Pastor Fruiten, one of the most prominent spokesmen for conservative Christians in this state, today offered this post-mortem on Referendum 71’s passage. The analysis was prompted, in part, by our editorial last week saying that R-71 supporters didn’t so much win the battle as R-71 opponents lost it.
The News Tribute ran an editorial which summarized the failure of the R-71 campaign: “R-71 critics got lost in their echo chamber “.
The Tribune observed that the electoral decision was not made so much on the facts of the situation, but “the bigger factor in the election was R-71 opponents’ failure to mount anything resembling a viable campaign.”
The omission was two-fold:
First – The R-71 campaign failed to recognize and address the “undecided voters.”
Second – A related omission, according to The Tribune, was that “supporters of traditional marriage couched their pitch in conservative Christian ideology and then spent the campaign talking only amongst themselves. R-71 might have failed had its critics offered persuadable voters practical arguments that didn’t depend on religious doctrine.”
Obviously there were substantive issues that motivated most voters but I do think The Tribune was substantially correct in their view of the campaign. From my viewpoint, the outcome would have been difficult under the best of circumstances. But our loss was made certain by three failures on our part:
We failed in our message.
We failed in our methods.
We failed in our money.
Furthermore, I still have to wonder if God was in the effort.