Many of them in this thread




Originally posted by natesfortune
This election was about National Security..........
This election wasn't about any ONE issue. MANY factors contributed to to Bush's victory.
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Old 11-05-04, 11:32 PM
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Originally posted by DarkElf
Many of them in this thread






This election wasn't about any ONE issue. MANY factors contributed to to Bush's victory.


I believe I've been wholly consistent on this topic. It was not the primary reason for the President's victory. Like Nate, I believe that security and the War on Terrorism were the ultimate deciding factors, the factors that if one had to pick what issue tipped the scales in favor of the President, this would be the one. That was my take before the election, and I am sticking with it.



However, I agree that it was many factors. I have been trying to get this point across for a couple of days. The Democrats are going to look for one reason for their failure, and there isn't one, or even just two. Not only is it about a variety of issues, but about many combinations of those issues.
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Old 11-05-04, 11:35 PM
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I have just about decided to stay out of these threads. Obviously my experience as a Washingtonian means nothing. Everyone things that the "Read the bible as literal group" hates gays, and as one of that group, I simply disagree.

I love everyone. Even bfrank, which proves that I love the wackiest of the wacky.



me is a funny guy.
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Old 11-05-04, 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by DodgingCars
So you want Democrats who are more like Republicans? While I'm not fond of the the ultra-left in the D-party or the ultra-right in the conservative party -- If they both move to the center, we essentially have 1 party (which some already accuse us of having).

No offense Nate, but your partisanship often seems as extreme to me as you probably see Moore's.


I want the Democratic party to move as far left as possible. However, wouldn't having two strong and viable parties, regardless of their similarities, be better than having just one such party, and one extreme and marginalised party?
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Old 11-06-04, 02:21 AM
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Originally posted by DodgingCars
No offense Nate, but your partisanship often seems as extreme to me as you probably see Moore's.
Partisanship is not the issue. Though it gets a bad rap, there is nothing wrong with partisanship - if you believe something strongly, and have reasons to back it up, it is not "better" to soften that view to appeal to a center or to seem "non-partisan".

When I mention Moore and others I'm not talking about partisanship as being their vice. I'm talking about a strain of such virulent hatred for this President that they have abandoned all pretext of waging arguments based on anything resembling reality.

I am what you would call "partisan" on these boards, but I base my opinions on facts or logic. You may disagree with my take on the data, which is fine, but I do not "make things up", or create a false set of data and present it to the group in order to fool people and get my way.

This is what Moore and the radicals in the Democrat party have been doing. Moore's latest film was an outright piece of propagandist fiction so far afield from anything resembling truth that it's embarassing and outrageous - and this is the guy the Democrats chose to put in the Presidential Box - a place of honor, at their convention. Shameful.

Likewise, Terry McAulliffe, Ted Kennedy and others of that strain are supposed to be mainstream politicians on the Democrat side, but they're accusing the President of "cooking up a war in Texas" to help "corporate buddies". They have declared a steadily growing economy as being "the worst since Hoover", they have(Howard Dean) tried to advance the theory that Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand, and on and on and on.

They are simply disconnected from anythign resembling fact or truth, and merely spewing rhetoric, bile and hate. And that's the wing of the party that has the clout and the power. It's no wonder Democrats are losing.

I do not just "make stuff up" like that when expressing my views. I present facts, and hardly ever make an argument without also expressing just WHY I believe that way and not just what the way is that I believe. That may come of as stridency to you, and that's fine. You also don't have to agree with my conclusions by any means.

But don't compare me or anybody else on this forum to Michael Moore until we make up a bunch of crap that isn't true and launch it out there as if it is.

Hopefully, nobody here ever goes that far. But a major political party, sadly, already has.
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Old 11-06-04, 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
Yeah, this has been really glossed over. Sure, it was #1 at 22%, but Economy was at 20% and Terrorism was 19%. Combine that with the incredibly vague nature of "moral values," a default bucket for any beliefs you may have from religion to war, and it's not nearly as significant as the media has been making it.

das
I am not so sure it was 'glossed over'. It was a surprise that it was the top issue and one where the incumbent took a vast majority of the votes.

