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Jim Webb is a challenger who most of the state is unfamiliar with. It's pretty predictable that the undecideds would be much higher in that race than in a ballot question.

James Young

I'm more (slightly, but still more) confused by the picture accompanying the post. Aside from the fact that they are both supporters of the Amendment and of George Allen, what do Bob and Chad have to do with the subject of the post?

Not Larry Sabato

I'm using pictures of prominent Republicans in all my posts on the marriage amendment, to make a point. If you don't get it, than it's probably not worth explaining.

The home base for many homosexuals is probably the Republican party. They keep it in the closet in the GOP, though. But most gays are conservatives on many social and economic issues.

Not Larry Sabato

No, anon, that is not the point I am making, but it is an interesting one.


anon 10:59 - "But most gays are conservatives on many social and economic issues."

LOL are you serious?


I would say Brimur hit it on the head...


This is exactly how you'd expect it to be. It is clear from Webb's numbers that almost all of his support is currently coming from the "I'd vote for any D including an unnamed D crowd." He has no cross-over. The "No Vote" group includes some Republicans and Independents who aren't comfortable with the language of the amendment (like Mr. Too Conservative himself).

Point is, Webb's support is 100% rock solid Democrat. No Vote includes that group plus a small group of others.


Agreed. Brimur is correct; Webb has not done enough to get his name out there. I’m a little bit worried that we’re going into August and have not seen very much from his campaign since the primary. Hopefully Larry Byrne can get a field program up and running quick.

And Anon 10:59, Sure there are plenty of GLBT people who consider themselves Republicans, you can look at the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of GLBT Republican individuals and know that there are many GLBT people who consider themselves conservative, however your analysis about most gays being conservative on social and economic issues is unimaginative, uneducated, and just plain unscientific, and to be honest, kinda creepy.


I'd expect this sort of ignorance from a lot of people, but NLS you should no better.

Even if you believe the two poll #s (and the Mason-Dixon poll both conflicts with every other recent poll on the Marshall/Newman Amendment and asked voters ONLY about the FIRST paragraph of the two) --- do you really think that voting "no' on a constitutional amendment that would ban civil unions, domestic partnership benefits, and quite possibly domestic abuse protections for unmarried HETEROSEXUAL couple equates to supporting gay marriage?

Pay attention, Ben.

Not Jack Herrity

I tend to agree with Brimur that name ID is the issue for Webb. I also think you are going to see Webb's numbers tighten up after Labor Day once people begin paying attention. Remember Not Jack's "No Polls Matter Before Labor Day" Theorem.

The problem with the marriage amendment is that the Mason-Dixon poll puts undecideds at 6%. With undecideds that low already, I think the anti-amendment forces have a huge fight ahead of them. Webb can tighten his race by pulling in the undecided vote. The amendment people have to go in and actually change minds - whether by using the amendment language or some other method of persuasion. They can't come anywhere close to eliminating the gap just by swaying undecideds. That's going to be tough because the only thing that will work is persuading the average heterosexual joe or jane that this could infringe upon their rights.



The Mason-Dixon Poll was a sampling of approx 650 people. It did not press the "undecided" as to who they "might" vote for. From what I have read, the actual error % is close to =/- 10%. So, the spread really is about 8 - 10 %, in line with the other polls. With Allen less than 50%, with 20% undecided and with Webb 8 - 10% behind, it actually looks pretty good for Webb.


I agree with AS. Allen has a 10 point lead. It's not even close to over, but Webb has August to get his field and fundraising efforts going in high gear.

Unfortunately many of the Warner and Kaine field operatives are either with Forward Together, in Kaine administration, or on other campaigns.

Hopefully Byrne can get people who know the difference between Richmond and Richmond County.

Webb needs to raise money fast. He needs to be in Charlottesville, NOVA, VaBeach, Richmond and his finance people need to get fundraisers on both coasts.

If he's not on tv by Sept, he will then be in the kind of shape you can't recover from.

Webb should distance himself from the gay marriage ammendment. The amendment will pass.


AS - You seem to ignore the fact that the margin of error applies both way and Allen could have a much bigger lead. By the way, nice to see "AS" and "asmith" agree with himself...

Anti-amendment folks should cut the hysterical hypotheticals and stick to the common sense interpretations of the bill: marriage is between a one man and one woman and substitute marriage partnerships have no legal standing.


12:59... when I was 6, I wished for a pony. Didn't get it, though. Wishing and hoping don't make it so. Neither does calling fact-based allegations hypothetical.

