A consensus: among consultants Wait until 2012 To Repeal Prop 8
Posted on July 22, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
he advice is piling up on one side for folks who want to see same sex marriage legalized in California: Wait until 2012 to ask voters to overturn Proposition 8.
We’ve told you about the three LGBT coalitions of color who suggested waiting, and the nation’s oldest LGBT Democratic club saying the same. Now some of California’s top political consultants are joining the chorus.
Now, now. We know that some gay marriage fans blame consultants for the ruinous anti-Prop 8 campaign. But Equality California marriage director Marc Solomon — who helped lead the successful drive for marriage in Massachusetts — asked seven to share their thoughts on the 2010 v. 2012 question. Plus, they asked what the LGBT community and their allies should do to prepare to go back to the ballot. Three were openly LGBT (including two who are married) and one is a Republican.
The consensus: Wait until 2012.
Sue Burnside, co-chair of the National Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Campaign Board, is “convinced that we should refrain from rushing in 2010, and instead to build on grassroots passion and strategically prepare for a ‘Yes on Marriage Equality’ referendum in 2012.” Ditto for Mark Armour and Rick Claussen suggests “a multi-year campaign that culminates in an election when the time is right.”
“If you do UNSUCCESSFULLY undertake this issue at the ballot in 2010, this will further erode public support on the issue and make it harder for future efforts to succeed,” Claussen said.
Even though Democratic consultant Richie Ross — who has won a bazillion races in California going back a few decades — doesn’t offer a definitive suggestion, he presents a raw numbers breakdown that suggests that by 2012 there will be more young voters on the rolls (likely to vote for gay marriage) and more older voters (likely to oppose) dying off.
Dave Fleischer, who has worked on many gay-related ballot measures over the years, worries about money. Each side on the Prop 8 battle raised at least $40 million. “The most conventional path to victory employed by a wide variety of campaign strategists — bury your opposition by dramatically outspending them, effectively drowning out their message — isn’t an option when the opposition is as well-funded as ours is in California.” He worries that the 66 weeks until Nov 2010 “is a very brief time to raise $40-50 million.”
Plus, he worries if “our strategy, in a lower turnout year, (can) insure that those who voted withus in 2008 return to the polls in greater numbers than those who voted against us? We can certainly try. But we have to acknowledge that this would be very difficult. Key blocs of our supporters, such as younger voters, often turn out to vote in reduced numbers in off-years.”
Former Los Angeles Times pollster Jill Darling said “Did the 2008 campaign move voters? Are the post-elections efforts having any effect? Nothing measurable, as of May.”
San Francisco Chronicle
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