GAY MARRIAGE MYTH... DRIVING FORCES OF THE ELECTION VOTE
Paul Freedman over at Slate writes how the gay marriage issue winning the election is a myth. It has been overplayed in the media and by Dems since the election. I'm sure it was driving force, but maybe not "the" force in the election:
Did "moral values"—in particular, the anti-gay marriage measures on ballots in 11 states this week—drive President Bush's re-election? That's the early conventional wisdom as Democrats begin soul-searching and finger-pointing. These measures are alleged to have drawn Christian conservatives to the polls, many of whom failed to vote last time. The theory is intriguing, but the data don't support it. Gay marriage and values didn't decide this election. Terrorism did.
The morality theory rests on three claims. The first is that gay-marriage bans led to higher turnout, chiefly among Christian conservatives. The second is that Bush performed especially well where gay marriage was on the ballot. The third is that in general, moral issues decided the election.
The evidence that having a gay-marriage ban on the ballot increased voter turnout is spotty. Marriage-ban states did see higher turnout than states without such measures. They also saw higher increases in turnout compared with four years ago. But these differences are relatively small. Based on preliminary turnout estimates, 59.5 percent of the eligible voting population turned out in marriage-ban states, whereas 59.1 percent turned out elsewhere. This is a microscopic gap when compared to other factors. For example, turnout in battleground states was more than 7.5 points higher than it was in less-competitive states, and it increased much more over 2000 as well. (full article)