Polls Still Showing Tight Race In MN Marriage Fight

6a00d8341c730253ef0168ec1a63a8970c-250wiSadly, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown may be right about the right winning in Minnesota: yet another poll is showing that a constitutional amendment barring marriage equality has a chance of passing.

A new survey from the Minnesota Star-Tribune shows 49% of voters said they would approve the measure, while 47% definitely oppose it. Four percent remain undecided.

This conservative edge does not, however, mean the amendment is "winning," says the paper, because a plurality does not equal a win:  "Minnesota law requires any change to the Constitution to capture a majority of all ballots cast. That means a voter who skips the question is counted as a no vote."

Here's some of the predictable demographic breakdown:

Minnesota's oldest voters were the most likely to approve the amendment, with 55 percent of those 65 and older favoring the amendment. Younger voters are just as opposed, with 57 percent saying they will vote against it.

Fully 57 percent of men say they support the measure, but 56 percent of women were opposed.

Party affiliation is another strong fault line, with 78 percent of Republicans in favor and 73 percent of Democrats opposed. Independents, often crucial swing voters in any election, are coming down on the side of the amendment by 55 percent to 38 percent opposed. About 7 percent were undecided — the single-largest block of undecided voters in the sample on the marriage question.

Meanwhile, a vast majority of Minnesotans say they support civil unions: 68%. Most of the people who oppose marriage or civil unions are, again unsurprisingly, basing their vote on religious views.


  1. Javier says

    Sad to say, we will likely lose in Minnesota. Polling has not been great for marriage equality in Minnesota throughout the entire year, and we know from experience that the actual vote is never better for our side than the polling. In fact, in just about every instance, the anti-gay sides ultimately is larger on election day than the polls indicated it would be. One reason is that many pollsters and social scientists suspects that undecided respondents are actually anti-gay voters who are on the down low. I think we have a better chance of prevailing in Maine, although not great, and the best chance thus far in Washington. I am not optimistic about Maryland because polling has not been great for our side there either and because the state has demographic and cultural challenges to our side.

  2. Anthony says

    Javier, this has to do with the wording of the ballots. When you say “one man and one woman” people identify with that. However, in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, they are directly being asked about gay people getting a civil marriage license, so we may very well win in those states.

  3. says

    I think this amendment will be too close to call and will therefore be recounted. It is still too early to say whether or not we win this one. It’s close! Minnesotans United for All Families and their volunteers are working tirelessly to ensure this amendment does NOT pass. Keep the faith!

    P.S. Shameless plug but you can read my Letter to the Editor of a Minnesota paper at the link I posted. I’ve already heard I’ve changed several votes with it. :)

  4. Francis says

    It would be nice if things end up being too close to call, but I doubt that. I realistically see little chance of winning in Minnesota and truthfully expect us to lose by around 3-5 points. If it’s tied at this point with the hate side around 50%, then that almost definitely means we’re losing, because as we know, undecided almost always is an anti-gay voter.

    I think most people have believed Maine and Washington are the two states where we’re most likely to win and there has been good movement in Maryland, since Obama declared his support for marriage equality. We’ll just have to keep the fight on and win the message war and educate the masses. If we can win just two states of the four or so, we change the entire tenor of the “popularity” argument.

  5. BEAHBEAH says

    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I think we’re going to lose in all states that it goes on the ballot. Regardless of what polling says…. This is an issue that’s going to have to fought and won legally.

  6. Rick says

    When you all wake up the day after the election and realize that we have lost in four more of the most progressive states in the country, all of which Obama will win going away……and that our record in such votes is now 0-for-37, will some of you finally begin a self-examination of the REAL reasons gay people remain so terribly unpopular, six decades after the gay movement began, 5 decades after the sexual revolution began, nearly 4 decades after the APA discarded the notion that homosexuality is a mental illness, and long after secularism became the norm in American society?

    It’s not “hate”, not in the irrational sense, as some of you are trying to suggest. Most people don’t “hate” a group for absolutely no reason…….they will, however, dislike a group if that group gives them ample reason to do so…..

  7. Icebloo says

    This guy is all about posturing and posing and being famous. Unfortunately I do believe the Supreme Court will rule against us because it’s always had a right wing bias. That’s why we need to scrap the whole, corrupt, insane political/judicial systems and design them again.

