Sunday, October 30, 2005

Maine Mostly OK

A week and change before the anti-gay showdown in Maine, it still looks like our potato buddies have gotten their commonsense and compassion together. After rejecting gay-rights legislation several times in the recent past, they look (56% to 42%) likely to uphold the legislated legal protections on November 8th.

Turnout is still key, of course. If every homophobe old enough to vote shows and all the Unitarians and their ilk sit with their New York Timeses and lattes, the vote could flip. However, the spiteful and dishonest campaign against basic sexual-orientation in housing, lending, employment and public accommodation seems to have overplayed. Most Mainers seem to know hate and spite when they see it now.

In that survey of 607 likely voters from 1,800 adults, SurveyUSA reports that only 2% were undecided. Among their findings were:
  • Men — slightly anti-rights (51%); Women — very pro rights (64%)
  • Older meant more pro rights (18-34 were 53% for; 35-45 were 47%; 50-64 were 62%; 65 and up were 63%)
  • Republicans were Stone Age (68% against rights); Democrat were very pro (78%); Independents were solidly pro (61%)
  • More education mean more pro rights (no college, 44%; some college, 51%; degree, 59%; grad degree, 70%)
  • Urban/suburban/rural had little difference, pro by 59%/59%/53%
Other predictable self-reporting was the more liberal the voters, the more pro and the more frequently they attended churches the more anti.

You can find a visual of the total on Believe in Maine, replete with Old Glory colors, here.

So, in the main in Maine, if there were surprises, they were in the increased pro votes as people aged. Although, you have to wonder what the later Baby Boomers are thinking in leaning slightly anti. Also, the stereotype would be that the rural, basically upstaters would be much more conservative. The numbers don't show that.

It looks like the Dark Side will lose this one at the ballot after losing it in the legislature. They can't move to Canada with its charter of rights nor to Massachusetts where same-sex marriage is legal. Maybe they can get up a wagon train for some Plains state.

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