Friday, February 20, 2009

Pre-weekend expectations-setting

(Updated from a previous email-posted version).

I took a look at the 14 presbyteries which I'm led to believe will vote tomorrow (Saturday Feb. 21) on 08-B, and have categorized them based on their previous vote in 2001-2. Here's what the categories mean:

HOLD: previously voted pro-equality, want to maintain a pro-equality vote in 2009.

FLIP: Previously voted "no" by about 42%-49%, presbytery might flip pro-equality this year.

LONG SHOT: Previously voted "no" by a significant margin, small chance of shifting to pro-equality vote this year. (However, some of these have previously been our big positive surprises.)

SAM: "Seeking A Miracle" - not expected (by me, but what do I know) to shift to a pro-equality vote this year.

These are just my opinions based on prior history, and several votes in the past few weeks have already shown that my predictions are sometimes too conservative, so get out your salt shaker before you use this list.

As always, all pro-LGBT percentage shifts are good news, even if the presbytery votes "no". So doing get-out-the-vote everywhere is important.

FLIP Arkansas
HOLD Eastern Oregon
HOLD Giddings-Lovejoy, St. Louis, MO
FLIP Greater Atlanta
FLIP Homestead, Lincoln, NE
HOLD John Knox, Richland Center, WI
LONG SHOT Lake Erie, Erie, PA
HOLD Mid-Kentucky, Louisville, KY
FLIP New Hope, Chapel Hill, NC
SAM North Alabama, Huntsville, AL
FLIP Ohio Valley, Bloomington, IN
LONG SHOT Sacramento, Sacramento, CA
LONG SHOT The James, Richmond, VA
SAM Tropical Florida

Total expected Saturday votes: 14.
Minimum number of "yes" votes to hold with 2001-2 vote counts: 4 votes.
My target number of "yes" votes (optimistic scenario): 8 votes.

So 8 yes votes this weekend should be considered excellent. Anything above that is amazing, and anything approaching 12 "yes" votes would be considered a pro-equality blowout (and is also extremely unlikely).

There are several presbyteries on this list in the low-50% range from 2001-2, so don't be surprised if we see our first "negative flip" this weekend -- we could see a presbytery shift a few percentage points anti-LGBT and that would be enough to shift it to a "no". Hopefully that won't happen, but you never know.