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In 2011, PPP asked 11,995 registered voters their opinion on gay marriage on behalf of DailyKos and SEIU. With this many responses, we can answer some questions about where public opinion stood last year, where it might be going, and what the political implications of Obama's announcement yesterday may be—based on data.

Republicans and conservatives have really painted themselves into a corner on marriage equality, as they stand out as the demographic groups in this country that are far off from everybody else and NOT evolving much on this issue. That is, they seem less likely to change in the future—they're stuck being anti-equality—they've made their bed. Meanwhile, Obama's announcement has a limited ability to change people's minds on who to vote for in November (no, not even African-Americans), but may swing a few percent on whether to vote at all. And, there is some evidence that Obama's act of leadership may, well, lead the country towards more liberal positions.  

We'll first look at where the country is a whole and how to read the charts I will present:

Join me below for more explanation.

Above, you see a dot in the center of a triangle that represents the opinions of respondents to the 2011 PPP/DailyKos/SEIU polls. To find out the percent that support gay marriage, follow the blue line up and to the left towards the left axis. To find out the percent who think there should be no legal recognition, go follow the red line down and to the left towards the bottom axis. For the middle positions, go straight right along a grey line to the right axis. This axis is labeled Civil Unions, but also includes those who chose Not Sure as a response, as numbers on this kind of chart must add up to 100 and Not Sure is a "mushy middle" response that fits far better with Civil Unions than pro-marriage or anti-everything.

So, the nation as a whole is split almost equally, one third pro-equality, one third anti-gay, one third for civil unions but not marriage. In the next charts, you will see some demographic groups closer to the ideal liberal position (100 percent gay marriage, in the lower left hand corner) and the ideal conservative position (100 percent no legal recognition, in the lower right hand corner).

Women Are Evolving Faster Than Men.

There's two components to the changes in views on gay marriage over time: individuals changing their minds, and older, less tolerant generations being replaced by younger, more inclusive voters. We can't predict how individuals will change their minds, but we can predict how generational change will play out. Below, we see an example for gender:

As you move from older generations (green) to younger (blue), we're moving towards the lower left corner (along the pink arrow).  That is, there is some movement away from the No Legal Recognition position, but mainly movement from Civil Unions to Marriage. It is important to note that PPP does not call cell phones, and thus the opinions of 18-29 year olds represented here are actually somewhat more conservative than they should be.

This graph also shows that men (triangles) are to the upper right of women (circles) in the same age group. This is especially prominent among those older than 65, where there is almost a 10 point difference in support for No Legal Recognition.

Obama Just Lost Minority Voters!  Panic!

Okay, so nobody has actually said "panic," but the tone of some recent articles about conservative minority voters has me a little peeved. And I'm not alone. First, let's look at views of gay marriage by race:

African-American and Hispanic 18-29 groups are not included because of lack of data. Anybody notice anything? Yeah, that's right: Latino voters are actually a lot more liberal than whites when it comes to gay marriage. And black voters, while a little more conservative, are damn close to whites. All three racial categories have trends towards tolerance with age. So let's lay off the stories implying mass defections of black voters based on two anecdotal interviews with conservative minority voters who say they won't for Obama, now, okay? Thanks.

Now, there is limited potential for people to change their intended votes based on this issue, but it is not huge, and we'll get to it later. Without hyperventilating.

Even Conseratives Aren't So Conservative.

Next up, opinion by ideology.  

Here we see that apart from the oldest, liberals support gay marriage at rates of 65-75 percent. But among conservatives, support for No Legal Recognition tops out at around 55 percent. Even Conservatives aren't uniformly conservative on this issue. Meanwhile, moderates, as usual, look a hell of a lot more like liberals than conservatives. Liberals and moderates also have some fairly strong trends with age (pink arrows again); conservatives, only a weak trend.    

Republicans Have Isolated Themselves

And they only have themselves to blame. Views by party:

Among Democrats and independents, a fairly consistent 25 percent support No Legal Recognition, with generational trends showing opinion changing from Civil Unions to Gay Marriage in both groups. Republicans, meanwhile, are over cowering on the right hand side, 50 percent hateful, watching in fear as the world changes around them, with only a small change with age. As this 50 percent dictates party orthodoxy, the GOP is stuck: They can't change their anti-equality stand, but they can't look like a modern political party that can appeal to the majority of independents either.  

The Importance of Small Donors?

The last graph shows opinion by income group:

Again, we see a familiar pattern with age, but a new pattern with income: Moving from less to more income, No Legal Recognition decreases while Marriage increases. This has some potential implications for the future of small donor grassroots campaigning—those with $100,000 incomes are far more likely to be able to send out $100 checks.  

Impact of Obama's Announcement

I think the general analysis out today is correct, that Obama's announcement won't change many votes. But I actually have some numbers to back that up.

