2008: Poll: Same-sex marriage ban not wooing voters / San Francisco Chronicle

See the original of this troubling information at the San Francisco Chronicle website at this link.

Thanks much,

Steve St.Clair
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Poll: Same-sex marriage ban not wooing voters
John Wildermuth, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Opponents of a ban on same-sex marriage have the upper hand in a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, but the numbers also suggest that the third time may be a charm for Proposition 4, which requires notification of a parent or relative before a minor can receive an abortion.
While voters are enthusiastically looking ahead to the November election, they’re also convinced that the economy is a disaster, worried about California’s financial future and angry at a state Legislature that was nearly three months late in approving a budget.
“You don’t often see Democrats and Republicans in agreement on anything, but both agree we’re going in the wrong direction and headed for bad economic times,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the policy institute and its chief pollster.
The growing interest in the national campaign has spilled over into state contests, where voters already are taking positions on high-profile ballot measures.
Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, is in dire straits, with 55 percent of likely voters opposed and 41 percent in favor of the ban. Making it even tougher for the measure’s supporters, only 4 percent of those surveyed were undecided.
“That 55 percent looks pretty strong,” Baldassare said. “Now the supporters not only have to convince the undecided voters, but they also have to convince people who already have decided to vote no.”
But Prop. 4, a parental notification measure similar to initiatives beaten at the polls in 2005 and 2006, now holds a 48 to 41 percent lead among likely voters, with 11 percent undecided. While there’s a strong party split, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed, the measure jumps party lines, with majority support among parents with children under 18 and Latinos, who typically support Democrats.
“This is very similar to what’s happened in past years,” said Steve Smith, consultant for the No on Prop. 8 campaign. The measure “sounds OK until you learn more about it, and we’re going to help educate the voters about its problems.”
Backers of the measure argue that the opponents will go on television and try to confuse voters about what the initiative will do.
“If we can keep people on the subject, which is, ‘Should a parent or relative be notified before a minor has an abortion?’ (the measure) will pass easily,” said Albin Rhomberg, a spokesman for Prop. 4.

State poll results

Proposition 4: Parental notification (likely voters)
Yes: 48%
No: 41%
Don’t know: 11%

Proposition 8: Same-sex marriage (likely voters)
Yes: 41%
No: 55%
Don’t know: 4%
Economic outlook over next 12 months (all adults)
Good times: 20%
Bad times: 68%
Don’t know: 12%
State’s present direction (all adults)
Right direction: 21%
Wrong direction: 68%
Don’t know: 11%
Source: Public Policy Institute of California
E-mail John Wildermuth at
jwildermuth@sfchronicle.com.
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