Speed Read: Wednesday 13 November 2013

1-    HAWAII LAW SIGNED TODAY: Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie is scheduled to sign the state’s newly minted marriage equality bill today. The Hawaii Senate gave final approval to the measure after more than three hours of speeches yesterday. The vote was 19 to 4, with two legislators excused from voting. When the new law goes into effect December 2, Hawaii will be the 15th state to enact marriage equality legislation. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has scheduled that state’s signing ceremony for November 20 and that law does not go into effect until June 1, making Illinois the 16th to enact marriage equality legislation.

2-   MICHAUD GAY EFFECT: A poll of Maine voters begun five days after U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud came out as gay indicates he has a much stronger “favorability” rating than his two chief rivals in next year’s gubernatorial race. But he has only a two-point lead over incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage in next year’s three-way gubernatorial race. Public Policy Polling surveyed 964 Maine voters November 8-11. If the race were between just Michaud and LePage, Michaud leads 53 percent to 39 percent, indicating independent progressive candidate Eliot Cutler is definitely a factor. Seventy-one percent of surveyed voters said Michaud’s announcement that he’s gay “doesn’t make a difference” in their likelihood of supporting him (12 percent said it would make it more likely, 15 percent that it would make it less likely they would support him for governor).

3-   CAVEAT SEMPER DEM? Public Policy Polling, while well respected, is said to use a methodology that favors Democrats, according to an essay by gay political statistician Nate Silver last year. Silver calculated in 2012 that PPP has about a three-point “Democratic house effect.” The calculation is nerdy complicated, taking into account such things as whether some respondents were contacted by cell phones, pollster-introduced-error, and the pollster’s “rawscore.” Readers who really want to understand can read Silver’s detailed explanation.

4-   FLAG THIS: Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Jonathan Capehart reported yesterday that he had stumbled onto a poll indicating that teenagers surveyed felt it was more acceptable to wear Confederate flag than to wear a gay rainbow flag. The Public Policy Polling data he found was a survey of 649 registered voters across the country October 29-31. When a sample of 629 Republican primary voters were asked whether high school students should be allowed to wear confederate flags to school, 43 percent said yes, 37 percent no, and 19 percent were undecided. But asked about wearing “gay pride flags” to school, 28 percent said yes, 57 percent said no, and 15 percent were undecided.

5-   RUNNING IN MARYLAND: Openly gay gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur will reportedly announce tonight that she has selected a pro-same-sex marriage African American minister to be her running mate. According to the Washington Post last night, a source familiar with Mizeur’s decision said she has chosen Delman Coates of Prince George’s County. Mizeur, a state delegate, is one of three Democrats who will face off in the Democratic primary in June.

6-   COUNT ON, VIRGINIA: Sunday night, Republican attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain was ahead by 17 votes; last night, Democratic opponent Mark Herring was ahead by 106 votes, out of more than 2.2 million votes cast. Voters whose ballots were called into question had to show up in person at their local election board to show identification so that their ballot could be counted. Most of the 3,158 provisional ballots were challenged in Fairfax, a predominantly Democratic part of the state.

2 Responses to Speed Read: Wednesday 13 November 2013

  1. Gary says:

    Re: 4-Flag This: Johnathan Capehart retracted his op-ed today on closer examination of the numbers. Turns out the flag question was only asked of those respondents on the Republican track of questions. No Democrats or Independents were asked the question.

  2. Lisa Keen says:

    Thanks for the alert, and you’re right. The flag questions were asked of a sample of 629 Republican primary voters. The information wasn’t included in PPP’s methodology but rather on the lower left-hand corner of the relevant pages under the date. That’s how Capehart –and we– missed it. We’ve corrected our copy, too.

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