Answering the Questions, NOM Marriage News


NOM National Newsletter

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The results of the 2012 Election were extremely disappointing on many levels, not least because of the voter approval of same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington, and the voter rejection of a proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Going into Election Day, the polls showed our side surging, and we hoped to pull out victories in all these states. Regrettably, this did not materialize. While each of these races were close, they all went against us.

The election results naturally beg several questions that I would like to address:

  1. Is supporting true, natural marriage a winning issue?

  2. Do the results signal a change in the mood of the country on same-sex marriage?

  3. What is required to regain victory?

Is Marriage a Winning Issue?

The narrow losses that marriage endured occurred in deeply blue, very liberal states. Imagine if we had contested marriage in four deeply red, conservative states and had won narrowly. Would advocates of same-sex marriage be told to abandon the battle because they lost in those states? Of course not, and neither should our side entertain such suggestions. These were difficult states in which to fight. We were badly outspent. And yet we very nearly won in all four states.

To understand if marriage is a winning issue, let’s compare how we performed compared to the Republican ticket in these four states:

  • In Maine, our campaign captured 47.4% of the vote, while Governor Romney received 41.2%. We lost by 36,000 votes out of over 700,000 votes that were cast. If 18,000 people had voted differently, we would have won.

  • In Minnesota, our campaign got 48.1% of the vote while Governor Romney received 45.0%. We lost by 106,000 votes out of 2.9 million cast.

  • In Maryland, our campaign captured 48.1% of the vote while Governor Romney captured 36.4%. We lost by 94,000 votes out of more than 2.4 million cast.

  • The ballots are still being counted in Washington state (which is an all-mail ballot state) but we presently have 48.0% of the vote. Governor Romney received 42.7% of the vote. We trail by 83,000 votes out of the more than 2.1 million counted thus far.

On average, marriage out-polled the Republican ticket by 6.6%. Based on the popular vote in the presidential contest, had this been a national election on marriage we would have won such an election with 55% of the vote.

Not only is supporting true marriage a winning issue nationally, but a strong case can be made that candidates who embrace same-sex marriage are vulnerable to defeat. This is evidenced in the New York state senate elections. In 2011, seven state Senators changed their votes and abandoned their constituents to vote in favor of gay marriage.

Five of those Senators are no longer in office due in large part to election efforts mounted by NOM. We replaced the disgraced Carl Kruger (removed from office in a corruption scandal) with a pro-marriage candidate. We forced Senator James Alesi to retire, and helped elect a pro-marriage replacement. We defeated Democratic Senator Shirley Huntley and elected a pro-marriage replacement. We defeated Senator Roy McDonald and elected a pro-marriage replacement, Kathy Marchione. And we defeated thirty-year incumbent Senator Stephen Saland, an accomplishment the political class felt was impossible.

In their "winners and losers" issue, Crains NY said:

The historic 2011 legalization of gay marriage in New York ended up having major consequences for three of the four state Senate Republicans who crossed the aisle and backed the bill. One retired under major political pressure (James Alesi), one lost in a primary (Roy McDonald) and one appears to have lost in the general election (Stephen Saland). More broadly, the GOP allowed a vote on the bill, but could potentially lose its majority because of the loss of two of those seats to Democrats. Gay marriage is on the books to stay here in New York, and several states passed referendums Tuesday approving same-sex weddings. But what kind of precedent does New York’s local election set for other legislatures wrestling with the issue?

Do the results signal a change in the mood of the country on same-sex marriage?
In a word, no.

As shown above, the evidence suggests that had marriage been on the ballot nationally, it would have captured 55% of the popular vote, 6.6% more than the Republican ticket captured.

Moreover, a national post-election survey conducted on election day by Kellyanne Conway’s respected firm "the polling company, inc." showed that 60% of American voters agree that "marriage is between one man and one woman," while only 34% disagree. This finding is consistent with a national voter survey conducted by ‘the polling company, inc.’ in September 2012 that found that 57% of Americans support "defining marriage only as a union of one man and one woman," while just 37% oppose such a definition of marriage.

This polling data, including data captured from actual voters on Election Day itself, shows that there has been no drop in support for true marriage among voters. The results of the marriage election in these four states are reflective of the very difficult political environment in those particular states and do not portend any shift in national public opinion.

What is Required to Regain Victory?

In a word, money. Despite the fact that NOM very significantly out-performed commitments, contributing $5.5 million to the state campaigns, each of the state marriage campaigns was significantly outspent by their opponents.

While final campaign fundraising reports have not yet been filed, we were outspent by over three-to-one thus far, and by nearly five-to-one in Washington:

  • We were outspent by $6.6 million in Minnesota ($11.2 million to $4.6 million)

  • We were outspent by over $3.6 million in Maine ($5.0 million to $1.4 million)

  • We were outspent by $2.8 million in Maryland ($4.5 million to $1.7 million)

  • We were outspent by over $9.5 million in Washington ($12.2 million to $2.7 million)

When Frank Schubert put the campaign budgets together, he said we needed a minimum of $20 million to win. Unfortunately, campaign reports filed to date show we raised only half of that amount—$10,330,474—and we narrowly lost. The most recent campaign reports show that our opponents raised $33,006,904 and prevailed.

If marriage is worth defending, then people of faith are going to need to step up and help fund the cause. This year, in these states, it was those who wish to impose genderless marriage on America who stepped up, and they won four narrow victories.

The results of this election show that we cannot spot our opponents a $20 million advantage in very liberal states and pull out a victory, though we nearly did so.

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