The Huffington Post has just gone live with my piece on how surprising strength for Question 6 in Republican-leaning areas — such as Frederick and Anne Arundel Counties, both of which backed Romney but also voted for freedom to marry — made a difference in the results. Excerpt:
If ever a Republican county in Maryland deserved the label “rock-ribbed,” it would be Carroll County, northwest of Baltimore, which gave Mitt more than a two-to-one margin over Barack Obama, his best showing aside from the state’s far western Panhandle. Close behind would be affluent Queen Anne’s County across the Bay Bridge from Annapolis, which returned almost as good a showing for the former Massachusetts governor, and Harford and Cecil Counties northeast of Baltimore, which gave him still very impressive 3:2 margins over his Democratic opponent.
None of this group of counties went for Question 6: they’re simply too Republican, and support for same-sex marriage is distinctly a minority position among Republicans. What they did all do was to generate substantial swing votes in favor of gay marriage by voters who hadn’t gone for Obama. In Carroll, Question 6 ran a remarkable 11 points ahead of the president, in Queen Anne’s 10 points ahead, in Harford and Cecil 5 points, and in Frederick and Anne Arundel 3 to 4 points. Collectively these counties contributed tens of thousands more votes for Question 6 than if gay marriage had been, as you might put it, only as popular as the chief executive of the United States.
Read the whole thing here (& thanks for links to Andrew Sullivan, Don Boudreaux/Cafe Hayek, Maryland Juice, Adam Goodheart/Chestertown Spy, Steve Miller/Independent Gay Forum), Clarence Page/Chicago Tribune.