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UPDATE:  Article is here.  I must have edited it out somehow.

Analyzing the "why" of Prop 8's acceptance by the voters has thus far resulted in a lot of acrimony and finger-pointing, to put it mildly.  Nate Silver has done some digging and, as usual, has come up with some useful data.

First off, Nate debunks the idea that Obama's 20-plus-point landslide in California in and of itself caused Prop 8's passage:
First, Prop 8's passage wasn't an "unintended consequence" of Obama's victory:

Exit polls suggest that first-time voters -- the vast majority of whom were driven to turn out by Obama (he won 83 percent [!] of their votes) -- voted against Prop 8 by a 62-38 margin. More experienced voters voted for the measure 56-44, however, providing for its passage.

And that 21-point difference between pro-Obama and anti-8 results among new voters?  It was outweighed by the overall shift in the electorate:

If California's electorate had been the same as it was in 2004, Prop 8 would have passed by a wider margin.

Nate acknowledges that data on first-time African American voters is unavailable but that under-30 Latinos (Nate's best available proxy for first-timers) voted 59-41 against Prop 8.

Bottom line:

At the end of the day, Prop 8's passage was more a generational matter than a racial one. If nobody over the age of 65 had voted, Prop 8 would have failed by a point or two. It appears that the generational splits may be larger within minority communities than among whites, although the data on this is sketchy.

Thanks, Nate.

Now, can we all focus on what needs to be done from here rather than on how we got here?

Originally posted to badaspie on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:12 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Add a link to the page (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steve04, science nerd

    and go ahead and put up a tip jar while you're at it

    First person to tell me why Joe Scarborough is such a pissy man who needs baby shampoo gets a cookie (whatever the cafeteria has).

    by ronin122 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:20:16 PM PST

  •  Understanding the vote (16+ / 0-)

    is a necessary step in figuring out what to do. Any planning for the future needs to entail some additional polling that goes deeper than the sketchy exit polls.

  •  Take Note Kiddies of the Older Generation That (8+ / 0-)

    fought us boomers all our lives.

    We could never turn them, and heck we could never turn our successors until this very year when the younger Obama came along.

    But look. Obama failed, and on Prop 8 you guys failed as well, to turn our parents toward the future. That would be The Greatest Generation and their Korea War half successors.

    If that older generation(s) hadn't voted in 2000 we'd have had President Gore and think where we'd have been. We now know we did win it; with them out of the picture it'd have been too big to steal.

    Thanks to the youngest voting generation for finally being born and breaking this sorry half century log jam by sheer force of reproduction.

    There REALLY needs to be a better way.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:23:00 PM PST

    •  There is a better way... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scubaval, cany

      It's called time.

      Sorry if it sounds harsh, but every day several thousand of these folks either die or become too incapacitated to cast a ballot.

      My mom and several of my relatives of her generation are part of this group, and I can love them as individuals, but I still can't wait until they stop voting.

      Hannity is a hate crime.

      by abrauer on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:25:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "You guys failed..." (4+ / 0-)

      Please don't use the "you people..." term.  It is divisive and insulting.  I don't want to feel like a "you guys" minority on a supposedly progressive blog.

      Thank you.

      •  well, (0+ / 0-)

        either we're one big tent of people together in action, or we're not, and i think there are some people who need to make up their mind (certainly not necessarily you personally).  "we" is not exactly how it goes when "we" tell "you" how we would like to take action from here (particularly during pro-boycott utah discussions or church infiltrations).  then, all of the sudden, "we" have no room to talk.

        how about you left-leaning californians, because that - is reality in the last analysis.  not divisive, but fact.

        Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

        by jj24 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:14:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Got to give my Dad credit. We had a terrible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      relationship but we were in total political agreement and he would have loved to have seen Barack Obama win this election and give the speech in Grant Park.  

      He was an artist and his life partner was a black woman who now lives in Hyde Park. They both accepted gays as friends, before it was cool, back when there were states that would have prevented him and Mardelle from marrying.  As it was, there were only a few places they could rent together in Chicago.