    However I don’t believe all of the states voting in November will vote against gay marriage. I think we will have at least two victories this time.

  8. Rick says

    “This is an issue that’s going to have to fought and won legally.”

    Even if the battle is won in the courts–and there is absolutely no guarantee that it will be–what will really have been gained by that?

    Pretty much nothing, for the vast majority of us, since only a tiny percentage of gay people care about getting married to begin with.

    No, the only battle that really matters is the battle to change the culture, which is what all this is really about……and the approach the gay movement is taking towards that is totally, absolutely the wrong one, emphasizing an ideology of “gender-non-conformity” that is anathema to just about everybody and has no chance of ever being accepted…..instead of aiming to create a new male culture that maintains masculine values, but does away with the notion that homosexuality is inherently un-masculine (which is the only chance we have of ever winning and which will only come to pass if gay men embrace masculine values, themselves, and rid themselves of the culture of effeminacy that has made them so unpopular, not to mention miserable)…..

    That is the truth, whether some of you like it or not…..

  9. Anthony says

    Rick, you’re off your meds today aren’t you? Dude, there are gay people of all shapes and stripes, I think most people realize that. This has everything to do with age, the younger you are, the more likely you are to support civil marriage.

  10. Sam says

    Whatever happens after November, we’ll pick up the pieces, move forward, and fight on.

    But it isn’t too late to get involved in these campaigns. I know I’m not going to give up just because the polls still show us behind. The article said it itself that the gay marriage ban is *leading*, but not *winning*. Typically, ballot measures in Minnesota need about 52%-53% approval to ensure passage. I still believe we have a chance.


  11. AJ says

    I live in MN and I can tell you at this point I am EXHAUSTED. The saddest part about this is there is no way to truly convey how it feels to have YOUR personal rights trotted out and stomped on over and over and over again to incite fringe crazies. I did some volunteer work at MN United and one thing that will work in our favor is the amount of confusion. A lot of people I talked to were all up in arms about “The Gays” (old people in the Iron Range or the sticks, mostly) and promptly trumpeted that they will be voting NO. I didn’t correct them.

    If this BS passes I’m going to demand that I pay less taxes. If I don’t get full rights, why should I pay full taxes in this state I have lived in my entire life? I also plan on not letting history forget the guy that got all of this started, Warren Zimmer. I want him in history books right next to the freaks that blocked the schoolhouse doors in Little Rock.

    I’ve also looked into moving to Canada because it’s, ya know, right there.

  12. Rick says

    “This has everything to do with age, the younger you are, the more likely you are to support civil marriage.”

    And yet this poll shows that even in liberal Minnesota, only 57% of young people plan to vote against it. Taking into account that polls invariably over-estimate the level of support for gay marriage, the real figure for that group is probably closer to 52%….and if you subtract from that 52% those voters who are gay or bi, themselves, then you are well under 50% support even for the youngest voters.

    Not exactly a revolution in the making, is it?

  13. Billy Crytical says

    Rick, is totally deluded. It doesn’t matter if you are masculine or effeminate, heterosexual males won’t want to be your friend. Open your eyes. There have been a variety of gay men on The Real World, Big Brother, Survivor, any reality show you can name and they are all treated the same by the heterosexual male contestants. Heterosexual male-gay male friendships are very rare.

    I have to agree with BeahBeah. I think we’ll lose in every state. Supposedly marriage equality had a 20 point lead in March in Maine. I said it was an illusion. Heterosexuals were lying to pollsters and on election day we would lose. There is a large enough heterosexual population that lies to pollsters which makes polls before the election look like gay marriage has a chance at winning in many states. There’s been more than a decade of voting on gay issues yet gay people continue to believe poll results.

  14. Anthony says

    Billy, the difference is now, three of the states are being asked directly about gay people getting a civil marriage license, instead of that “one man and one woman” BS. So I do think our chances are very favorable.

  15. Rick says

    @BILLY CRITICAL Read this article for a REAL WORLD example, Billy, that completely disproves your point.


    Key quotes:

    “He was a “guy’s guy”: No limp wrist and no feather boas. “I wouldn’t call Brian your stereotypical gay man, whatever that may be.”

    “Had he been a scrub sitting on the bench and not really part of the team, I’m sure he would have gotten ridiculed and made fun of. I’m sure it would have been a much worse road for him had he not been a good player and the captain of the football team.”

