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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 24, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Friday briefing: singing for gay marriage; Akin poll — tank!

Happy Friday:

Part of the game in politics is shtick, a gimmick, some new or different method of gaining attention.  You have to give it to the Seattle Men’s Chorus and the Seattle Women’s Chorus, which plan to use their musical talents to sing in favor of APPROVING, (their use of caps) Referendum 74, the measure that could undo or uphold the state’s new gay marriage law. The choruses will perform five concerts in support of approving Referendum 74. The program will include an hour and a half of music, stories and speakers to advance the cause of gay marriage. Some songs on the schedule include “Over the Rainbow,” “Dancing Queen” and “Livin’ la Vida Loca.” The concerts will be held in September and October in Tacoma, Edmonds, Olympia, Bellingham and Seattle.


So, as the Rep. Todd Akin affair settles down ever so slightly, one wonders: What is the actual damage done to his Republican Senate campaign in Missouri? Quite a bit, says the Rasmussen Poll. The latest Rasmussen survey finds Akin dropping considerably in Missouri, which is pollster-speak for “maybe Akin should have skipped that now-famous radio interview.” The interview, of course, in which he said that women’s bodies somehow reject a pregnancy in case of “legitimate rape.” Akin’s Democratic Senate opponent Claire McCaskill, before all this, had been considered one of the more endangered incumbents. “Had” is the right word. McCaskill is now 10 points ahead of Akin, says Rasmussen,  who, by the way, has been described by the New York Times’ Nate Silver as leaning toward Republican candidates. Polls bop around a lot, so this is, as always, just a snapshot in time. The poll was conducted among 500 likely Missouri voters  Aug. 22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, landed the No. 4 spot on the Forbes Magazine list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. There are lists and lists. But what is interesting is that Melinda Gates landed on this one after her bold stance and huge commitment to improving access to contraception for women in some of the world’s poorest countries. For many years, contraception was not controversial, but it became so this past year. Think Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke. Gates has been clear that she is a Catholic but believes contraception can dramatically improve lives of women and children in many parts of the world.

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Comments | More in homepage, Politics Northwest, U.S. Senate | Topics: melinda gates, referendum 74, seattle men's chorus


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