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Tuesday, 9th December 2008

Post-Election Survey: Proposition 8 Results Expose Deep Rifts Over Same-Sex Marriage

Post-Election Survey: Proposition 8 Results Expose Deep Rifts Over Same-Sex Marriage
Source: Public Policy Institute of California

Proposition 8, the ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state, drew its strongest support from evangelical Christians and Republicans, according to a post-election survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Majorities of Latinos, voters without a college degree, and those age 55 and older also backed the measure, which passed by a 4–point margin (52% yes, 48% no).

In a history-making presidential election that energized voters, California’s 12 state ballot propositions generated high interest as well. Eight in 10 voters (81%) report that they followed news about the measures at least fairly closely, and a solid majority (63%) say they were most interested in Proposition 8. The survey, which polled 2,003 voters from November 5–16, finds these differences between Proposition 8 supporters and opponents:

  • Evangelical or born-again Christians (85%) were far more likely than others (42%) to vote yes.
  • Three in four Republicans (77%) voted yes, two in three Democrats (65%) voted no, and independents were more closely divided (52% yes, 48% no).
  • Supporters of Republican presidential candidate John McCain were far more likely than those who backed President-elect Barack Obama to vote yes (85% vs. 30%).
  • Latinos (61%) were more likely than whites (50%) to vote yes; and 57 percent of Latinos, Asians, and blacks combined voted yes. (Samples sizes for Asians and blacks are too small to report separately.)
  • Voters without a college degree (62%) were far more likely than college graduates (43%) to vote yes.
  • While most voters (65%) consider the outcome of Proposition 8 to be very important, the measure’s supporters (74%) are far more likely than those who voted no (59%) to view the outcome as very important.

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