      He passed away five years ago, shortly after I sent him a copy of Al Franken's book.  As a matter of fact, today is the fifth anniversary of his death.

      That said, I know that my father is the exception that proves your rule.  Most of them really thought that the Vietnam War was the same as WWII.

      Piffle crack eat monkey snow. Really. Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald

      by Susan Grigsby on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:50:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TealVeal, homogenius, Scubaval

      "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." ~ Max Planck

      Greatest the blame, least the shame.

      by houyhnhnm on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 06:11:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Like Dan Savage said on Colbert last night, (12+ / 0-)

    it's not black people, it's old biggots.

    Old biggots will die and the multi-cultural youth will be albe to undo the damage.

    •  As long as we keep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      religions from indoctrinating innocent youths!

      •  Sad statistic on that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, homogenius

        The Human Rights Campaign has been tracking polling on black support for gay rights.  It's the only racial group that has held steady over time...thankfully, it's also a small slice of the electorate and we can prevail even without their support.

        But it is, perhaps, best documented among blacks. A survey for HRC in March 2004 showed fewer than one-third of black voters said gays should be allowed to marry.

        Twenty percent of that survey’s 600 respondents indicated they strongly believed that gays should be allowed to marry. Another 8 percent agreed that gays should be allowed to marry, but did not hold a strong position on the issue.

        According to the survey, 50 percent of blacks strongly believed that gays should not be allowed to marry and another 11 percent agreed, albeit "not strongly."

        Four years later, surveys show the numbers generally are unchanged.

        No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

        by steve04 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:32:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

          I won't go there.  You turned my "It's a religious thing" to "it's a skin color thing."

          I think it is more helpful to look at the religious and cultural roots of homophobia  rather that particular demographic.  Using the term "Blacks" is too simplistic and does not help define the true enemy.

          •  There's a strong correlation (0+ / 0-)

            The religious culture in the African American community is strong, and seems to be "indoctrinating innocent youths," to use your words.  Statistically significant polling, not the silly 2008 exit poll of a whopping 224 people, shows there is one group with opinions on gay rights that have not budged.  In terms of understanding where we should focus our efforts, that either tells us we need way better outreach to the black religious community, or we should give up on them, since they have proven to be remarkably resistant to change on this issue.  I know I'm not qualified to make that distinction, but the simplistic facts speak for themselves.

            I personally think the word "enemy" is too simplistic and may not be productive in this struggle.

            No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

            by steve04 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:48:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Probably an effective investment (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              steve04, rf7777, vcthree

              is not to devote resources to any strongly religious group. We are not likely to change their minds. It's the people on the fence that we need to get to. Some of them were tipped over to vote yes. What did it?

              •  Yep..."frame the debate" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rf7777, vcthree

                You can only get through to people if what you say fits within the frame of their reality.  If it's at the edge, you can shift the middle of their perception.  If it's outside their box, they view you as crazy and just discount what you say.

                No on Prop 8::Sometimes I get to hitch a ride on the Democratic Bus--they let me stand on the back bumper.

                by steve04 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:55:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I am actually agreeing with you. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              It is just my preference (whether accurate or not) to pin this on religion rather than race.  I am (too a  fault) rabidly anti-religion (not anti-spiritual.)  "Baptists" may indeed be unreachable and unmovable.  

    •  we still cannot, however, ignore the 70+% of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy, homogenius, jgilhousen, browneyes

      AAs that voted FOR prop 8.  We need to do our homework.

      Whose marriage do we get to vote on next?

      by cany on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:28:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Careful... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It more useful, more accurate and less racist to frame and understand that (slightly inaccurate) statistic in the setting of culture and religion, not skin color.

        •  There is such a thing as (6+ / 0-)

          an African American culture. Trying to understand that is not assigning blame to skin color. Even though religion is certainly part of the picture I suspect that it has a somewhat different configuration in this culture than it does with white Mormons or Baptist.

        •  Baloney. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Spare me the PC crap. African-Americans is an accepted demographic to analyze for political purposes.

