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Same-Sex Marriage and the 2004 Presidential Election

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2005

Gregory B. Lewis
Georgia State University


Immediately after the 2004 election, with overwhelming majorities in 13 states voting to amend their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and exit polls showing large numbers saying “moral values” were the most important determinant of their vote, many analysts emphasized religious and cultural divides in the electorate and the importance of the religious right and same-sex marriage in motivating President George W. Bush's base to get out and vote (e.g., Chinni 2004; Cooperman and Edsall 2004; Dao 2004; Manly 2004; McGough 2004; Testa 2004). With more analysis, the consensus seems to have shifted to an emphasis on incumbency, terrorism, and perceptions of character. Both voter turnout and support for Bush rose across a wide array of groups; evangelical Protestants and voters in states with same-sex marriage amendments on the ballot did not disproportionately increase their numbers or their preference for Bush; white women, married women, and Latinos may have played a bigger role in the shift toward Bush (e.g., Abramowitz 2004; Burden 2004; Freedman 2004; Nordhaus 2004; Sherrill 2004; Signorile 2004).

© 2005 by the American Political Science Association

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