No On 1 Post-Mortem

Matthew Gagnon provides one:

Even more damaging were Kennebec County (delivering a net of 7,000 votes for Yes) and Penobscot County (11,000), both of which hold a strong number of votes and represent a mix of urban, suburban, and rural voters. This was the real battlefield where No on 1 lost.  These voters – and their cousins in other counties – are not “back country hicks” – even though some areas of those counties are remote. 

I myself am from Penobscot country (Hampden, specifically – which incidentally went for Yes 53%-47% for those of you keeping score), and a great deal of these people represent the typical “suburban swing voter”.  In other words, many of them work white collar jobs, live in mostly nice neighborhoods within striking distance of a city, and are pliable for whichever side makes the better case.  We are not talking about culturally conservative “Deliverance” type areas here – this is the home of Maine’s soccer moms.

The failure of No on 1 to make any inroads in these types of voters is what ultimately doomed them. The people who live in townships and in the shadows of mountains may have been decidedly against gay marriage, but they don’t represent anywhere near enough votes to offset what happened in Portland and other No on 1 cities.  This fight was lost among the middle class voters of “middle Maine”, and it was lost badly.

I really don't see how a narrowly divided vote can be seen as losing badly - especially when this issue wasn't even discussed a decade ago. We're urging a real change here, and it is not easy to counter the very well targeted fears and panic about gay people and children.

(Hat tip: Smith)