Overall, in 2011, about 7 percent of registered voters would vote for Obama AND do not think gays should have any legal union. However, most of these are very excited supporters. Only about 1-2 percent are "not at all excited" and might be assumed to be ripe for defection. On the flip side, about 6 percent would not vote for Obama AND support gay marriage. And about 1-2 percent are "unexcitedly" not supporting Obama while supporting gay marriage, and potentially might switch to Obama now that he has declared himself. (Keep in mind these numbers are close to the level of error introduced from pranksters, incorrect answers, etc.) In other words, it doesn't look like there's too much potential for Obama's opinion on gay marriage to persuade voters one way or another, and the potential for losses looks about the same as the potential for gain. There's not enough data to separate out numbers by race, but a large number of those who support Obama but not civil unions are indeed minorities.

However, enthusiasm is a different issue. In yesterday's Daily Kos poll, about 10 percent of voters support No Legal Recognition, said they were voting for Romney, but said they were only somewhat excited or not at all excited about voting in November. Making gay marriage an issue may drive formerly unenthusiastic right-wing nutjobs to the polls who otherwise would have sat on their hands. I haven't done a rigorous analysis, but it seems like every anti-gay amendment always does better at the ballot box than polls suggest, showing either people lying to the pollster or turnout being driven to the right or both.

Now, in an email to somebody yesterday, I said I would be worried about this if I were Obama's campaign. But that was before Obama made his announcement. I was completely taken aback by how listening to Obama make one simple statement made me feel, how much it meant despite having no immediate practical effect. Call me a sucker, but apparently I'm not alone from what I've been reading. There is definitely a real motivating effect in support of Obama as well. And, guess what: The numbers balance out again.  About 10 percent of voters in yesterday's poll support Gay Marriage, said they were voting for Obama, but said they were only somewhat excited or not at all excited.  So there's no indication that the political effect of yesterday's announcement favors one side or the other in the November elections.

The President Leads

One last thing to watch: where public opinion goes now. In 2011, the Daily Kos polls showed 33 percent for No Legal Recognition, and 33 percent for Gay Marriage. In yesterday's poll, it was 28 percent for No Legal Recognition, and 37 percent for Gay Marriage. That is a statistically significant difference. But why? Well, something else was different in yesterday's poll too: Before respondents were asked their own opinion on gay marriage, they were asked what they thought Obama's opinion was. Did considering what Obama's opinion was significantly shift responses to a more liberal result? If so, will Obama's pro-marriage announcement shift opinion even more? We will see.

Update: Here's the full crosstabs as requested.  Note that I believe actual support for marriage equality is about 5 points higher among the groups 18-29, Hispanic, and African-American.  That, however, is a subject for one or more later diaries.

Originally posted to Daniel Donner on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Elections and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (139+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homo neurotic, jfromga, KathleenM1, Supavash, bythesea, wu ming, FlyingToaster, jpmassar, sfbob, Scottie Thomaston, GeorgeXVIII, fou, Dave in Northridge, Marcus Graly, Darth Jeff, fladem, cskendrick, bill1410, Scott Wooledge, raines, David Nir, OnlyWords, lilsky, walja, BobBlueMass, TheLizardKing, New Rule, 57andFemale, lordpet8, D Wreck, ParkRanger, MattTX, Frank Palmer, atdnext, distraught, MichaelNY, Daman09, kman23, itskevin, Glenn Magus Harvey, MJB, blueyedace2, Ginny in CO, Liberal Of Limeyland, joedemocrat, TX Freethinker, supercereal, be the change you seek, Satya1, Mac in Maine, Tiger in BlueDenver, ecjade, SeaTurtle, begone, sailmaker, wishingwell, Susan from 29, mrsgoo, ItsSimpleSimon, dharmafarmer, Flying Goat, radarlady, colleen, rchipevans, parker parrot, eeff, MartyM, Mistral Wind, kitebro, Parthenia, foresterbob, annieli, rbird, blueoasis, bnasley, Nimbus, Andrew F Cockburn, LynChi, elziax, My Spin, Byblis, Leftcandid, Witgren, antooo, pico, gizmo59, noddem, Wreck Smurfy, lcrp, Wee Mama, susans, ogre, mwk, CoyoteMarti, Ian S, Judge Moonbox, jck, freelunch, JayC, cacamp, zestyann, Boodaddy, TheCrank, happymisanthropy, Calouste, greycat, allensl, SoCalSal, Yellow Canary, ChicDemago, gmarkc, Tamar, annetteboardman, Danish Brethren, mapman, texaslucy, Railfan, tb92, EricS, BalanceSeeker, Prof Dave, Tennessee Dave, TexasTom, mumtaznepal, monkeybrainpolitics, Gay In Maine, WI Deadhead, Matt Z, Yosef 52, Avilyn, taiping1, reddbierd, wilderness voice, elfling, Mark Noel, marathon, Neon Vincent, kurt, exNYinTX
  •  cool piece of work (8+ / 0-)

    nicely done

    keep your eyes on the sky. put a dollar in the kitty. don't the moon look pretty. --becker&fagen

    by homo neurotic on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:44:30 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this. (4+ / 0-)

    Very educational to see the breakdown by race and age.  
    Here's what's missing -- breakdown by religion.  This is where you see the real source of bigotry.  

