Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who are you?

Occasionally, on Facebook and other social networking websites, someone will post a picture that states that if you need ID to purchase cigarettes or alcohol or even to use your credit card you need an ID to be able to vote.  The last few months have seen an increase in states trying to pass voter ID laws that make it a requirement for people to show their valid ID to be able to vote.  These debates are mainly partisan debates because those that might not have ready access to an ID are for the most part, poor, minorities, and the elderly.  Those people tend to vote Democrat.  Those on the left argue that those who might not have ready access to an ID are essentially being disenfranchised.  Those on the right argue that this is a necessary risk in order to ensure that there is no fraud.  In the journal article “Effects of Identification Requirements on Voting: Evidence from the Experiences of Voters on Election Day”, author Stephen Ansolabehere with collaboration from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study and the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project examined the consequences of voter ID laws using survey data from the 2006 general election and the 2008 presidential primaries on Super Tuesday.  The article can be found in PS: Political Science & Politics, January 2009 issue.

(All quotes from the blog post are in reference to the journal article unless otherwise noted.)

“In the 2006 sample, 49% of respondents reported that the poll workers asked them to show photo ID when they voted.  In the 2008 sample that figure had risen to 56%.”  In 2006, only two states required photo identifications, other states labeled as Voter ID states in the article allowed poll workers to request identification.  This means that the poll workers were allowed to pick and choose who had to show photo identification.  Most likely correlated with this is that both the 2006 and 2008 surveys showed “considerable racial differences.”  “In the 2006 general election, 47% of white voters reported being asked to show photo identification at the polls, compared with 54% of Hispanics and 55% of African Americans.”  There was a slight increase overall of showing IDs in the 2008 Super Tuesday primaries.  “53% of whites were asked to show photo ID, compared with 58% of Hispanics and a staggering 73% of African Americans.  These racial differences persisted upon holding constant income, education, party identification, age, region, state laws, and other factors.”  The author notes that “these surveys provide the first individual-level data that poll workers commonly ask voters for photo identification, even in places where they are not allowed to.  The data further shows that poll workers do not administer this procedure fairly or without regard to race, which raises the important possibility that in practice voter-identification procedures violate the Voting Rights Act.”

While asking for IDs prior to voting is wrong, it is not necessarily disenfranchising voters.  The question remains as to how many people were denied their vote as a result of voter-identification requests.  “The answer is—very few.  If respondents reported that they were asked to show photo identification, the 2006 and 2008 surveys probed whether the respondents were then allowed to vote.  In the 2006 survey, out 22,211 voters only 25 said that they were asked for identification and, then, disallowed from voting—that is one-tenth of 1% of the sample of voters.  In the 2008 survey, three out of 2,564 respondents said that they tried to vote but were not allowed because of voter ID, a fraction of a percent.”  It is unclear whether or not these denials were legitimate or erroneous.  It might be possible that the mere threat of a voter identification request might scare away potential voters.  “Of the 1,113 non-voters in the survey, four cited this [not having proper ID] as a reason, and these individual cited other reasons as well—‘bad weather’ and ‘forgot to vote.’”

The author concludes that “voter ID does not appear to present a significant barrier to voting.”  There is a caveat to this.  That is that these surveys were conducted during a mid-term election and a presidential primary election.  While there were large turnouts, they were not nearly as large as presidential general elections.  It’s possible that a higher turnout would cause more denials of the right to vote.

The reason for voter ID laws is usually to combat voter fraud.  Some have argued that if people believe that there is a belief of voter fraud then it might undermine the legitimacy of elections and might discourage people from voting.  These claims are tested by the author and neither appear to be true.  “In the 2007 survey, of those who thought fraud a very common occurrence, 47% voted and of those who thought fraud rare, 44% reported voting.  Controlling for education, income, partisanship, and other factors did not change this non-finding.  Belief in the frequency of election fraud is uncorrelated with propensity to voting.”
The other claim might be that stricter identification will shore up confidence and increase turnout.  “Those voters living in states with stricter identification laws did not report higher levels of confidence or higher rates of voting than those living in states with relatively weak identification rules.  In states with the weakest ID rules, 26% think fraud occurs very often and 10% think it occurs rarely.  In states with the strictest ID rules, 29% think fraud occurs very often and 9% think it occurs rarely.”

