Stats geek guru Nate Silver has trained his analytic powers on the marriage vote in the NY Senate.
Based on recent public statements and press accounts, we count 5 Democrats — Shirley Huntley of Queens and George Onorato of Queens, Ruben Diaz of the Bronx, Darrel Aubertine of Cape Vincent, and William Stachowski of Buffalo — as definitively being opposed to the measure. We also count 7 Democrats as undecided, one of whom — David Valesky of Oneida — we characterize as leaning toward a no vote.
On the other hand, while no Republican has publicly come out in favor of the bill, we have 9 Republicans who we characterize as undecided (although several are thought to be leaning no). A majority of these Republicans are from Long Island, a swing region in New York state politics. The most plausible path to 32 votes involves picking up the 20 definite yes votes, plus the 5 Democrats and 7 Republicans that we characterize as truly undecided or leaning yes. Although a clean sweep of these votes would seem unlikely, there are some backup options in the form of 1 Democrat and 4 Republicans who we describe as leaning — but not definitively — against the bill. (Note: we characterize Republicans who sponsored S.2056, a 2006 bill that sought to ban gay marriage in New York state, as definite ‘no’ votes unless there is more recent information to suggest they have moderated their position).
Democrats may take some solace in the fact that, when gay marriage bills were approved by legislatures in states like Maine and Vermont, they tended to pass with slightly more votes than anticipated. Still, based on the most recently available information, I would guess that their odds of securing 32 votes are not better than about one in three.
Please come to Sunday’s rally in midtown Manhattan.
(Via JMG reader William)