  •  great charts, great diary (9+ / 0-)

    I said elsewhere I think that yesterday's interview statements are akin to the race speech,  a personal, heartfelt discussion of what is right, and fair, and how real people are affected.  Clearly much shorter, probably with less overall impact on the election, but a similar moment.   It is Obama's typical style, the divisive issue made human and personal.   It works.   It makes people think and sometimes changes minds.

    It will probably help the younger voters feel they have a personal stake, something that matters to them in this election.  It apparently helps draw the line for women that this is an election about choice.  And it may help cement support from the gay community to give money more actively and to do boots on the ground work.  Based on the reactions I've seen so far,  I think it helps with most of Obama's core supporters and should help counter any enthusiasm that comes from the right on a social issue.

    •  There's another aspect too. (9+ / 0-)

      The media narrative is pretty clear that this act has ambiguous political implications, and as such is being described in laudable terms - doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing.   That is something that many voters can respect even if they don't entirely agree.  There seemed to be a lot of that in 2004, where some voters on the fence went with Bush because at least they were certain that Bush had his convictions and knew how to act on them.  So if that narrative persists, that could be useful for Obama in the end too.  

      What will be quantifiable is watching the numbers who say they are 'very excited' among Romney voters and Obama voters.  That should give us an idea of the direct impact, politically speaking.

      The most important impact may be a more rapid 'evolution' of the political discourse and public opinion, which of course leads to direct effects on the lives of ordinary people - GLBTQ, friends, family, community - every day.

    •  Hi J (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was also reminded of the race speech.  Obama was boxed in by circumstances and needed to either make a decision and confront the issue or be at the complete mercy of an inane corporate press.

      So he decided to tell it like it is....

      I also hope it injects more energy into younger voters.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:27:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i find it fascinating (6+ / 0-)

    that every time someone actually crunches the numbers, the "ONOZ blacks and latinos are social conservatives, are the reson why we lose these hate initiative votes, and the GOP might get them on social issues if we're not careful" narrative invariably ends up contrary to the data.

    don't believe the hype, liberal white dems. any more than you should believe the "poor whites are the most republican group" whassamatta with kansas BS. seek truth from facts.

    •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, MichaelNY

      It is, I think, a rather condescending and paternalistic view of minority politics.  I'm glad to poke it with a stick whenever I can.

      As far as 'poor white are the most republican group' - well, it's pretty close to what the poll says.  For 2011, among all race/income categories, preliminary numbers have white 30-50K as the most Republican, BUT it's really close, close enough to not make much difference.  All stated white income levels have percent Republican between about 39%-43% (again, prelim numbers).

    •  minorities vote much more democratic though (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, TofG

      One thing one should consider though is that minorities as a whole vote much more democratic than whites. So if you'd compare "black democratic voters" and "white democratic voters" you'll probably find out that white democrats are a lot more likely to support gay marriage than black democrats. With hispanic democrats likely to be slightly more conservative on this issue than white democrats.
      So while I don't want to imply that minority voters will not vote democratic because of this issue, one has to take into account that they as a whole vote a lot more reliably democratic than whites.

    •  I don't think that is quite right. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tennessee Dave, MichaelNY

      Southern Baptist AA's are very socially conservative.

      Generally they, like their white, religious counterparts in the South, are against abortion and gay marriage and are also against sex education in schools.  

      I'm not convinced that "the facts" of this poll - which did not poll religion and has not broken the numbers down by region - shows anything other than what I experience on a daily basis living and working in the South: AA's who vote Democratic but would be extremely comfortably voting Republican if that party ever came clean on race and its historically and morally bankrupt position on race.  Thankfully the Republican party appears incapable of viewing its own history and evolution through a critical lense.

      "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

      by Pierro Sraffa on Sat May 12, 2012 at 07:18:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OMG, these charts remind me of chemistry class... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, atdnext, MichaelNY, blueyedace2

    glad to see this method used in polling and policy. It's good to see the data backups my gut feeling on how this would play out-- exciting some on both sides of the issue for it to be a wash overall in November. I do like that this will juice up our base and bring in a few more dollars. I donated what little I could last night. Regardless of how this plays out, it was the right thing for the President to do, IMHO.

  •  Great analysis. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, MichaelNY, blueyedace2

    Do you have links to all all the polls you used for 2011?

