New memo from Freedom to Marry and Third Way: Pro-marriage legislators win elections
Mar 05, 2013 at 01:00 pm
Today, Freedom to Marry and Third Way released a memo demonstrating that state legislators who vote in favor of marriage for same-sex couples continue to win voter support when running for reelection. The analysis, titled "Pro-Marriage Legislators Win Elections," is based on election results from New York and Washington, where the freedom to marry was approved by legislators in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Ninety-seven percent of the pro-marriage legislators in NY and WA who ran for reelection after voting in favor of marriage won. The overall, national incumbent reelection average in 2012 was 90 percent.
Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson explained:
Polls have shown that a growing majority of Americans support ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage - and now we know that Americans vote that way at the polls, too. Lawmakers who cast votes for the freedom to marry get voted back in - and on both side of the aisle. Elected officials can vote for the freedom to marry and be on the right side of history, secure that supporting the freedom to marry is not only the right vote to cast; it's also the politically smart vote to take.
Joe Cowan, Third Way President, also commented on the analysis, saying:
The 2012 election illustrated that moderate Americans have largely completed their journey on this issue and now see a lawmaker's support for marriage as a reason to vote for, not against, that candidate. This latest comprehensive study of the fate of state legislators who voted for marriage makes evident that pro-marriage legislators of both parties can win in districts that span the regional and ideological spectrum.
Other polling completed after the 2012 election in Washington further demonstrated how strongly political moderates favor the freedom to marry. A February 2013 poll by CBS News, for example, showed that self-described moderates are more than two times more inclined to vote for pro-marriage candidates than anti-marriage candidates; 86 percent said that a legislator's stance on marriage made them more inclined to support (30 percent) or made no difference in their vote (56 percent). Just 14 percent said they were less likely to support a pro-marriage candidate.