I’ll quote extensively from his “Discussion” section.  “Approximately half of all people are asked for ID when they vote but almost no one reports subsequently being denied the vote or reports that lack of ID was a reason for not attempting to vote.  A majority of Americans say that voter fraud is common, but voter-identification laws and practices have little effect on those beliefs, and those beliefs have no effect on rates of electoral participation…It will require more intensive survey research to track the voters’ (and non-voters’) experiences and careful modeling of aggregate election returns to determine whether the introduction of ID laws caused a drop in the total number of votes recorded.  The conclusion supported by the data examined here, is that voter-ID laws have no effect on turnout, and hence little or no fraud, little or no denial of access, and little or no effect of on confidence in the electoral system.”

Basically, the assumed consequences of voter ID are not correct based on this data.  In Purcell v. Gonzalez, the Supreme Court opined that “the government’s interest in limiting corruption or perceived corruption of the electoral process must be weighed against the constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.”  It appears that we are right where we started.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Guess who's back

Vice Presidential Power Rankings
Due to vacation time and a generally busy schedule by the author, the vice-presidential power rankings are behind the times.  So, we’re hoping to correct that here.  While these power rankings are not a scientific process (but really, what power rankings are an exact science) there is some method behind our madness.  The hardest part of these power rankings is to come up with a list of people who might be in contention for such an important position.  Here, we have to use public statements, analyses from political journalists, historical perspectives, among others to generate names and then decide on the person that the Romney campaign might choose.  So, this is how we have been basing our ranking system.
Mitt Romney has announced that the most important qualification for his vice-president would be that the person must be pro-life.
The person who Romney placed in charge of the vice-presidential search was his former Chief of Staff from when he was governor of Massachusetts.  To some political journalists, this has indicated that Romney is going to choose someone who he is comfortable with or with somebody who he has supported prior or supported him early on in his campaign.
The woman in charge of the vice-presidential search has stated that she is looking to add some diversity to the ticket in an effort to combat that particular advantage.
As Nate Silver pointed out and we repeated, it has been extremely rare for a presidential ticket to be made up of two governors.
One of the perceived weaknesses of Mitt Romney has to do with foreign policy.  So some analysis has tended to focus on him choosing someone with considerable experience in foreign policy.
Going back to point #2, most people have assumed that Romney is going to choose someone who does not deviate far from his game plan or run the risk of “hot microphone” moments.  Additionally, he does not want to choose someone who is not going to be used to the national spotlight or could have numerous gaffes that Obama and staff could point out.
The impact of the vice-presidential candidate on his/her home state is not as big as one thinks.  The impact has been measured by Nate Silver at The New York Times´ blog “Five Thirty-Eight.”
Mitt Romney has been accused by critics that he is unable to understand the issues by everyday people because of his vast amount of wealth.
When Rick Santorum dropped out of the race and Romney became the presumptive favorite, there was immediate action by the Romney campaign and a response by the Obama campaign that brought up the “war on women.”  This looked like it was going to be a major issue by both campaigns to cater towards the female vote.  This has not held up over the past few months.
With Barack Obama’s announcement that he supports same-sex marriage, Romney has came out and said that he does not support same-sex marriages but rather civil unions.  This issue might come up over the course of the campaign and those people, who Romney is looking at, ideally would have the same response to their support for same-sex marriage.
If Mitt Romney chose one of those Republicans who were running for the presidential nomination, it would be rather easy for the Obama campaign or others not officially affiliated to produce a video of those Republicans poking holes in Romney’s campaign.  Oh, that was already done without Romney naming one of those?
There are some others that weigh into the rankings, as well, but those are specific cases instead of generalities that we might be able to make.
Vice-Presidential Power Rankings
