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Field Poll Shows Close Call on Gay Marriage Ban

The Field Poll’s final numbers on Proposition 8, the same-sex marriage ban on the ballot in California, are not out yet, but a statement put out by the No on 8 folks provides the following tease:

“The Field Poll shows that Prop 8’s deceptive campaign has failed to move their numbers much at all. Prop 8 is trying to run a campaign to get to a Yes vote, yet they have remained in this and other polls well below the 50 percent margin necessary for success. We are running a No campaign, and we are successfully keeping our opponents below 50 percent.
“We are highly energized across the state and we believe this will be a close election. We reject any suggestion that there will be a last minute surge for Prop 8 in a year where California is expected to go overwhelmingly for Sen. Barack Obama.
“In fact, today Prop 8 Campaign Manager Frank Schubert released a blog statement fretting that the presidential election would be called early on the East Coast, thereby depressing conservative voting in California.
“Finally, we note that the Field Poll has a stellar record on initiatives and has been accurate 94 percent of the time.”

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Field’s previous poll in September had the ‘No’ side winning 55-38 … a ‘no’ vote protects gay marriage in California. From reading this memo it looks like … the ‘no’ side is winning 50-45 or somewhere thereabouts? We will know shortly.

EDIT: Per a commenter, the measure is trailing 49-44. My guess was pretty good! But ballot initiatives are notoriously hard to poll, so this is probably best considered to be a toss-up.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

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