    “Sims said because he was a good player many of his teammates found the positive side of having an openly gay man on their team. ”

    “About four years ago, Sims brought his now-fiance to a team reunion. Both of them were accepted with open arms. Sims said he “lost track of him halfway through the night because he was off with half of the football team getting bombed somewhere.”

  16. says

    MN will be a doable but a hard win–and even a win there is “only” stopping discrimination from being written into the constitution. For federal marriage equality, DOMA has to go. The tide will turn in states like WA, ME, and MD–voting on passed legislation is different than voting on the constitution. And in ME they’re on the offensive, a risk, but that’s how past lgbt victories have happened in ME, at the ballot box. It just took a while.

    @Rick: Speaking for the “vast majority” when your views are shared by virtually no one on earth is laughable–you do realize this, right? And you do realize that the culture has already changed and that the young people of today fully expect to have the choice to marry and that way more than a “tiny percentage” will chose to do so? Young gay people are out and they’ll have families. It’s simply the way the culture is going, like it or not. Marriage will happen, the closet will disappear.

  17. Rick says

    I also fart when I masturbate because it reminds me of when I used to rim my grandfather. He was gassy. It runs in the family. As do the runs.

  18. Anthony says

    @Ernie the only thing I’m worried about in Maine is 3 years ago they repealed the same sex marriage law 53-47. That was an off year election though, and with all that’s gone on in the pass three years, I’m hoping those numbers are reversed this time around.

  19. Billy Crytical says

    Brian Sims is a very rare example. I would have to see the interactions to know if Brian Sims really was treated like his heterosexual teammates. There is a lot of talk that things are changing, gay people are treated the same, if you are this way it’s different, and it almost always is hot air. I used the reality show examples because it’s something everyone can see, it’s not one person’s story.

    I know the wording is different this time around however I don’t think that will change how people vote.

  20. Francis says

    The truth is usually by the end of September to early October, we are at right around 50-50. With Prop 8 we were 20 points supposedly as late as July and August. By early October it was virtually tied with us having a small lead. And the Mormons had only just begun starting their assault.

    In Maine in 2009 PPP had it exactly even by this point of the year in their poll and momentum was against us.

    This is the first time that it can be said that we actually have some sort of legitimate lead this late in the game in at least Maine and Washington. The question is just how much of that lead will be whittled away in the closing periods to the election. And if we can change any minds on the fence, because those people usually either vote no or don’t vote at all. It’s all about turnout at the end of the day.

  21. Anthony says

    Billy, the wording is crucial. It can sway people to vote one way or the other. If it said “should homosexual marriage be imposed on this state?” a lot of people would say no, but if you say “should gay and lesbian people be able to obtain a civil marriage license, with religious freedom being preserved?” a lot more people would be for that. It’s all about perception.

  22. Ken says

    I’m more optimistic than most people here because of the situation where leaving the question blank counts as a no vote. In a presidential election year I can easily see people voting for President and skipping the rest of the ballot, especially low information and uneducated voters who we usually lose big with. I don’t think most polls account for this factor.

  23. TSG says

    I sympathize with AJ. I’ve lived in MN most of my life and I am tired. I’m also old enough that honestly I’d rather spend the remaining years of my life someplace where we aren’t reviled. I’m watching the Federal elections closely and if the Republicans take control of Washington, I’ll be asking for a transfer to the European office.

  24. Andrew says

    The malevolent person who is posting in Rick’s name that he masturbates to pictures of his dead mother and farts when thinking of his times rimming his grandfather is beneath contempt. The little person who is doing this is so vile. So Vile.

  25. Andrew says

    Lest anyone reading these posts think that Brian Sims is a good gay role model: he isn’t. Just two years ago he worked for the most LGBT friendly representative in the Pa legislature: Babette Josephs. He decided to move into her gay and gay friendly district in center city Phila and challenge her. He defeated her by about 300 votes. He correctly assumed that enough gay people without a sense of loyalty to an old friend would jump at the chance of voting for an out gay man. The message that sends to other straight pols is don’t spend a lot of political capital on gay issues, because if one of their own comes along and challenges you, they will drop you like a hot potato.

  26. Blake says

    As many people as possible should keep an eye out for jobs in one of the non-hate states. Take away the much needed skills from the hate states and they will learn that discrimination hurts all.