1.       Marco Rubio- I might be in the minority of those trying to handicap this race that has Rubio still ahead of Rob Portman.  What Rubio brings to the table: Rubio is one of the Senators from Florida and even though the vice president home state does not affect the numbers as much as one might initially think, it is certainly possible that in a close race such as Florida that Romney might pull out all of the stops to ensure victory in a state that has 29 electoral votes.  But, we would have to assume that Rubio has a high favorability rating in Florida.  Additionally, we would have to assume that there are voters, not only in Florida, but in other states, as well, that would vote for the Romney/Rubio ticket as opposed to a Romney/Portman or whoever ticket.  It might be a reasonable assumption if Romney thinks that he can pick up Hispanic voters in the Western part of the United States, like Arizona or Nevada.  He brings some foreign policy experience with him.  Why not Rubio: His own political aspirations might get in the way.  It is possible that Rubio might turn down the offer because of how this campaign is likely to run.  The reason I say this is because this election is going to be the most expensive campaign in history.  Rubio could be hurt by any negative images or advertisements that come out about him.  There are already interest groups, such as Wrong Way Rubio, which have already attacked Rubio.  If Rubio wants to run for president (I have no idea if he wants to, I’m just speculating) running in the Romney ticket might not be something that will help him out. It might also hurt him politically, if the economy gets better or shows larger signs of improvement, it’s possible that President Obama would get re-elected by a wide(r) margin.  If Rubio was on a ticket that got beat pretty soundly, it would not reflect well on him.  This is, of course, mere speculation, on my part.  Rubio is not that experienced as a senator.  He has been there for a short number of years and experience could be brought up as a point against Romney already.  Rubio is seen by some analysts to be too willing to go out on his own and say what he is thinking rather than toe the Romney line.  He might be willing to do things as he sees fit politically or to do what is best for him rather than what is best for the campaign.  While, I’m sure this is an issue for all candidates it has been brought up the most with Rubio.
2.       Rob Portman- As I’ve mentioned before, Portman is the presumptive favorite for the vice-president ticket.  I’m not 100% sold on him being the choice but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he was the choice. Why Romney/Portman would work: Portman was an early supporter of Romney in the Ohio Republican Primaries.  He did a lot of work for Romney there and helped him win that state.  The hope could be that since Portman was willing to do so much work for the Republican primary, imagine what he could do with the national election.  Portman could potentially swing a very close state but I’m not sure of his favorability in Ohio or nationally.  Portman brings foreign policy experience to the table, as well. He would be the safe choice, in my opinion, and Romney might decide to go with the safe choice. Why I do not have Portman ranked #1: He is the safe choice.  While I think Romney, himself, would choose the safe choice, he is not the only making this decision.  His other consultants might push him to choose someone who might be a little more bold.  I’m aware that this backfired with the choice of Sarah Palin as vice-president but I’m struck by the comment by Romney’s former chief of staff that the choice will bring diversity to the table.  Portman for all of his successes or perceived safeness as a choice does not bring diversity.
After the top two , there is a giant drop-off between them and the next bunch of candidates.  Since I’ve already bored most of you to death by now in this post, I’ll be brief.
3.       Kelly Ayotte- Pros: Brings diversity, Romney supported her Senate run so they’re familiar, and brings some foreign policy experience. Cons: From the Northeast, it would be a tough sell to some Republicans to have a completely Northeastern presidential ticket, she is also very young and might be exposed to criticisms about her experience, and might not be ready for  the national exposure.
4.       Paul Ryan- Pros: Name recognition/used to national spotlight, outspoken on financial issues that Romney has spoken out about, and Wisconsin is seen as a leaning state. Cons: Not clear on the support or comfortability with Romney, generally outspoken and may say things not in line with Romney and staff, does not bring diversity, and unfairly attacked by Democrats who blamed him for wanting to destroy Medicare.
5.       Jim DeMint- Pros: name recognition/used to the national spotlight, Tea Party candidate (may excite the base), foreign  policy experience, and is seen as an every day type of person. Cons: lack of experience overall (elected in 2010), does not bring diversity, and not sure if he ever threw his support behind Romney or if they’ve worked together.
I would be surprised if Romney’s choice is not in these five.  It’s possible but I would be surprised.  Of course, I wouldn’t have had Sarah Palin on my list in 2008, either though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Running Diary

