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November 05, 2004
INTERESTING COMMENT FROM A RELUCTANT BUSH VOTER over at Roger Simon's place, illustrating some of the things the exit polls left out. Meanwhile, over at Andrew Sullivan's an emailer crunches the numbers on states with anti-gay-marriage initiatives and states without them, and concludes: "On the contrary, there is no evidence that suggests that the strategy of putting the anti-marriage initiatives on the ballot in several states did anything to improve Bush's performance in those states."
Sullivan's posted the numbers, which are quite interesting. This is the kind of analysis we ought to be getting from Big Media.
UPDATE: More here on "Gay Marriage and the Ground Game" from the Ashbrook Center. It's generally consistent with what Sullivan's reader says -- gay marriage didn't make much of a difference.
ANOTHER UPDATE: And here's Paul Freedman in Slate, saying the same thing: "Terrorism, not values, drove Bush's re-election."
These differences hold up at the state level even when each state's past Bush vote is taken into account. When you control for that variable, a 10-point increase in the percentage of voters citing terrorism as the most important problem translates into a 3-point Bush gain. A 10-point increase in morality voters, on the other hand, has no effect. Nor does putting an anti-gay-marriage measure on the ballot. So, if you want to understand why Bush was re-elected, stop obsessing about the morality gap and start looking at the terrorism gap.
I think that's right.