North Carolina: Whistling Past the Gay Marriage Graveyard

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 1 2012 5:24 PM

North Carolina: Whistling Past the Gay Marriage Graveyard

The new Public Policy Polling survey of North Carolina finds a 55-41 lead for Amendment One, the state initiative that would ban any form of eternal togetherness that's not traditional marriage. (Sorry, domestic partners.) Greg Sargent argues that the anti-Amendment forces might pull this off anyway.

One other data point: Turnout in early voting is absolutely off the charts. The group Carolina Transparency tallies that as of yesterday, over 211,000 people have already voted in the primary. Kennedy says that means voting right now is on track to exceed the 2008 primary between Hillary and Obama, even though there’s no presidential election, says Jeremy Kennedy, a spokesperson for the anti-amendment forces.
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Not bad for the Democrats, certainly. They represent slightly more than half of all ballot requests and slightly more than half of all returned ballots. But according to PPP only 54 percent of Democrats oppose Amendment One. Only 43 percent of black voters oppose it. The end of the GOP presidential primary has made it easier for liberals to get to 50.1 percent against the amendment, sure. But if you apply the poll preferences to turnout so far, you still watch the Amendment pass. The liberal's best hope, as Sargent points out, is that voters learn the side effects of the ban and turn against it, like they did with Mississippi's personhood initiative. But is a state with a sizable black electorate really the place to expect this?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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