“We’ve had 2 ½ years to go door-to-door and target the undecided,” said Matt McTighe, the manager of the Mainers United for Marriage campaign. In that time, over 200,000 one-on-one conversations (in a state of 1.3 millions) have taken place as a result of direct contact by volunteers. In addition, television commercials supporting same-sex marriage have been airing in Maine since the Olympics.
Today, polls show 57 percent of Mainers in support, and only 36 percent opposed.
Turn out in Maine is expected to be heavy, not only because of the Presidential election, but because of a hotly contested three-way Senate race pitting former Governor and Independent candidate Angus King against Democrat Cynthia Dill and Republican Charlie Summers. Maine, more than any other state in the union, has a strong history of supporting Independent candidates over both major parties. King, who leads in the polls, solidly supports the ballot initiative, as does the second-place-polling Democrat. Only the Republican – whose support level has fallen to 16% - opposes the initiative.
As a rule, we do not support ballot initiatives, because civil rights can not – and should not - be subject to popular vote (or mob rule, depending on your perspective). But it will be nice to be able to shut the mouths of those who constantly harp on the notion that ‘the people’ oppose equality.
[This is a first in a series of blog posts dedicated to the under-reported citizens' initiatives taking place around the nation]