blame game

Did Soccer Moms Cost Us Marriage In Maine?


Even Maggie Gallagher points out, “There are not very many Mormons in Maine, or black people, either, so they cannot blame this loss on either minority group. Maine is a deep blue state, socially liberal and relatively secular, and close to Massachusetts, where people have presumably learned ‘the sky doesn’t fall’ after gay marriage becomes law.” While conservative religious and black communities shouldered much of the blame for Prop 8 in California, who can take the heat for what happened in Maine?

Or, conversely, we could look at this as, Who do we need to especially reach out to moving forward?

After crunching the poll numbers, Matthew Gagnon thinks he has an idea: soccer moms.

No on 1 dramatically underperformed in urban areas, and got slaughtered in the rural parts of the state. […] While No on 1 performed very well in Portland, even in the cities where no did in fact win, the margins were not nearly as high as was needed. Consider that Bangor and Scarborough only saw “no” victories of about 9% overall. That same level of separation was also present in Westbrook, Waterville, Gorham, York, Kennebunk, Wells and Topsham.

[…] This was the real battlefield where No on 1 lost. These voters – and their cousins in other counties – are not “back country hicks” – even though some areas of those counties are remote. I myself am from Penobscot country (Hampden, specifically – which incidentally went for Yes 53%-47% for those of you keeping score), and a great deal of these people represent the typical “suburban swing voter”. In other words, many of them work white collar jobs, live in mostly nice neighborhoods within striking distance of a city, and are pliable for whichever side makes the better case. We are not talking about culturally conservative “Deliverance” type areas here – this is the home of Maine’s soccer moms.

The failure of No on 1 to make any inroads in these types of voters is what ultimately doomed them. The people who live in townships and in the shadows of mountains may have been decidedly against gay marriage, but they don’t represent anywhere near enough votes to offset what happened in Portland and other No on 1 cities. This fight was lost among the middle class voters of “middle Maine”, and it was lost badly.

If that’s true, maybe we should take a hint from huge marketers like General Mills and Nabisco: Knowing that moms make the decisions in heterosexual households, let’s cater our message to them. If the wife insists that one lesbian she knows at work should be able to get married, she’ll make sure her husband feels the same when it’s time to pull the lever.