Some excellent news from SurveyUSA, but don’t let it make you complacent. SurveyUSA recently asked 524 likely voters in Washington state “A new law passed by the legislature would allow same-sex couples to marry in Washington state. Should this law be approved? Or rejected?”. The response:
Approved – 56%
Rejected – 38%
Not Sure – 6%
The point spread between ‘approved’ and ‘rejected’ is 18, a substantial jump from 7 in July, when Washingtonians were asked the same question (see graph, right).
Support for marriage equality has been increasing steadily in Washington state, and Washington United for Marriage — a coalition of grassroots volunteers, organizations, congregations, unions, and businesses — has been working diligently to educate Washingtonians about the importance of civil marriage for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples in Washington, and why they should approve Referendum 74 in November.
However, the anti-gay campaign Preserve Marriage Washington hasn’t yet shifted into scare-mongering mode a la California’s Prop 8. And they will. Frank Schubert, the Prop 8 (2008) and Stand For Marriage Maine Yes On Question 1 (2009) PR guy, is on Preserve Marriage Washington’s payroll, so we know that “a storm is coming“. For a hint of what is to come, view Schubert’s past ads here, here, here and here.
So the question remains, is an 18-point spread today enough to guarantee a freedom to marry victory come election day, once both campaigns have hit the airwaves?
Nobody knows the answer to that question, but since support for marriage equality always polls much higher pre-election than at the ballot box, the sensible thing to do is redouble our support for Washington United for Marriage. Volunteer, donate, like their Facebook page, but above all, don’t stop telling anyone who will listen why it is important to you that voters APPROVE Referendum 74 in November to keep the freedom to marry law on the books.
UPDATE: In a press release responding to the survey, Washington United for Marriage’s campaign manager, Zach Silk, said:
While this is the biggest number and the widest spread recorded by any independent poll, this remains a very fluid race and our opponents have yet to unleash their attacks. We’ve seen what’s happened in other states and that’s generally a late attack aimed at frightening voters, so we’ll continue to work round-the-clock, talking to voters and reminding them that in Washington, everyone should be have the freedom to marry the person they love.
H/T Dominic Holden.