          Very few people, gay or otherwise, actually blame black voters for passing Prop 8. But many LGBT people and our supporters feel hurt and betrayed that up to 70% voted against our civil rights. We are perfectly entitled to feel that way. And that sense of betrayal isn't because they are religious--it's because they are African-American.

          All the arguments that we need to speak more effectively to these voters are good as far as they go. But I would counter that if black voters repeatedly refuse to listen to the national NAACP, Coretta Scott King, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Al Sharpton--who ARE they going to listen to?

          The risk here isn't that LGBT people will actively campaign against measures to combat racial injustice and equality--it's that they'll sit on their hands and fail to actively support them.

          Let's remember something here--we have racial inequalities in this country. But we have had civil rights protections based on race for 40 years. The constitution has protected religious belief for over 200 years. But we have ZERO civil rights protections for LGBT people at the federal level. NONE.

          Don't be surprised if LGBT people start to look closely at who our friends are.

          "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

          by homogenius on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 06:54:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  keep us updated how the witchhunt's going. (0+ / 0-)


            Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

            by jj24 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:20:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bite off, Bucko. (0+ / 0-)

              "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

              by homogenius on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:25:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  How did homogenius say anything at all (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon, jgilhousen

              that called for this kind of comment?

              No comment of any kind saying all blacks are homophobic, far from it.

              All that was said was that people who DID vote one way are not friends of our community and should not be treated as wholesale rejection of any one community was made or even implied.

              •  sorry, (0+ / 0-)

                but i'm not able to turn on a dime here.  being a part of one of the broadbrushed villians during this hatefest extravaganza, with homogenius part of the chorus (and still is, apparently), i'm not at all comfortable the last statement of his post.  why be so ridiculously threatening?  is there a homophobe under every sofa?  please, and it's not like this is the first of its kind.

                you know, there was some damage done this week as a result of prop 8 being passed - and it hasn't all been inside the GLBT community.  shockingly for some of us on the left, it was the GLBT community v. whoever in the hell was in their sights at the moment.  yeah, i can only hope the drama is over and it's time to go to work, but i am not unscathed or ready to move on as if this collective embarrassing reaction didn't occur.  i'll move on gladly, only by staying in reality and recognizing what just happened, the potential damage it could have done to both the GLBT community and the left's agenda moving forward, and with some recognition of the fact by the perpetrators of same.

                Obama 44! So why are we moving to the right again?

                by jj24 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:47:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  It is a religious matter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TBarta, ExStr8, jj24, Eikyu Saha

    as well as a generational one.

    Those more scarred by religious demagoguery (bigotry in the name of Jesus) voted for Prop 8.

    •  It's also a schoolyard ideology issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Kids look for anything to tar other kids, and they often get away with it.  "Ewww, you're a #$%&!"  All they need to do is hear it once from their parents, or whomever, and it can bounce around the playground for many years, instilling all sorts of phobias.  It takes a lot of work to undo that.  

  •  Given recent church history (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homogenius, ExStr8, Eikyu Saha

    neither the LDS or the Catholics should be casting any stones at anybody else.

    •  Defense of Marriage Act (4+ / 0-)

      Who's the best one to blame for all these anti-gay marriage amendments going on the ballots in states across the country? Bill Clinton is for signing the Defense of Marriage Act into law. He made it acceptable.

      John McCain spends $150,000 of his campaign's funds on his V.P.'s clothes, and $22,800 for her makeup because he's such a Fiscal conservative

      by William Domingo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:31:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Spare me the historical revisionism. What were his choices?

        1. Veto the act and have the override fail, thus emboldening the haters to pursue a constitutional amendment. That would bypass the President and land us in an expensive, exhaustive, state-by-state fight that would be devastating for us.
        1. Veto the act and have it overridden for nothing. This is the most likely outcome. No President wants to expend his political capital (which in Clinton's case had been decimated by our mutual enemies). This would have been pointless.

        Neither of those possibilities was remotely appealing.

