Values Voters, Again?

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Earlier today, I reported that gay marriage was not likely to succeed as a conservative vote-getter this election cycle. The issue is not whether conservatives support gay marriage, but rather whether anti-gay measures bring conservatives to the polls who might otherwise have stayed home. CNN’s early exit poll results indicate that six in ten voters say values issues like abortion and gay marriage influenced their choices.

But the question is too broad to suggest that gay marriage got conservatives into the polling booth–it does not specify, for instance, whether the voters support or oppose “values” legislation. CNN’s results—which are currently only available for two states, Virginia and Tennessee, where anti-gay marriage amendments are on the ballot—also show that the single strongest predictor of a vote against gay marriage is strong approval of how George W. Bush is handling his job. Read: extreme Republican partisanship of the sort that would lead someone to vote with or without the proposed constitutional amendment.

Both amendments are likely to pass. But amendments in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin face uncertain outcomes and promise to tell us more about the status of gay marriage in 2006.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaire owners wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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