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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 04:28 PM ET, 05/01/2012

Gay marriage battle down to wire in North Carolina

With a vote set for next Tuesday on a measure to change North Carolina’s state constitution to limit legal unions to marriage between a man and a women, here’s the final closing ad that the group organizing against it is airing in the home stretch:

The whole challenge for opponents of Amendment One has been to get voters to understand that a vote against it does not legalize gay marriage. Rather, Amendent One would establish marriage between a man and a woman as the only legal union. As Tom Kludt noted recently, this would end legal recognition for other domestic partnerships, with untold implications.

Hence the above ad, which is paid for by the Coalition to Protect N.C. Families, warning that passing Amendment One could take away protections against domestic violence.

A Public Policy Polling survey released today found that likely North Carolina primary voters are supporting the measure by 14 points, 55-41. But here’s the bright spot: The poll also finds that if respondents are informed of the amendment’s consequences, it loses by 38-46. And this finding is key: “Those who know what the amendment would do are against it by 22 points, but they are outweighed by the strong support from the uneducated.”

That’s why opponents are holding out hope for a major upset, and here’s a bit more grounds for their optimism: The group against the amendment has just outraised the organizing rallying for it by nearly two to one. The Coalition to Protect N.C. Families is reporting that it raised $2.2 million in the last period. Meanwhile, Vote for Marriage N.C., the main group pushing the amendment, only reported raising around $1.2 million.

This means that a major voter education program, via ads like the above and door-knocking, could conceivably carry the day.

One other data point: Turnout in early voting is absolutely off the charts. The group Carolina Transparency tallies that as of yesterday, over 211,000 people have already voted in the primary. Kennedy says that means voting right now is on track to exceed the 2008 primary between Hillary and Obama, even though there’s no presidential election, says Jeremy Kennedy, a spokesperson for the anti-amendment forces.

“An upset is absolutely possible,” Kennedy claims. One week to go.

By  |  04:28 PM ET, 05/01/2012

 
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