    Did you consider using the four (?) polls for 2012 and the eight most recent for 2011?

    It will be very interesting to see the change, if any, in the data post-Obama-anouncement vs. pre-Obama-announcement.  You'd probably be able to do a statistical analysis using six months of post-announcement data, through October (assuming they keep polling the question monthly), just before the election.

  •  I would like to see one of these triangles (5+ / 0-)

    with the data aggregated instead of separated out by age.

    In other words, where are the data points located for All Dems vs All Independents vs All R's?

    Where are the data points located for All AA's, All Whites, All others?

  •  I appreciate the hard data. (8+ / 0-)

    I suspect what Joe Sudbay has referred to as "Political homophobia" will cause many people to dismiss your work.

    I admit to being rather shocked to see African American Rolling Stone writer Touré, an outspoken supporter of the LGBT community, arguing on MSNBC last night that significant numbers of African American voters will abandon Obama over this. This doesn't seem comprehensible to me.

    I really can't imagine it resulting in more than a little statistical noise from AA voters, when faced with the first African American President being a one-term president and conceding to Mitt Romney. That would be a ridiculous choice for those voters to make.

    "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."—Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Scott Wooledge on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:24:10 AM PDT

    •  I'm assuming it won't make a huge difference. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, New Rule, MichaelNY

      Something like 70% of African Americans are Very Excited about the 2012 elections.  This is huge - more excited than any other demographic, typically.  I don't imagine people people who are Very Excited are going to abandon their candidate over this.  That is my assumption.  I could be wrong.  I could easily imagine somebody who is Not Excited abandoning their candidate, and that's the 1-2% I wrote about.

      That is an interesting article you link to.  Thanks.  So far nobody here seems to be dismissing this.  And, we will have more data in the next month or so on the political fallout, and then I will follow up and crow or eat crow as the case may be.

      •  I just read an article in my local paper that is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        not online ( not all articles available online unfortunately) where they interviewed African Americans in a Barber Shop. Many of them did not believe in marriage equality but they said it will not change their vote. In fact, the owner has Obama 2012 signs all over the Barbershop.

        He said he thinks the President just said this to get elected and that is fine with him.  Others say it does not matter to them what he said about this issue, they still have his back.  

        But the overall impression that the reporter got was that African Americans said they may not disagree with everything the President does but they are going to vote and get others to the polls and work hard to get him another term.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:01:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sudbay sure hit that nail, especially (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, Tiger in BlueDenver

      Rahmster. As sorry as I am for Chicago, I routinely chalk some of the improvements in Obama's actions and words to not having the guy cursing in his ears all the time.

      The phobia is a key. GOP pols and advisers are into creating fear over nothing. The Dems have many years of losing to the GOP over issues that were mischaracterized, blown out of proportion, etc. We've done a lot of stupid  stuff trying to keep the 1% and their faithful followers happy enough we haven't been wiped out of American politics.

      The whole difference with the LGBT fight eventually winning from elimination by aging/dying of the homophobic generations was and is still hard for many to grasp.

      As painfully slow as it has been for them, those of us watching what goes on now to keep as many AA as possible from getting a decent opportunity at life, by   the 1% creating obstacles specifically to thwart them, are getting to some really cold fury. Ultimately, what is done to one group successfully, lays the precedent for similar stuff to be created for other groups. As much as we have tried to keep reducing the AA discrimination, the shit still comes down the chute.

      I think a lot of Americans are starting to get fed up with how many ways the inequalities are maintained, exacerbated and contribute to the sense of failure we should not have. I am thinking the only way we are really going to get anywhere with prejudice and discrimination is to band together very tightly.

      While a very small percent of AAs may have a problem with Obama's position, losing his second term would be much worse. I haven't heard as much lately as when he was first inaugurated about AA kids having a role model they respected and liked enough to do some of the tough things he challenged them on (study, be active, eat healthy). I doubt from the pictures I see of him with kids that it has changed much. Those kids are not going to accept the older generations hangup with homosexuality any more than Sasha and Malia do.

      We need to be sure the Dem pols and advisers are getting the message that we are not afraid of the political consequences of them doing the right stuff. The consequences if they don't will be worse, including getting voted out the next election - by Dems.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Thu May 10, 2012 at 06:28:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  my wild-assed hunch (0+ / 0-)

      is that the effect that obama, the democratic party, and the black ministers who made those amazing videos against amendment one in NC will have in explaining why they support marriage equality could end up convincing a lot of black voters to change their mind about the issue. the electorate does not have static opinions on these sorts of things, and obama is a hell of a persuader when he chooses to engage an issue.

  •  So the rate of change is accelerating? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, atdnext, wu ming

    If so, that's probably the most important finding in your diary. Also, about "Hispanic" -- my guess is that Puerto Ricans are way ahead of "whites" in your sample, Mexicans ahead but by a lesser margin, and Cubans even.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:26:24 AM PDT

    •  The data isn't broken down into (3+ / 0-)

      subsets of Hispanics, so there's no way to know.

