Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New source of 08-B vote tracking now available at this site

I've published a spreadsheet, which I hope to keep up to date, which not only tallies 08-B presbytery votes so far, but also tracks percentage vote trends comparing 2001-2 voting to 2009 voting.

I'm doing this partly because certain other 08-B vote-tracking sites have a vested political interest in NOT revealing that there is an overall pro-LGBT voting trend.

It's very difficult to see the patterns if you just look at total presbytery vote counts, where each presbytery is just "yes" or "no". But if you look at the individual (human) vote counts and compare the past to the present, you can start to see trends. The comparison that the spreadsheet makes is between 2001-2 delete-B voting and 2009 delete-B voting.

Trends so far:

-- Of the 28 presbyteries which have voted so far, 18 have trended pro-LGBT in their vote percentages when you compare to 2001-2 voting, and only 10 have trended anti-LGBT. As more presbyteries vote, this ratio will probably accelerate in favor of even more pro-LGBT shifts.

-- Of the 10 presbyteries whose votes have trended anti-LGBT, 8 of those votes were in presbyteries whose pro-LGBT vote was already under 30%. The other two presbyteries appear to be outlier cases. In other words, the presbyteries whose votes are trending AWAY from general pro-LGBT social trends are presbyteries which were already very heavily anti-gay, and which weren't likely to vote for 08-B in 2009 to begin with.

-- The overall pro-LGBT percentage vote shift is 3.3% so far, using an averaging method that weights each presbytery equally. If I were to weight it by number of voters in the presbytery, it would probably be a higher shift, however it's difficult to do that math until after everybody has voted.

-- There are some significant pro-LGBT shifts in many presbyteries. 7% to 9% pro-LGBT vote shifts are plentiful, and there are a couple of pro-LGBT shifts in the range of 15% to 20%. By comparison, the worst anti-LGBT shift so far is -10%, in Mississippi presbytery.

-- Several presbyteries which realistically couldn't be called "swing" presbyteries in the past have now shifted into the "swing" category, even though they voted no on 08-B this year. So if there needs to be a "next time" for a delete-B amendment, next time those presbyteries will be much more in play, and will be stronger candidates to vote yes.

-- Very few "swing" presbyteries have voted so far, where I define a "swing" presbytery as one that voted pro-LGBT by 40% to 49% (i.e. just barely against 01-A) in 2001-2. So the data that we have so far is kind of weird -- it emphasizes either heavy pro-LGBT or heavy anti-LGBT presbyteries.

-- Whatever it is that Utica (+21%), Northern Kansas (+16%), and Eastern Oklahoma (+15%) Presbytery More Light supporters are doing, everybody find out and imitate it, because it's working.

Even if your presbytery voted "no" on 08-B this year, if you shifted the vote pro-LGBT by 7% or more compared to 2001-2, you should be proud, because that's a pretty solid shift.

Over time I hope to add some more analysis, such as:

- Total pro-LGBT percentage shift calculated across all voted presbyteries at once, instead of just on a per-presbytery basis.

- Prediction graph that shows, visually, the pro-LGBT percentage votes by presbytery in 2001-2 and 2009.