Here's some fact, not hypotheticals: In Virginia, a circuit court judge has relied on HB751, the same-sex-only statutory equivalent of the Marshall/Newman amendment to unilaterally overrule decades of federal and state law governing the orderly disposition of child custody disputes. The case is pending now in the Virginia Court of Appeals. Want to wait for the decision before you decide how to vote?

In Ohio, trial courts are split on the effect of Ohio's 2004 amendment, nearly identical in wording to Virginia's. In populous areas of the state, prosecution of unmarried domestic violence defendants has been suspended pending the outcome of the case before the Ohio Supreme Court. Are you willing to bet me on the outcome. C'mon... I'll even give you odds (just don't respond by e-mail, Bob Goodlatte will be mad).

Maybe it's because they send out emails titled "Dude, Only 10 Hours to Go."

We'll always have out of control lawyers and judges. That just comes with our over litigous society and is really tangential to the issue here. The amendment may not have been necessary but is intented to overcome the kind of lawyer horsefeather nonsense you are talking about.

Anon 2:17pm,

You beat me to it.

Good lord. Does Steve Jarding know what is being sent out on email?

Does he (or anyone in the Webb campaign) realize how ridiculous that title is?

It is not even a mistake! The email concludes with, "We have the energy, we have the ground troops, and -- if we have the resources -- come November, we'll have George Allen wondering, "Dude, where's my Senate seat?""

Why would I bother giving $1K, let alone $10 after receiving an amateur-hour email!

NLS, you complained to Dannyboy that he was wrong about the weenie award, that the Webb campaign had turned a corner.

Is this turning the corner? More "Dude" comments? What's next, more Luke vs. Darth?

Geesh. C'mon Webb campaign, get professional, and quick!


WOW-I'm not sure what is more shocking-the fact that I have apparently been dropped from the Webb email list, or that they don't need my $$.

Dude, there's plenty of time for "professional" 30 second attack ads on TV and "professional" attack robocalls in October to make you traditionalists proud of your campaign.

I think the juvenile nature of the Webb emails reflects the immaturity of their opponent. Calling Iraqis 'folks' and whining about how boring your job is seems appropriate for a kid in junior high, not a junior Senator.

Not Jack Herrity

Ben, the cross-tabs are fascinating, but they only confirm my suspicions: George Allen has a bigger problem than the marriage amendment does, primarily because his undecideds are much higher. There shouldn't be any surprise here - you expect the undecideds to be much lower on hotly-debated social issues where everyone already has an opinion.

If Webb can gather a head of steam by Labor Day, he can give Allen a real run for it. But he's gotta fire his cartoon-writers and hire an expert on Virginia geography before the next debate. :)


Is it possible that an overwhelming majority of the people just don't want this "gay marriage" thing?


3:01... sure it is. Damn shame that's not what they're being asked to vote for.


It shouldn't matter what a majority of people want. Government should not be involved in the marriage business at all. Period. Leave it to churches and individuals.



1. Geoff, take a civics refresher.

2. The answer to the question is: "Well, I've heard about this gay marriage thing, but I don't know who John Webb is."

So, the advoates are arguing ...
1) It's not what it appears to be, it's something else.
2) If you don't give us gay marriage, we'll abolish marriage.

No wonder the people will vote "yes" to affirm traditional marriage.


Things that make you go HMMM

Im a post in the original M/N amendment poll thread, I pointed out that Mason-Dixon asked the wrong question, while the Commonwealth Coalition ran the better-worded poll. It seems now that Brad Coker, head honcho there agrees. From the AP:

"J. Bradford Coker, managing director of the independent Washington-based polling firm, said Gastanaga has a point.

" 'In her defense, we polled on this issue in one other state where we saw that the additional language can suck support down. So there is some merit in what she's saying,' Coker said."

But then Brad went on to say that it's all about punctuation... something Not Jack Herrity criticised me for. It seems I have a fellow traveler in Brad:

"He said the full text will probably be part of two or three other polls the firm will conduct before the election.

"But he noted that on the printed ballot, the first sentence is set apart from the other two in a separate paragraph with a line of space between them.

" 'There is that paragraph break, and I think a lot of voters may only read that first sentence,' he said."

So, bottom line. The guy who designed the MD poll says "pay no attention, we'll do better next time." I'm not flaming Brad - it takes a big man to admit a mistake.

I'm just going back to my punctuation lessons.



What in particular about civics do you think I am missing?

Do you have any pictures of Mark Obenshain standing with Steve Landis, Ben Cline, and/or Matt Lohr? Any combination would work.

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