      •  just guessing here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, atdnext, wu ming

        I worked in Spanish-language advertising for a couple of years, and the problem the industry had with "Hispanic" is that it masked vast cultural differences within the category, the same way "Asian" does.

        -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

        by Dave in Northridge on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:36:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          there appear to be major differences between Latino Catholics (more supportive than average) and Latino Protestants (less supportive than average). A few years ago there was a poll (I can't remember the exact details) that asked Latinos where they would turn if they had questions about how gay people lived. The Protestants mostly said "my pastor" but the Catholics mostly said "parents with gay kids".

          If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

          by ebohlman on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:21:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There was a brief period (3+ / 0-)

      during which I spent double-digit hours daily playing with the GSS, and it's my recollection that on most social issues (e.g., abortion, premarital sex, availability of birth control, and homosexual sexual relations [not my phrasing, but, instead, that of the survey, of the question that, IIRC, comes closest to the instant issue]), of those who identified as "Hispanic", those of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent were, on the whole, well more liberal than those of Mexican, Salvadorian, and Guatemalan descent.  One may posit various explanations, and in fact there exist, I know, far better analyses, both of the data and the reasons for them, than one that one forms on casual examination of GSS results, but it is something.

      (There is only so much research one can do when his dominant hand is rendered useless by his cat, who finds it to offer a perfect gap between the latter's body and the warm laptop and so sits entirely atop it.)

      Hardcore anarcho-capitalist (PC: 9.00, -7.59, PM: 8.65, -9.48), hardcore Democrat. Russ Feingold devote(e).

      by Jahiegel on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:05:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great as always (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    though I wonder if polling on homosexuality is as good as people vote.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:33:16 AM PDT

    •  I wonder too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fladem, MichaelNY

      But I think it helps to have four options, with varying degrees of support.  I don't know though.

      Nice to 'see' you here again!  (Nice to be back, I suppose I should say.)

    •  To me, it's a double-edged sword to Republicans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not only are they out of step with Americans or where Americans are moving, but it's also something you know Republicans want to use as a wedge issue -- the Sanctity of Marriage or the Biblical idea of marriage.

      But whoops! We've got the Mormon candidate, and to most people, but especially the Religious Right, they've got really odd ideas of marriage.

      Pleural marriage? Huh?

      That's really out of step with most people's idea of Biblical marriage or the Sanctity of Marriage.

      Not that Republicans seem to have realized this. They seem to be going with the playbook as usual and going nuts about gay marriage. If they were smart, I'd think the wouldn't want anyone looking hard at their candidate and his religion's idea of marriage.

      •  Pleural? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ogre, MichaelNY

        I know lots of conservatives think marriage is really the union of genitals, but the idea of marriage being the union of membranes lining the lungs is new to me.

        If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

        by ebohlman on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:23:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am actually very, very confident (6+ / 0-)

    that Axelrod, Messina, Beneson, and the whole Obama team crunched all the numbers 10 ways until Sunday and felt confident they could still win before making this announcement.

    Anyone who thinks they didn't, must think the Obama campaign is stupid, incompetent and/or uninterested in winning.

    I don't think any of those things about the Obama campaign team. I think they're pretty damn smart at campaigning, and not at all incompetent and very hungry for victory.

    "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."—Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Scott Wooledge on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:41:25 AM PDT

    •  I generally agree with you, Scott, but as we ALL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alibguy, MichaelNY

      know, propaganda does strange things.  CA's prop 8 is just one example.

      I am not one that believes all people base their thinking/votes on logic. If I were wrong, we'd have a lot more dems in Congress and pretty consistent dems in the big chair.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:08:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, wu ming

        but also think the Obama campaign is capable of making their own "propaganda" on this issue, and they're off to a good start, imo.

        "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."—Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Scott Wooledge on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:12:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, one thing I feel confident about is that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          his campaign managers are very smart and they know what they are doing.  I have done a helluva lot of GOTV in 36 yrs and I have been very involved in volunteering every year for this time period.  Never have I seen a more organized, detailed oriented, amazingly broad outreach and ground game than I see with this campaign.

          I even got a call before and after I voted in the PA Primary to see how I did and if I noticed any problems with the Voter ID needed.  They said they were calling Democrats in States with Photo ID new laws to see if they are experiencing any problems or need any help in obtaining the needed ID to vote.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:04:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  i suspect that they're expecting for this to help (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, TofG

      them win, electorally, and i would be willing to bet that the decision to run that particular strategy was backed by clear polling data. obama is a cautious and data-driven campaigner, and smart enough to make it look spontaneous and bold even when he's riding a wave already cresting.

