According to a new study just released, those zillions of dollars spent by both sides during the 2008 Prop 8 advertising battle didn’t actually change anybody’s mind.
The warring sides in the 2008 battle over same-sex marriage in California may have spent a combined $83 million for nothing, according to an academic study released Tuesday. The study by Patrick Egan of New York University looked at polling on gay marriage and domestic partner elections in 33 states since 1998 and found that no minds were changed despite millions in spending, hard-hitting advertising such as the much-quoted “like it or not” TV spot with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and emotional pleas from both sides. By election day, voters who opposed same-sex marriage before the campaign still opposed it, and those who backed it continued to back it. “The study indicates that when all of this (campaigning) is over, the result is a wash,” said Egan, who was joined by supporters of same-sex marriage at a news conference at San Francisco City Hall.
According to the above-linked story, the new study should serve as a warning to marriage proponents intent on putting the issue on the 2012 ballot. Equality California’s Geoffrey Kors agrees that a majority support will be required before even considering the attempt: “We’re not going in if the numbers don’t make sense.”