Updated August 28, 2006 Compiled & written by Mike Fitzpatrick
Quest News Update
Reality Check: The Column
Ban Opponents' Two-Day Canvass Reaches Over 25,000 Households
Madison - Over 500 volunteers knocked on more than 25,000 doors in at least seventeen Wisconsin cities August 26-27 to urge likely voters to oppose the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay civil unions and marriages.
According to statistics reported earlier today on the Fair Wisconsin website "No On The Amendment" blog, at least 509 volunteers were involved in the two-day "Walk the Talk" weekend canvass. In Milwaukee, 101 volunteers powered six different canvasses. Nine people talked to voters in Mineral Point. Green Bay had 22 volunteers, Eau Claire had 33, and 248 volunteers talked to Madison voters.
The intensified canvass was Fair Wisconsin's second concentrated effort to have volunteers bring their message to voters statewide on a one-to-one basis, following an intensive two weekend push last April. Also, smaller groups of canvass volunteers have been going out 1-2 times weekly in neighborhoods nearby many of the ten offices operated by the group around Wisconsin.
The "Walk The Talk" weekend comes following the end of the first week of Fair Wisconsin's commercials running in the Milwaukee media market, one that reaches nearly half the state's voters. The canvass also comes just prior an August 29 Milwaukee seminar on homosexuality issues and the proposed ban being co-sponsored by the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin and the national Religious Right organization Focus On The Family.
Some political analyists are pointing to the Fair Wisconsin campaign as the reason for more than ten digit drop in support for the amendment, which would bar legal recognition of all unmarried couples regardless of sexual orientation. Though a Spring, 2006 St. Norbert College poll showed a 60% support for the amendment, recent polls have indicated a 48-49% support for the constitutional ban.
The slide in the polls appears to have caused some concern among amendment supporters. In her August 21 weekly radio program entitled "Beware The Polls," FRI-WI Executive Director Julaine Appling admonished listeners to not "be easily swayed for the numbers you hear touted on a candidate or on an issue – especially the marriage issue."
"Regardless of which poll we're looking at support for the amendment is still leading the way," Appling reminded listeners, as she cited the 20-0 success record gay marriage ban amendments have had nationwide, one as recently as this past June in Alabama.
However, Wisconsin has been the first state to see a broad-based coalition of political, religious, business and labor groups go on record opposing such a ban. as outlined at the Fair Wisconsin website. Though there have been claims by ban supporters of 5,000 churches representing over two million voters, no similar endorsement list has yet been published.