  •  I think there are a lot of factors that are non- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, atdnext, MichaelNY

    political involved in how people vote on the issue and believe on the issue.

    I live in a really small community in Orange County, CA. The overwhelming number of dems here is much smaller than GOP voters.

    Yet, we were only one of two precincts in the entire county (Laguna Beach was another) that voted overwhelmingly against Prop 8.  I was very proud.

    WHY did this happen? My theory is that that because we are small, we all know lgbt people well in the community and don't even relate to these friends on the basis of their gender identity or anything else related.  We know and love them because of WHO they are.  

    THAT is not a fine distinction rather one that is not based on fear or religious morality or bigotry.  It is a fair judgement of people as people.

    It's MUCH harder to do in communities where people don't know each other and don't have long term relationships with people different from themselves.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:06:53 AM PDT

    •  I'm originally from Orange County... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, cany, wu ming

      And I was here to deal with the Prop H8 aftermath.

      Let me tell you this. Obama got just over 47%, and No on 8 got just over 42%. There was only a 5% drop countywide. And in a big shock to all of us crunching the numbers, both Obama AND No on 8 ended up winning Aliso Viejo, Irvine, and Costa Mesa in addition to Laguna Beach. Costa Mesa has a sizable Latino community, and Irvine has large Asian-American communities. And somehow, Prop 8 lost in both those cities.

      So there's far more hope than you think. And I honestly think that with the improved minority to minority outreach that's been happening since 2009, we'll see improvement in Santa Ana & Anaheim.

      •  that's interesting! so there were more than two (0+ / 0-)

        precints!  excellent.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:53:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in Long Beach (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        where Prop 8 failed 52.45%-47.55%. Long Beach has a fairly large gay population, which also means that a lot of people are acquainted with folks they know are gay.

        Long Beach voted for Obama 111,326 and McCain 45,570; Los Angeles County went for Obama by 69.2%.

        We're staying here.

  •  "Blacks" Will Not Abandon The Democratic Party (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Rule, atdnext, MichaelNY

    as long as the RepubliKlan Party continues to be the Party of Bigotry - as it has been ever since 1968 when "Whites" abandoned the Democratic Party in the wake of the Civil/Voting Rights Acts of 1964,5

    No African-American politician has ever been voted out of office by African-Americans over their support of marriage equality. When one is a member of a minority group, one cannot afford to assume absolutist positions as members of the priviledged majority can. Very few "Blacks" talk about "hurting the party by not voting" as many "Whites" do. Because minorities know something that majorities seem to miss; you'll end up hurting yourself way more than you'll hurt "the party" by not voting.

    For those who still don't get this simple truth, see Wisconsin, 2010-2012...

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:16:48 AM PDT

  •  Tipped, Recc'd for analysis and graphics ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alibguy, atdnext, MichaelNY

    "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

    by New Rule on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:49:24 AM PDT

  •  these jackasses were going to vote anyway. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The notion that Republicans would sit on their hands in this election has always been ridiculous.  They are ALWAYS motivated by hate, and they hate PBO more than they've ever hated anyone (the Clintons are a close second).  They were always going to vote.  They always do.  If the left would only vote as reliably, we wouldn't be in this mess.  

    Your numbers quelled my fears some, so thank you.  

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      You can find some pretty stunning examples of hatred for Mormons among evangelical christians too.  Which hatred would motivate their political behavior more?  Now, I wouldn't be surprised if Romney picks an evangelical VP for just that reason.  That being said, only a small fraction of Republicans was registering a lack of enthusiasm; the vast majority  have already swallowed their dislike of Romny and will move on, lemming-like, as usual.

  •  Great analysis. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, wu ming

    I would make one different interpretation, however, on your Party-ID chart. Yes, at first glance, it appears that Independents are much closer to Democrats on this issue than they are to Republicans.

    But if you look closely, it becomes more complicated. Among the youngest group, Independents are extremely close to Democrats on gay marriage (while Republicans are still quite further toward the conservative end). Among the other three age groups, however, Independents are nearly equidistant from Republicans and Democrats.

    I would hypothesize that young liberals' aggravating tendency to prefer not to identify with either party (rather than calling themselves Democrats) is causing the "Independent" block to appear disproportionately more liberal than it does in other age groups. So the "true" nature of Independents may be more evident in the other age groups, where they seem to be closer to half-way between D and R.

    But in my opinion, political Independents are a poorly-defined subgroup to begin with, and one is far better off using voter ideologies than party identifications for analysis.

  •  Thanks for posting this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And thanks for drilling into these poll numbers to show that support for marriage equality is no longer the "electoral liability" nationwide that it would have been a decade ago.