There's a
The first video is the video called "A Few of the 23 Million." Here is my response to the video as it plays.
0:00-0:20- It's Mitt Romney's response to Barack Obama's advertisement. Romney has already stated that he's going to use real people to tell the stories of how they're struggling under Obama's presidency. These are just a few of the millions of people who are struggling. Let's hear their stories.
0:21-0:40- We've learned so far that a company that had been there for a hundred years just up and left. I couldn't understand what company he said, otherwise I could look up why they left and when they left. The next guy lost his job a month after his divorce because the economy tanked. Let's forget that the recession started under a different president, for a minute.
0:41-1:02- Let's meet Deborah Ragland (that's the name I heard) has been looking for a job for two years. She still hasn't found one yet and her unemployment benefits have run out. These unemployment benefits were extended multiple times under the watch of President Obama.
1:03-1:20- Meet Jason Clausen from Mason City, Iowa. He only cares about two things, working and paying his child support. What? Really? Those are your choices for things you care about? If I had a daughter and I wanted to prove how much she means to me, I might say I care about working to make sure that my daughter is taken care of. Or I might say I only care about my daughter and I will do anything to make sure that she is taken care of. I'm sure what he's saying is the equivalent of what I'm saying but it's said in a messed up way.

1:21-1:42- Mr. Clausen worked for the last Frank Lloyd Wright hotel in the world. He was doing the remodeling and on the last step he wrote his name and his daughter's name. That's so cute. Too bad he only cares about work and paying child support.

1:43-2:25- Meet yet another Iowan named Troy. He talked about how his dad and neighbor don't believe in taking unemployment. He also talked about doing his other odd jobs such as digging graves and moving and storage.I don't think anyone's goals are to collect unemployment and other benefits from the government. But earlier, Deborah was talking about her unemployment benefits ran out. So is unemployment benefits bad now? Deborah sounded sad about her unemployment running out. I'm confused.

2:26-2:50- Jay Clausen tells a heartwarming story about how the story of his daughter's name on the step ended up on the front page of the newspaper. Apparently, when she's down about her father only caring about paying the child supporf and working he takes her to their step to have this hypotheticalconversation. "I love you daddy." "And I love paying your child support and building these steps. Good talk. Have to get back to work. To pay your child support."

2:51-3:25- Deborah doesn't know who to trust. Troy thought there was going to be hope and change when Obama was running. Change, such as the Affordable Health Care Reform Act, extension of unemployment benefits, bailout money used for infrastructure, and others didn't help Troy so it was all talk. There could have been more changes made but not all of it is anything that can be done by just the federal government. Some blame might have to be levied at the state level or at capitalism or globalization in general. Or we can just blame President Obama. You know, whatever.

3:25-3:59- Mitt Romney believes in America. These citizens deserve someone who believes in them. Couldn't Mitt Romney open a business in Iowa and employ these people rather than exploit them? Oh, he wouldn't make money? Is that Prssident Obama's fault? Are the benefits that the state of Iowa offer companies not competitive with other states? Again, is that Obama's fault? We hear all about how we have to keep cutting taxes so that the rich can continue to create jobs. Are millionaires really job creators or is that an empty phrase? Sounds like an empty phrase. This advertisement is supposed to make me feel bad for these people and how President Obama's policies are affecting everyday Americans. But one of them lost their job right when the economy collapsed. Another one has been searching forna job for two years and had her unemployment benefits go away in the meantime. The other one, his company left, so he lost his job. There's not a direct link to any of President Obama's policies that are destroying jobs. Additionally, there is absolutely no mention of how Romney would turn this around ornwhat the policies are that are destroying America currently.

Sorry to be so angry and judgmental, I stepped in cat poop today. So, in a bad video on mitt Romney's website titled "A Few of the 23 Million." The video is supposed to give voices to a few of the millions of unemployed people who are struggling under President Obama's policies.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Above politics: Something personal rather than political

According to the CDC nearly one in ten adults suffer from depression.

There is a certain stigma with mental disorders, such as depression, mood disorder, etc to certain people that it doesn't exist or that only weak people suffer from these disorders. The explanations for why they do not recognize mental disorders varies, in all honesty, I don't want to re-hash a series of strawman arguments. The CDC maintains that depression screening has to be offered at doctor's offices and the like. These depression screenings typically rely heavily on the honesty of the patient. A patient can choose not to answer the questions in a truthful manner. Even if the patient does answer the questions truthfully, in most cases the doctor can prescribe anti-depressants and can offer the services of the recommended therapists, psychiatrists, or the like. The open period for those psychiatrists are very limited and those in need of psychiatric help have to wait a month or longer to have an appointment. The wait time to see a therapist is usually shorter and therapy combined with the anti-depressants prescribed by a doctor might be enough in some cases. The cost of seeing a psychiatrist or therapist is usually fairly expensive. Perhaps because of these factors, the CDC states that those most likely to suffer from depression are unemployed, uninsured, women, those aged 45-64, blacks or hispanics, or those with less than a high school education.

