Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekend voting wrapup - a good weekend for equality

I've now updated the tracking and percent-shift spreadsheet with the known results of this weekend's votes.

Scorecard for the weekend:
- 7 presbyteries voted
- 0 of these fell into my definition of "swing presbyteries" that I speculated could change their vote this year.
- 6 trended pro-LGBT compared to 2001-2.
- 1 flipped from voting anti-equality to voting pro-equality.
- Total: 3 "yes" votes, 4 "no" votes on 08-B. I would have predicted 2 "yes", 5 "no" if you had asked me in advance.

So this was a good weekend for equality.

As Michael Adee recently mentioned on the Morelightpresbyterians Yahoogroups list, we had another presbytery flip to pro-equality this weekend: East Tennessee. What's interesting about this presbytery is that in 2001-2 it took a voice vote on delete-b overture 01-A. I had been assuming that the "voice vote NO" presbyteries were probably so anti-LGBT that they would never flip pro-equality this year. East Tennessee now tells us that I was wrong, which is good.

There are 11 other presbyteries that took voice "no" votes on 01-A in 2001-2 (see the spreadsheet and look for "VOICE"), so it will be interesting to see if any of these might flip pro-LGBT this year.

Here's a summary of the percentage shifts from this weekend's votes, plus some comments:

East Tennessee
2001-2 01-A: voice vote no --> no percentage available
2009 08-B: 81 yes, 66 no --> 55.1% YES

Great job in East Tennessee to everybody working on More Light concerns there. This presbytery's voting history has been consistently anti-LGBT in the past, so to bring in the vote at a solid 55% pro-equality is a very strong positive shift.

New Covenant
2001-2 01-A: 120 yes, 214 no --> 36% YES
2009 08-B: 119 yes, 171 no --> 41% YES (5% pro-LGBT shift)

This isn't as spectacular a pro-LGBT shift as some of the mid-30%-support presbyteries have shown, however 5% is pretty solid. Every presbytery that shifts into the 40's with a "yes" vote becomes a more likely target swing presbytery in case we need to go through this delete-B exercise again in a few years.

The Peaks
2001-2 01-A: 77 yes, 166 no --> 32% YES
2009 08-B: 74 yes, 136 no --> 35% YES (3% pro-LGBT shift)

This 3% shift stays consistent with my working theory that presbyteries with previous votes slightly over 30% pro-equality are slowly shifting in the pro-equality direction.

Plains and Peaks
2001-2 01-A: 60 yes, 91 no --> 39.7% YES
2009 08-B: 41 yes, 60 no --> 40.6% YES (1% pro-LGBT shift)

Nothing spectacular, but I'll gladly take a 1% pro-LGBT shift even though it's pretty much statistical noise. The reduction in total voters is interesting here -- 151 people in 2001-2 vs. 101 people in 2009. Many presbyteries show similar trends in the total number of voters.

Prospect Hill
2001-2 01-A: 24 yes, 62 no --> 28% YES
2009 08-B: 12 yes, 63 no --> 16% YES (12% anti-LGBT shift, ouch)

This 12% shift in the anti-LGBT direction is consistent with my working theory that many presbyteries under 30% previous support are trending anti-equality in their votes. This is the largest anti-LGBT percentage shift we've seen so far. Checking my presbytery map, I see that Prospect Hill is in northwest Iowa plus a tiny bit of Nebraska, which doesn't particularly strike me as an area that I'd "expect" to trend anti-gay, however I don't live there so I don't know.

2001-2 01-A: 102 yes, 49 no --> 67.5% YES
2009 08-B: 102 yes, 28 no --> 78.5% YES (11% pro-LGBT shift)

Nice job to everybody in Redwoods for demonstrating that a presbytery already with a 2/3 pro-LGBT voting record can give us an additional 11% pro-LGBT shift.

2001-2 01-A: 50 yes, 20 no --> 71.4% YES
2009 08-B: 55 yes, 20 no --> 73.3% YES (2% pro-LGBT shift)

And to round them out, a >70% pro-LGBT presbytery shows that you're not done with the work of trending pro-equality until it's 100% YES. :-)