November 03, 2004
Turnout & SSM
Posted by Gordon Smith

It's too early to offer in-depth analysis, but the big story from this election may be turnout and the decisive effect of same-sex marriage. The conventional wisdom was that turnout in excess of 120 million voters would result in a Kerry election. It appears that over 120 million people voted, but Kerry now looks to be headed toward defeat.

What happened? The evangelical vote. They delivered Florida and (probably) Ohio. And they delivered them on the strength of their opposition to same-sex marriage. The issue was on the ballot in eleven states, and voters in at least ten of those states are embracing state constitutional amendments to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

In an election that at most times appeared to be a referendum on the war in Iraq, the most important wedge issue appears to be same sex marriage. It is a night of big surprises.

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