The point here is that finding out what constituted 'moral issues' is important.

What 'fits' in there????:
1) Judicial nominations-people tired of moral legislation being done via the judiciary (this includes the gay marriage issue but by no means is it exclusively that issue; partial birth abortion and others fit here too)
2) Cleaning up the messes you make (i.e. stay the course in Iraq) because you are responsible for them
3) Personal character of a candidate (i.e. moral conviction)
4) On the other side of the coin, some may have looked at it as removing Saddam and the Taliban as a moral issue.. (removing oppression)
and there are many more. The categorization of so many things under a broad banner doesn't really give you a idea of why people did what they did.
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Old 11-06-04, 07:57 AM
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I made a post a while back about San Francisco and its mayor, purposely going against the law in order to gain attention. Well, I don't think the US public forgot about that stunt (or the one in Oregon either), and said, ok, you wanna slam YOUR values on the rest of society, well, we can too.

It's a shame how the gay community screwed up with this because I am actually for gay marriage. Any two people should marry, but the little drama act in SF and Portland and a few other cities, came across to me as a childish act to force society to accept a minorities' wishes. Well, you just can't force a majority of people to think your particular way like that.

Anyway, like a few of you have said, it was many issues that were boiling in the political pot for the past 4 years, which contributed to the current political situation. It wasn't just this issue which contributed to the incumbent being elected, but it was part of it.

Hell, I'm thinking of writing a book about this election because it has so many different aspects to its climax.
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Old 11-06-04, 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
The assumption is flawed, but it still has some merit.

You can assume that all the unique factors of the 2004 election different from the 2000 election outweigh any individual issues regarding the states themselves. Consequently, if state A had no gay marriage amendment in 2000 and none in 2004 while state B had none in 2000 but did in 2004, you could set up a crude equation that the change from 2000 to 2004 was relatively constant in states A and B, and the difference between those changes was the effect of gay marriage. Obviously it's very crude, but it's not "meaningless." If gay marriage amendments were a major factor in this election, it's reasonable to assume that states with gay marriage on the ballot would have seen significantly different gains than those without.

It's certainly far from proof, but if it were really the factor people are claiming it is, wouldn't you expect different results?

das
Good analysis, Saves me from writing much. It's about the best that can be done with the available data.

There is still the possibility that there is some unidentified confounding factor that makes the comparator states an invalid comparison. If you believe it, develop a hypothesis and find data to test the hypothesis. I don't see any obvious data suggesting invalid comparison.
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Old 11-06-04, 09:11 AM
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I thought all along and so stated a plethora of times on this forum that the 2 principal issues of the campaign for the voters were national security and Iraq.

I was wrong - if the exit polls are correct.

The cultural issues dominated the voter's decision - again if the exit polls are correct; and, they most generally are when it's concerning the issues that the voters are concerned with.

Of course, I suppose to defend my original assumption, I could argue that the issue of national security for the security mom might translate into a cultural issue, but I will admit that would be somewhat of a stretch.

Obviously the prevailing myth that economic issues drive national elections should now be put to rest. 'It's not the economy, stupid,' and it wasn't in 1992.

BTW: I firmly believe that the same-sex marriage thing is only a small part of the cultural divide in this country. Therefore, it did not decide the election, IMO.
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Old 11-06-04, 09:42 AM
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I feel like I'm the only person who voted for Bush and also voted NO on the gay marriage ban.
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Old 11-06-04, 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by atlantamoi
I feel like I'm the only person who voted for Bush and also voted NO on the gay marriage ban.

Far from it. I voted the same way, and as indicated by the analysis presented by Nate and das, I think it is very safe to assume that many others did as well.
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