Marriage amendment means it's a great time to be in Minnesota's media business
Millions of dollars will be spent this year in the effort to make sure Minnesota women can never do this.
Now is a great time to be in Minnesota's media business.
Between now and November, millions will be spent on ads pertaining to the state's full spectrum of political campaigns. But perhaps the most expensive political battle will be over the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
Pro- and anti-amendment groups have already raised about $2 million dollars, and David Schultz, a law professor at Hamline, predicts that's just the beginning.
Schultz told Talking Points Memo that he expects the two sides to ultimately raise between $8 to $10 million in funds for advertising.
"If I'm working for a television station, I'm thrilled to death," he said.
An electorate narrowly divided between those in favor and those opposed to the amendment could help Minnesotans United for All Families (the main anti-amendment group) and Minnesota for Marriage (the main pro-amendment group) intensify their fundraising efforts as November draws nearer.
A Star Tribune poll from November indicates that 48 percent of Minnesotans favor the amendment, compared to 43 percent who oppose it. But since the margin of error was 4.4 percent, the split might be even closer than the poll indicates. A Public Policy Polling poll from late last month showed an almost identical margin.
Although the pro-amendment cause appears to have a slight edge in the most recent polls, Schultz told TPM he ultimately expects the amendment to fail:
Schultz predicts $8 to $10 million will be spent on advertising pertaining to Minnesota's proposed gay marriage ban.
Professor Schultz expects the amendment to fail -- in part because of a peculiarity in Minnesota state law. To amend the state's constitution, a majority of all voters who show up to the polls in November would have to approve the amendment. If 1 million people vote in November, for example, 500,001 people would have to approve the amendment for it to pass. And if a person shows up to vote in the general election, but avoids voting on the amendment, it effectively constitutes a "no" vote, Schultz said. "That peculiarity in the amending process makes it difficult to pass an amendment," he said.
We'll find out whether amendment supporters can overcome that difficulty less than 10 months down the road, by which time Schultz expects up to $8 million more to be spent on the same sex marriage fight. It seems like money our state could've put to more constructive use, doesn't it?
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