the blog of DC Drinking Liberally
As expected, today Senate supporters of the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would change the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, failed to muster the votes needed to end debate — and fell far short of the two-thirds vote that would have been needed for passage. The vote was 49-48, slightly better than the 48-50 on an identically worded amendment two years ago (what a coincidence that these votes come up only in election years!).
But the Republicans have gained 5 seats in the Senate since the 2004 vote, so why was there only 1 more vote in favor of the amendment? I decided to get into the details and see exactly what happened.
First, 84 senators voted the same way both times, so we can ignore them. Then, there were some changes as a result of the 2004 election:
So the 2004 elections gave Republicans a gain of +7 on the vote. Why was their actual improvement only +3? The answer lies in what happened with those who were in the Senate for both votes but acted differently in the two years:
The difference is explained by the only two senators who actually changed their votes. Gregg and Specter, both Republicans, went from supporting the amendment to opposing it once it was no longer an election year for them.
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