Maine — Question 1 — “Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?” .
The Positions: A ‘Yes’ vote overturns same-sex marriage, which the state legislature approved in May. A ‘No’ vote preserves same-sex marriage.
The Polls: As in the other elections this cycle, recent polling shows somewhat contradictory results. A Research 2000 / Daily Kos poll shows Question 1 losing by one point. A Pan Atlantic SMS poll shows the initiative losing by 11 points. But a fresh PPP poll shows it passing by 4 points. The Research 2000 and Pan Atlantic polls showed slight movement toward the ‘No’ side from their previous surveys, while the PPP poll showed movement toward the ‘Yes’ side. The only other pollster to have surveyed the race is Democracy Corps, which had shown Question 1 losing by 9 points among both registered and likely voters, although that poll is now five weeks old.
The Odds: A statistical analysis I conducted last month, which was based on the results from previous gay marriage referenda in other states, gave the Yes on 1 side just an 11 percent chance of prevailing, although the fraction rises to 32 percent after an ad-hoc adjustment for the fact that this is an off-year election. In spite of the PPP poll, I’m not especially persuaded to deviate substantially from those numbers: the polling average still favors the ‘No’ side, albeit narrowly; the ‘No’ side seems to have run the superior campaign, and the cellphone issue may be worth a point or two. The tight polling, certainly, should keep everybody on their toes, and gay marriage could quite easily be overturned. But I’d still put the Yes on 1 side as about a 5-to-2 underdog.
Click this link for the complete post: 2009 Elections Preview: Maine Question 1 (Gay Marriage)