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• In Minnesota, Democrat Mark Dayton holds a lead over Republican Tom Emmer. Mr. Dayton supports gay marriage, while Mr. Emmer does not. Minnesota is one of 20 states without a constitutional amendment defining marriage, so the issue could be very much in play in a Dayton administration.

• In California, a major court case over voter-passed Proposition 8, which disallows gay marriage, is in federal appeals court, presumably on its way to the Supreme Court. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown has refused to defend Prop 8 as state attorney general, so clearly he will help kill it as governor. In contrast, Republican candidate Meg Whitman supports Prop 8, but polls show her trailing Mr. Brown by several percentage points.

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at