  •  Well, I see that House Republicans are doubling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    down against marriage equality.
    Thom Hartmann:

    On the same day that President Obama and the nation took a major step forward toward marriage equality – Republicans in the House of Representatives tried to drag the nation backward.  Hours after the President’s endorsement of marriage equality – House Republicans passed a measure in support of the discriminatory Defense Against Marriage Act – known as DOMA – which is a federal ban against same-sex marriage.  
  •  Excellent work, thank you n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Thanks for the post. It gives me hope that Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will not be punished electorally for doing the right thing. Before his announcement I was worried that if he came out with his more evolved position before the election it might cost him votes. Now, maybe not so much!
    I think what the President did was courageous and so helpful to those struggling in the gay community. Most of the time the best time to do the right thing is right now and based on this, he is likely to be rewarded instead of punished.

  •  As for the minority vote, particularly... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, MichaelNY

    ....the black vote: it's probably not going to change. An anecdote, but a good one. I have a friend who is black and while he's not homophobic, has a family that's deeply homophobic. And he said of his family that Obama being Obama definitely trumped whatever his views are on gay marriage. "Hell, Obama could come out as gay and they'd still vote for him."

    •  Interesting anecdote. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've seen similar stories fairly frequently, and it is consistent with the very high enthusiasm level of African American voters.  In the numbers, it's also noticeable that there's a pretty high number of Black voters choosing 'Not Sure' (7%) which indicates to me a period of rapid change of opinion.  We wills see.

  •  I picture a special speech by Pres. if necessary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I watched his interview very closely. He was very firm in his support, explained his thinking process,  but was still respectful of people who disagree because of religious convictions.

    What amazes me is how he advocates for an idea in a beautiful, positive way. He makes it about values, empathy, and CARING for others. He is always trying to persuade without  demonizing opponents.

    If he loses too many votes because of this, and most of all, if republicans get traction with a constitutional amendment, I'm pretty sure he will do something spectacular like a speech on the separation of church and state. A speech like only he is capable of. Full of wisdom, expressing empathy for others, etc... A speech on respect and healing, instead of condemnation and divide.

    And he will turn the tables.

    •  I was thinking of that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I wondered if he had originally planned a big, surprise speech for the announcement, but then leaked sources today said he was planning to announce as early as next week, in an interview setting.  I still hope he addresses it in a speech later, because after all he can still give a powerful and uniting speech.

  •  Terrific analysis even though when I first... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, supercereal

    ...saw those new-to-me type of graphs, a part of my brain said go-read-something-else. You made everything clear.

    Best of all, the outcome anticipated by these data is a good one. Thanks.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:42:51 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, I'm glad you stuck with it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      The alternatives I considered would be to 1) ignore the Civil Unions option or 2) lump Civil Unions and Gay Marriage together, either of which throws away a lot of useful data.  It looks like the option I chose worked, thankfully.  After all, this site is full of liberals - liberals like to be exposed to new things and challenge themselves, right?

      •  This diary actually taught me how to (0+ / 0-)

        read triangle diagrams correctly: I've long known what they mean conceptually, but struggled with actually extracting meaning from looking at one. But seeing a whole bunch of (and I think this is the key) related ones helped me figure out the pattern.

        Next stop: understanding biplots.

        If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

        by ebohlman on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:53:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This Seems Very Good for Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, TofG
    about 6 percent would not vote for Obama AND support gay marriage. And about 1-2 percent are "unexcitedly" not supporting Obama while supporting gay marriage, and potentially might switch to Obama now that he has declared himself.
    In other words, it doesn't look like there's too much potential for Obama's opinion on gay marriage to persuade voters one way or another, and the potential for losses looks about the same as the potential for gain.

    My own feeling is that very few people were turning out to vote for Obama in November who won't now because they oppose gay marriage. Numbers are of course better, but I don't see your numbers showing the potential for losses.

    But the 6% who wouldn't vote for Obama, but do support gay marriage, are an interesting group. That's 1 in 15 voters. It seems that many of them were against (or not for) Obama precisely because he didn't support gay marriage. Otherwise, what kind of person supports gay marriage but isn't an Obama supporter? Such a strong, dramatic statement from Obama is going to motivate a lot of that 6%. That's a lot of people switched towards "Yes", on just one issue.

    If Obama's (and Biden's) statement gets just an extra 2 points of voters, that's a tremendous step from a very narrow action. It would be almost 1/3 of Obama's historically large margin over McCain in 2008.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri May 11, 2012 at 04:58:09 AM PDT

    •  People who support gay marriage but not BHO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it's somewhat rare, but it does happen. Obama ran behind No on 8 in some Orange County, California areas. Some rich areas in Charlotte, NC voted for McCain and No on 1 (admittedly, voting No on 1 isn't limited to gay marriage supporters).

      22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Japan in July, hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Fri May 11, 2012 at 06:32:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Darth Cheney and Laura Bush come to mind (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as two high profile examples of supporters of marriage equality but never support Democrats.