        "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

        by homogenius on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 06:59:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my theory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj24, ebohlman

    Look at the exit poll numbers for Prop 8:

    Vote by Age
               Yes    No
    18-29 (20%)  39    61
    30-44 (28%)  55    45
    45-64 (36%)  54    46
    65+   (15%)  61    39

    Now, what jumps out at you about those numbers?  To me, it's that support for gay rights doesn't ascend smoothly as you go down the age groups - instead, it plateaus between ages 30 and 64 and then there is a sharp cliff at age 29.  

    Does this make sense?  Why would the 30-44 group actually support Prop 8 by a one point greater margin than the 45-64's?  What does the 30-44 crowd have that the Yes on 8 people exploited?

    Young children.

    And that, I think, is the crux of the matter.  Not race, not even religion, but that the Yes on 8 crowd blanketed the airwaves convincing parents that something very gay was going to happen to their precious little darlings if Prop 8 failed.  And so I think a lot of people decided that, although they weren't proud of having to vote this way, when it comes to their precious little darlings, they're not going to take any chances.

    If the No on 8 had done a better job convincing them that this would in no way involve their kids, I think the numbers would have looked like this:

    Vote by Age
               Yes    No
    18-29 (20%)  39    61
    30-44 (28%)  45    55
    45-64 (36%)  54    46
    65+   (15%)  61    39

    Which just make more sense, when you look at it, and I presume it would have been enough to win the day.

    •  This is where somebody (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, browneyes, badaspie

      needs to do some focus groups and find out exactly what did influence people's votes. Speculation is not information.

    •  I think you may be on to something (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      One of the biggest failures of the No on 8 campaign was its failure to portray families headed by same-sex couples, despite the fact that it was largely the concerns of such families that led to the CA Supreme Court decision. Same-sex couples raising children isn't some "untried social experiment"; it's something that's been widespread for decades. Banning same-sex marriage isn't going to change that; it's just going to keep those children from having married parents.

      I do like conducting hearings in an actual hearing room -- John Conyers

      by ebohlman on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:23:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beating a dead horse here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, browneyes, owilde69

    I believe we've moved beyond this discussion at this point. It feels good - perhaps you should try it.

  •  Please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Enough.  People are just cooling off and thinking rationally.  Most people get it.  They realize it's illogical to blame any demographic except the 'Yes' voters.
    Can we stop re-hashing this?  This topic is becoming an ulcer on DailyKos.

    I'm waiting to be written in The Book of Love. SGWM, 40, seeks VGL HWP....

    by Skylarking on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:37:10 PM PST

    •  It's good that people (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy, burrow owl, highacidity, slatsg, jj24

      are cooling off.  However, and especially since Prop 8 was losing until the pro-8 campaign went into crusade mode, I think it helps to know as much as possible about the demographics of the pro-8 voters.  Focused campaigns work, and there are other battles to fight besides the one in California.

    •  I hate this meme. (0+ / 0-)

      Most people weren't "blaming" black voters. We felt hurt and betrayed. That is a very different thing.

      I'm sick of people repeating this lie over and over.

      "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

      by homogenius on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 07:06:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As referenced elsewhere (0+ / 0-)

      on this thread, the people who have been tracking the views of African Americans on the marriage issue were well aware of how overwhelmingly negative they were. However, for many people in the gay community I think this reality came as a shock and a surprise. They weren't surprised by the Mormons and the Catholics, but they weren't prepared for this.  

  •  Regarding the elderly vote.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, badaspie

    It is evident that as generations pass, the more tolerant we become as a society. Now, I am not saying that EVERY single older person is a homophobe. But, many of them see marriage as something that is sacred to heterosexual couples. It is difficult to dispute that without arguing because both sides will not give in. In our community, we have to do outreach to everyone, not just the elderly or African Americans. Because, at the end of the day, the more we are out there "proving" our normalcy; the more likely it will be that mood will slowly shift in our direction. This has been seen in the overwhelming No vote among new and younger voters.

  •  So we need to hold the next election after 4pm. (5+ / 0-)

    Or during Matlock.

    Problem solved.

    The tall people want what the short people's got - The Shaggs

    by burrow owl on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:55:29 PM PST

  •  Nate Silver is my hero. (0+ / 0-)

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