Earlier this year the Maryland legislature approved a new law allowing for same-sex marriage starting in January 2013, but opponents vowed to gather signatures to put the law to a public referendum. Given that polling on the issue was very close at the time of passage and given the poor track record of same-sex marriage initiatives at the ballot, at the time there appeared to be the real possibility the law could be vetoed by the electorate.

Since then though, President Obama has come out for marriage equality and his use of the bully pulpit has had a huge impact on Maryland voters, especially the state’s large African American population.