As some of you know, this is a personal issue for me. You may notice multiple hiatuses or hiati from my blog posting. It's not that there is a lack of information for me to post on, but rather there is a lack of motivation or an inabilty to sufficiently pay attention by the author. While it affects my daily life, some days are better than others. On my good days, I have had to learn how to do my productive work as quickly as possible. The problem is that while I need breaks to get things in order, I am hampered by my inability to afford this type of care and my inability to match up with the schedules for psychiatrists or therapists. The problem isn't that we're not seeking help, because we are, the problem is that this help is hard to actually receive. We need to end the stigma about mental disorders and adequately provide access to this help for those who need it. Calling emergency lines or being rushed to the hospital is not adequate help. It's a safety net for those who need it in the emergency situations but we cannot simply rely on those emergency safety nets. This should be something that is above politics.

Former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide just about a week ago. This tragedy has put a more famous face to depression and concussion issues from former NFL players. Multiple former players have argued that there should be a fund set up to help those who suffer from depression and actions should be taken to ensure that these tragedies are few and far between or eliminated altogether. I told you that story to tell you this one. Sports Illustrated writer Peter King wrote that these football players have a hard time when they leave the NFL to find value in their life after doing something for so long. We simply must help those players out to avoid the tragedies.

What I'm saying is, there is a lot of people who have trouble finding value in their life. Our inabilty to properly help those who need it or the constantly deriding those who have mental disorders is shocking and needs to end. Regardless of politics, helping out those who need it, is something that needs to be done.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Mitt Romney apologized! His book No Apology has criticism of Barack Obama for apologizing for America. Can you imagine if Romney is president? He'll apologize for America being a bully. That's unacceptable. A president has never apologized for America before.
Done with sarcasm.

Why you gotta be so mean?

As I was watching the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert mentioned that due to super PACs, 70% of presidential ads so far have been negative. If you've been reading some of my earlier posts, you know that I believe that these negative ads are on purpose to get as many people as possible cynical and upset about politics that they don't want to vote. American Crossroads has already announced that they are going to spend millions of dollars in the Senate races this election year. They view Nebraska as a state that they can help Republicans win in the Senate. So, let's prepare for a 6 months of negativity. Don't get too angry people, please realize that the only way we can affect change is to vote. My advice is to stay away from the negative ads. Change the channel when they're on, don't view them on the internet, etc. Use objective sites to make your judgments like PolitiFact or Factcheck or VoteSmart to get your information and stay away from crippling negativity.

And now supporting gay marriage, it is President Obama

It certainly has been an interesting week for those who support gay marriage. On Tuesday, North Carolina became the 30th state to ban gay marriage. Wednesday, President Obama became the first sitting president to support gay marriage. To that, I say jt's about damn time. I would be lying if I didn't immediately think it was a political move. So, here is how a cynical person might respond to the announcement. My apologies for any misspellings, I am writing this on my touchpad.

A cynical person might think it's interesting that President Obama waited until after North Carolina passed their amendment that gay marriage should be banned. President Obama stated that his change in stance was due to his evolving beliefs about gay marriage. In the 2008 election, North Carolina was one of the few states in the South that voted for President Obama. It is now seen as a "swing" state that might influence the 2012 presidential election. The amendment in North Carolina with nearly 20 percentage points. President Obama's stance is obviously not going to be popular in North Carolina where nearly 500,000 ballots were cast early, a record for a primary in North Carolina. North Carolinians are fired up over this issue. While President Obama does not need to win every "swing" state that votednfor him in 2008. Most analysts estimate that President Obama only needs to retain about 30% of the swing states that he won in 2008. If it doesn't make sense at the state level for North Carolina, does it make sense at the national level?

As reported here earlier, the majority of Americans now approve of gay mariage. The last polls I saw showed that 50% of Americans approve of gay marriage with 46% of Americans disapproving and a small percent being undecided on the issue. So obviously, President Obama is making a decision based on the popularity of the decisiom. But wait, if we remember anything from middle school government class, we know that the Preaident is not elected by a straight popular election vote but rather an electoral college vote. President Obama won that vote quite handily in 2008 and in all probability do it again in 2012. If we are to assume that President Obama made this decision on political grounds then we have to assume that his campaigm did polls in swing states that showed that they held the national average or higher. You would have to assume that states like Virginia, Ohio, Florida, etc all support gay marriage either at the national average or much higher. Without having access to the numbers, I am unsure if that is the case. My example is that Arizona which might be seen as a swing state even though Nate Silver disagrees, in 2008 voted a narrower version of their resolution to ban gay marriage. It is unlikely that their views "evolved" to the point of now supportinggay marriage. Additionally, states like Iowa, also a "swing" state might be sick of the passage by the state's Supreme Court to allow gay marriage. There's a theory in philosophy, medicine, etc.which is Occam's razor. The theorem suggests that if faced with two hypotheses that are equally right, the one that is simpler is the one that is more correct. There's an episode of Scrubs that explains this theory in a simpler way and definitely is more entertaining. There are two competing hypotheses here, one is that President Obama supports gay marriage because he feels it is right, the other hypothesis is that this is a shrewd political move. You would certainly have to do more research and show more work to prove that President Obama is making tnis tance due to his political career. If we are to accept Occam's razor then we are forced to conclude that President Obama is making this stand because he actually feels it is right. Sorry cynics.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vague Wording: The unintended consequences of discrimination

