Jesse Connolly, the NO on 1 campaign manager, recently wrote on the Huffington Post, examining what he believes happened in Maine.
It's clear that polling research, both ours and others, did not capture the intensity of Yes on 1 support. Polling cannot predict turnout and the impact of Tuesday's turnout was counterintuitive. We weren't alone: our opponents, political observers and field operatives all believed a high turnout benefited the NO on 1 vote. With voting approaching 60% in Maine, it's clear that wasn't true.Jesse also references how entrenched people are in their views on marriage equality, and how difficult it is to change people's minds in a matter of months during a short, initiative campaign.
I'm not skirting anything here when I suggest that we need to remember that it was not long ago when we were losing in double digits, when they threw an anti-marriage equality question on a ballot in a presidential year to drive conservatives to the polls.
It may turn out to be simply this: that by moving this basic premise of equality from the sink hole of catastrophic defeat state after state, year after year, to within striking distance of a win, that we are almost to the finish line. This tide is turning and you can tell by the histrionics from our opponents, from their "gathering storm."
This just underlines my opinion and push for long-term educational campaigns. During these campaigns, you don't have a time constraint, you don't have a looming vote hanging over voters heads who experience the pressure of two sides pounding their messages unto them. They're more open, more willing to listen, even if they don't necessarily agree.
It's during these educational campaigns that we can have the conversations with those who right now may not be for us, the conversations that Jesse refers to that are so desperately needed. Many believe that an educational campaign is a cop out to going back to the ballot. It's not. It's the foundation for a vote. It's the hard, scary work of endless hours without a definite vote in the future. But without this hard work, a victory at the inevitable ballot becomes further out of reach.