        There are the Log Cabin Republicans for another prime example.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:08:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That might be Log Cabin Republicans plus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      socially liberal Republicans. I know a few of them.

      This one guy we know is very socially liberal. But he is one big Neo Con pro war, anti tax, teabagger on everything else.

      There are those who are socially liberal but on everything else, they are nearly baggers.....loving themselves some Paul Ryan budget, always hollering about entitlement and taxes but when the topic turns to abortion or marriage equality, they think abortion should be legal with fewer restrictions and marriage equality should be the law of the land.  

      But trust me, we know some of these folks as they agree with us on these social issues but nothing else.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:12:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Outstanding work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you so much!  This is what makes Dkos stand out.  I'll be looking forward to seeing future diaries on how this plays out in terms of infusing energy into young voters and pro gay marriage voters in general.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:31:07 AM PDT

  •  one line sums up the republican problem with women (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Women Are Evolving Faster Than Men.
    or, I wish I could get the knuckle bandaid concession for the republican men.

  •  Suggestion for charts in the future (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The charts with multiple non-clustered data series are very hard to read.  In the future, suggest using shape for age, color for the other demographic group.  That way, the trend people are looking at is easier to follow (Color recognition requires less effort than shape).  A line between them of that same color may also help.  Alternatively, using 3 separate smaller graphs may work as well.

    Find it interesting that in the 18-29 group, there's much less of a split based on gender, than in the older demographics.  Wonder if there's a reason for it.  The trends do look very promising, though I'm disappointed that in no group did a majority (As opposed to a plurality) favor marriage equality.  Trends look significant enough that it looks like that'll change in just a couple years, though, which is phenomenal.

    •  Unfortunately it is very difficult to show (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Flying Goat

      all of the data with only a two dimensional representation and dealing with more than three dimensions is beyond most people.  Go ahead, just try to solve a 5d Rubik's Cube.

      There is no saving throw against stupid.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sat May 12, 2012 at 05:37:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're absolutely correct. (0+ / 0-)

        And I'm not going after anyone for the graphs being hard-to-read.  I'm just giving some ideas on how to make hard to read graphs more readable.  There's always tradeoffs.

        Separate graphs would make it harder to compare the clusters directly.

        Switching colors/shapes would make it harder to compare different ages...In theory.  However, since there's a more recognizeable trend there, think it would actually make things easier.  Another alternative would be to use lighter/darker shades of the same color.

        Regardless, as things are, I find it takes a lot of effort to read the graphs.  Have to keep on looking up "Is red younger than yellow?  What does a triangle mean?"  Just doesn't work for me, as-is, and I thought I'd throw out some suggestions that may, or may not, be useful in the future.  

    •  This was based on a poll done last year (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Flying Goat, MichaelNY

      when marriage equality was just barely starting to show majority support. The general thinking is that up to 2010 or so, support for marriage equality was increasing by 1% (meaning one percentage point here) per year but subsequently it's been increasing by 5% (again, actually percentage points) per year.

      Little bit of pedagogy which some people might consider pedantry: If say, support for marriage equality in 2010 was 33%, then a true 1% increase would only take it to 33.33% in 2011, whereas a one percentage-point increase would take it to 34%. Similarly, if something starts out at 50% and jumps to 75%, that's actually an increase of 50%, but only 25 percentage points.

      If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

      by ebohlman on Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:01:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      I always appreciate feedback like this.  Because of the timeliness of the topic, I wrote this diary in a hurry and I could have done a better job with it I think.  I followed your suggestions for my new diary today.  I think it is a nice improvement.  

      As far as a majority favoring marriage equality, you can find it in today's diary in the states of VT and MA!

  •  This backs up what I've been saying (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman, Chitown Kev

    (despite arguments from some): The political calculus finally (to paraphrase FDR) "made him do it."

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat May 12, 2012 at 04:45:15 PM PDT

  •  This is shaping up to be just like 1992 (3+ / 0-)

    Back then the GOP platform was "all family values, all the time!" and the convention reflected that.  Remember when Bush Sr. said "We need families that are more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons!"?

    My hope is that come the GOP convention, the Tea Party crowd (understandably hopped up over the defeat of Richard Lugar in the IN primary) will turn the convention into such a god-and-mother family values event that the independent swing voters will say, "I think I'll go with the calm black guy."

  •  thanks! Tremendous job. (0+ / 0-)

    The chart is an excellent tracking tool that I would like to see used more.

  •  Obama's playing his current political hand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    shrewdly. He knows he'll either win or lose this election on the economic issues, not conservative social issues.

    If the economy continues to improve, he'll win, even with the votes of people who don't agree with him on same-sex marriage. However, coming out (yea, I know) for marriage equality motivates his base, which can't be a bad thing.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

    by Kimball Cross on Sun May 13, 2012 at 04:42:18 AM PDT

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