Approve 71 campaign poll shows a tough fight ahead. Victory hinges on voter turnout

The Approve 71 campaign today released polling data that shows the campaign to protect all of Washington’s families and the state’s domestic partnership law promises to be a tough fight that hinges on strong voter turnout and broad voter contact.

Following certification of R-71 on Sept. 2, 2009, the Approve 71 campaign commissioned Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) to conduct a statewide survey of voters likely to vote in Washington’s upcoming general election.

“We have seen over the years that an increasing majority of Washingtonians support equality under the law for all Washington families,” said Anne Levinson, Approve 71 campaign chair. “But we know that in an off-year
election voter turnout trends to older, more conservative voters, and as much as half of the general population won’t be voting, so we wanted to ask just likely voters about specific ballot language.”

The poll result numbers strongly suggest it will be a close election.

When voters are read the exact ballot language, they divide 51 percent “approve” and 44 percent “reject.”

“The poll suggests the same trend we’ve seen across the country, the highest margins of support are among younger voters and those who vote less frequently, particularly urban voters,” Levinson said. “The R-71 election is likely to have a very narrow margin and since the measure was certified so late, we only have a few weeks to reach voters to explain what the domestic partnership law is and how it protects families. It is critical that those who support the law turn out to vote.”

Further complicating matters is the fact that when voters are unsure of what a measure is about, they tend to vote “no.” With R-71, supporters of domestic partnership law have the approve position.

“Every voter who cares about ensuring that all Washington families have equal protection under state law must talk to their friends and family about the importance of voting approve on R-71. Thousands of families across the state are counting on us,” Levinson said.

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There are now more than 180 community and faith-based organizations, and tens of thousands of people supporting the Approve 71 campaign. Major employers in the region like Microsoft, Boeing, Vulcan, Nike, PSE,
RealNetworks and others have also endorsed the campaign. For a complete list of endorsements and information on the Approve 71 campaign, please visit approve71.org.

Contact:
Sue Evans 253.592.1590 media@approve71.org
Josh Friedes 206.679.8546 media@approve71.org

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