North Carolina passed an amendment to its state constitution to effectively ban gay marriages. The amendment states that marriage between one man and one woman is the only legal and valid union. In their zealous quest to ban gay marriages, there may have been some consequences that they did not foresee. Unintended consequences usually happen to people other than those who are effectively being discriminated against.
In North Carolina there are about 150,000 heterosexual couples who live together but are not married and have received legal protection due to this status, according to the New York Times.  These couples  will be forced to get married to retain these rights. There are concerns that domestic violence protection laws will be changed and some people currently protected under the current laws will no longer be protected. The amendment will make a change to hospital visiting rights and might underwrite current child custody laws. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what all will change with the passage of the amendment.
We saw the ambiguity arise when Mississippi tried to pass their "personhood" amendment. That amendment stated that being a person happens at conception, more precisely in a zygote. Because a zygote is a person, in this amendment, abortion would be murder. The idea was to be able to prosecute those having abortions as having committed murder. Just a few problems. It does not make provisions for ex post facto law. Ex post facto law is a law that criminalizes an action in the past before the law was passed or aggravates the action to make it a harsher penalty after the law was passed. Additionally, it did not make any provisions for contraceptives that take place after the zygote comes together such as the Morning After pill or Plan B or something as simple as an IUD. I could go through all types of laws that are passed to go after a select group of people that ends up applying to a larger amount of the population than originally intended. This is what we'll see if we continue to pass laws or amendments similar to the persknhood amendment or the amendment that was just passed last night jn North Carolina.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A State Constitutional Amendment in North Carolina

Today, North Carolina votes whether to ban gay marriage. Additionally, North Carolina is holding this vote on the same day as the Republican and Democratic parties. According to polls, it is likely to pass. This would be a constitutional amendment to the state constitution. There is some confusion to how likely it is to pass due to the ambiguity surrounding the questions that are being asked by the pollsters. There is some confusion by the voters as to what the amendment hopes to accomplish but the Amendment would state that marriage between one man and one woman is the only legal domestic union that will be recognized or valid. North Carolina voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and this primary election/amendment vote will give a gauge to political scientists and analysts about how North Carolina will vote in the upcoming election.
In April of 2011, the New York Times blog “Five Thirty-eight” showed a poll that indicated that at that time 50% of people supported gay marriage and 46% of people did not support gay marriage, with a few percent that was undecided.  This was a part of a study of polls that Nate Silver and his team did that analyzed that nine major polls with only one of the polls showing that those who do not support gay marriage were still in the majority.  The rate of those who do support gay marriage have grown at an incredible rate and Silver estimated, based on those trends, that by November of 2012 those who do support gay marriage would be up to 56% of the population and 40% who do not support it. Silver cautioned that these trends might flatten or they might, in fact, reverse. 
Supporters of gay marriage still face an uphill battle.  In the 2008 election, Californian voters voted to end legalized gay marriage.  In 2009, Maine voters did the same.  The 2006 election cycle saw Arizona voters vote in favor of gay marriage but in 2008 a narrower version of the amendment to end legalized gay marriage was passed by the voters.
This is an important start to the election cycle for the United States as it might give some analysts insight into how this election year will fare.  If the Amendment is passed soundly, there is a good chance that we will say an increase on the attention of gay marriage.  There has been a decrease in attention to this, especially by those running for office because of the rising popularity in the support for gay marriage.  If there is a narrower margin of victory or even a defeat of the Amendment then we will continue to see the decreased coverage. 
Did you know? If North Carolina passes the Amendment, then there will be 10 states of the Confederacy that have passed Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage

Monday, May 7, 2012


I'm starting a Facebook page. You can like us, we're A More Perfect Union on Facebook, too. The link is We'll update on Facebook and on the blog more often, especially since I graduated with my bachelor's of science in political science less than a week ago. If my laptop worked, I would post more often.