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11th-hour surprise: Voter ID, marriage amendments both set to fail, says latest polling

These voter fraud ads aren't having their desired effect, according to the latest polling.
These voter fraud ads aren't having their desired effect, according to the latest polling.
Michael-Carlos Mitchell (@stmichael36)

Voter ID has looked like a sure bet to be approved since it first became clear the amendment would be on this year's ballot -- until this weekend.

MORE VOTER ID COVERAGE:
-- Minnesota Majority wants you to follow buses leaving polling places on election day
-- Majority of MN college students favor voter ID amendment that could disenfranchise 70 percent of them
-- Mike Freeman on GOPers making Franken-Coleman voter fraud allegations: "They are just liars"

The last round of Public Policy Polling's work here in Minnesota this campaign season contains an 11th-hour surprise: Both voter ID and the marriage amendment look set to fail, with both measures trailing by margins comfortably outside the margin of error.

The survey finds Obama comfortably ahead of Romney (53-45) and Amy Klobuchar crushing Kurt Bills (62-32), but those aren't surprises. What is surprising, however, is what the polling has to say about the amendments. From PPP:

We find both narrowly trailing. 45% of voters say they'll vote for the gay marriage ban, compared to 52% who are opposed to it. And 46% say they'll support the voter ID amendment to 51% who are opposed. Public opinion has shifted against both of these measures in the last month. In early October voters were only against the marriage ban 46/49 and they supported the voter ID question 51/43.

The marriage amendment is trailing because of a massive generational divide. Seniors support it by a 57/40 margin but every other age group opposes it, including a 36/62 margin against it among voters under 30. Republicans support it (79%) and Democrats oppose it (76%) in almost equal numbers, but independents tip the balance by opposing it 41/55.

The reason the voter ID amendment now appears to be in serious trouble is that Democrats (82%) are just as opposed to it as Republicans (82%) are supportive of it. We've found Republicans strongly supportive of the concept all year, but Democrats have moved sharply against it from 36% support in June to now just 14%. And independents have shifted over the last five months from being very much in favor (58/35) to evenly divided (49/49).

PPP was founded by Democratic pollster Dean Debnam and its survey results are known to skew somewhat towards the left. For instance, in June, the New York Times' Nate Silver found that PPP "shows results are are about three percentage points more favorable to Mr. Obama than the consensus of surveys." But on the whole, PPP's work is regarded as reputable, and thanks to a large sample size, the margin of error for the latest Minnesota poll (conducted November 2 and 3) is just 2.9 percent.

Has public opinion really decisively turned against voter ID just in the nick of time, or are PPP's survey results inaccurate? At this point, we won't have to wait long to find out.

:::: UPDATE ::::

-- 8:45 a.m. -- New survey results from SurveyUSA also show both amendments failing, which takes some steam out of the 'PPP's polls show liberal bias' argument.

SEE ALSO: Madonna urges Minnesota fans: "Vote No on the Marriage Amendment!" [VIDEO]


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