As we count down the days to the November 6 elections, Queerty is looking at the current situation in the marriage-equality battleground states of Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota.
Today we look at Washington State, where gay-marriage advocates are working to uphold the state’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage.
Even though Washington United for Marriage, the campaign to approve Referendum 74, recently scored a whopping $500,000 donation from Bill and Melinda Gates, one poll shows the fight for equality is tighter than ever: An Elway survey released Wednesday, indicate support for Referendum 74 is under 50%, with supporters beating opponents 49% to 45%.
That’s only a four point margin—and considering “undecideds” often skew toward “no,” it’s too close for comfort.
Last week a different poll found same-sex marriage ahead by 54.1-38.4% among likely voters, but those numbers shifted to 52.9-46.6 when undecideds were factored in.
Opponents of same-sex marriage have argued consistently that a late voting trend will keep Washington from becoming the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage. Foes scored come-from-behind victories in 2008 with California’s Proposition 8 — now under challenge in the federal courts — and when Maine narrowly rejected marriage equality in 2009.
“We have gained 10 points since last month’s poll and are within 4 points and closing in: The other side is under 50 percent for the first time,” Rev. Joe Fuiten, senior pastor at Cedar Park Assembly of God Church, wrote on his Facebook page.
“Praise the Lord. May we prevail,” Sylvia Stewart, a Facebook friend, responded.
Supporters of Referendum 74 have spent $9.5 million on their campaign, but have lost ground in the poll, compared to $1.5 million spent by opponents. But money isn’t everything— “The other side needs only to sell fear and anxiety, something which unfortunately they are very experienced at doing,” says Ref 74 backer Anne Levinson, a former deputy mayor of Seattle.
Want an example? Check out this misleading and manipulative ad. To volunteer or donate to the cause of equality, visit the Washington United for Marriage website.