As New Polls Indicate Marriage Battle in Maine is ‘Very Close Race’, NOM Pumps $250K In

Two new polls show the race for marriage equality in Maine is tightening, the Press Herald reports:

MEPublic Policy Polling released results Thursday that show 52 percent of likely voters support the proposal, 44 percent oppose it and 4 percent are undecided. Also Thursday, the Maine People's Resource Center released a poll that shows 53 percent support, 43 percent oppose and 4 percent are undecided on Question 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

"Our experience in polling gay marriage is that if people say they're undecided, it usually means they're opposed to it," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, in a prepared statement. "Despite the 8-point lead for passage, this should be seen as a very close race."

Jim Melcher, a political science professor at the University of Maine at Farmington, agreed with Debnam.

"There's a lot of 'I'm kind of for it but I'm a little uneasy too,'" he said.

SchubertThe National Organization for Marriage smells blood, the AP reports:

The Washington, D.C.-based group transferred $250,000 Thursday to the Protect Marriage Maine political action committee, which is spearheading the campaign against the ballot initiative, said campaign manager Frank Schubert (pictured).

Schubert said the Maine election has national implications because the state could become the first where same-sex marriage is legalized in a popular vote.

"It is a critical race for the survival of the institution of marriage in this country," Schubert said. "It's a race that the entire nation is looking at and will have an impact far beyond the borders of Maine."…

…Opponents in Maine thus far have raised only $100,000 to $200,000, Schubert said, while same-sex marriage supporters have said they expect to raise and spend $5 million or more.

Make a contribution to Mainers United for Marriage if you are interested, HERE.


  1. kp05 says

    I don’t think people really understand how amazing it would be if gay marriage actually won by popular vote.

    The opponents of equality love to bring out their “30-something states out of 30-something states have voted to ban it” talking point, but that shouldn’t be the rock-solid defense they’re propping it up as.

    Fact is, fear is the biggest motivator for votes, ESPECIALLY with the less educated. The post-Prop 8 study conducted by the University of Florida confirmed that education, NOT race, was the best indicator of one’s vote for or against it. The more educated one was, the less likely they supported Prop 8. When we have 1. fear, 2. ignorance, and 3. a very small minority’s rights at stake, it’s recipe for disaster. The fact that we don’t lose 80-20 should be extremely telling.

    I’m really hoping for good things in Maine, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota, but it’s no cakewalk anywhere, regardless of the money we’re poured in.

    The real victory comes when we stop letting people who PROFIT off society’s fears to dictate whose rights we vote on. If gay-hating weren’t a multi-million dollar industry, we would have had equality long ago.

  2. says

    In 2009, the anti-SSM folks hired Marc Mutty, a local guy to run the campaign but it turned out that the whole shebang was run from behind the scenes by Frank Schubert. This info wasn’t widely known until Question One: The Movie was screened here in Maine last year. This time, they’re not even pretending. Frank Schubert is being called the campaign manager and is running the whole show. I hope that my fellow Maine voters realize this is not a home-grown effort–it’s a campaign based on hate and lies that are being peddled to us by people “from away.” Mainers hate things “from away”–let’s hope that everyone’s eyes are opened to the truth this time around and same-sex marriage becomes the law of the state in November.

  3. Francis says

    Very true about fear being the deciding factor, KP05. Hence the people who are on the fence stating they’re for it in theory but uneasy. Having a 8-10 point lead at this late point in the game is pretty good, though. Usually by now, it’s roughly even. I remember by October 1st with Prop 8 in 2008, we went from polls stating we had a 20 point lead to it being a 50/50 split, some polls even saying we were losing.

    A lot of people, including many who say they’re for gay rights, are simply very uneducated regarding this matter. Their hearts tell them that they need to be for equality and love, but they’re scared of change. The concept of same-sex love weirds them out because they aren’t used to it. There is apprehension but we need to drive home the point of why this is so important and why voting for equality matters.

    The haters know that this is a fight that we can win in Maine (and definitely have a good chance in Washington too) and we need to stand tall and not allow them to win the message war. Also it’s crucial that all gay folk in these states where marriage is on the ballot to go out in their communities and speak on their own behalf, talk to people about why this is so important. Being OUT is the best way to change hearts and minds.

  4. gregory brown says

    Sometimes I try to tally the enormous amounts of money that get poured into these campaigns by both sides of the issue. It is too huge to comprehend. for me anyway.
    Imagine what better uses it could be applied to for everybody’s benefit. The parasites stoking fear campaigns are heartless, hiding behind their self-righteous claims for “traditional” values. They distract everybody from common decent values of compassion, tolerance, acceptance of change when there are more social benefits than deficits.

  5. MiddleoftheRoader says

    It will win or lose by less than one percentage point in Maine. For those of you who post comments here, and even those who just read rather than post, YOU can do something: donate $ to mainersunited (dot) org; sign up to make phone calls (you can do it from wherever you live without costing you any money); go to Maine and help with door-to-door campaigning (they will put you up at someone’s home).

    There was an old saying in politics, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation”. Until 1960, Maine held its Governor election and Congressional election in September — and if the Dems or Reps won in September, it usually meant that’s the party that would win the presidential election in November. This changed in 1936 when Maine elected Reps in September, but FDR defeated Al Landon in the November presidential election (and Landon won only 2 states, Maine and VT). Now, the right-wing anti-marriage equality groups are believing, once again, that “As Maine goes on marriage equality, so goes the nation.”

    Let’s all make this true by WINNING in Maine on marriage equality. DO SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY.

  6. jakke says

    Last time it was close for them and that was during an off election year. Given that we have a Presidential election this time around, I think the chances are amazing. Obama got 58% of the vote in Maine in 2008. Things look good…

  7. Caliban says

    I’ve never really understood how and why these races “tighten.” Presumably when people were polled a few weeks ago they had made their minds up about how they were going to vote. Are people really so susceptible to influence that ads full of half-truths and lies can make them change their minds?

  8. Rick says

    “I’ve never really understood how and why these races “tighten.”

    Because people lie to pollsters and tell them what they think they want to hear (and what is politically correct) early on when it doesn’t matter, but when push comes to shove, their real feelings come to the fore.

    “Being OUT is the best way to change hearts and minds”

    Only if people like you and feel comfortable with you. And if you are an overly effeminate man or an overly butch woman, they are never going to.

  9. Javier says

    As pollsters and political scientists have observed, almost all undecided or uncommitted polling responses are actually anti-gay marriage votes. The pro-gay side never overperforms from its polling, whereas the antigay side almost always strongly outperforms its polling come Election Day.