Prop 8 Report: It Was The Lying "Think About The Children" Ads That Killed Us
Political analyst David Fleicher's long-awaited report on the Prop 8 campaign has been issued and he has concluded that it was Yes On 8's lying television ads about kids that turned the tide against equality.
After the election, a misleading finding from exit polls led many to blame African Americans for the loss. But in our new analysis, it appears that African Americans' views were relatively stable. True, a majority of African Americans opposed same-sex marriage, but that was true at the beginning and at the end of the campaign; few changed their minds in the closing weeks. The shift, it turns out, was greatest among parents with children under 18 living at home — many of them white Democrats.Fleischer says that while No On 8's response ads were very good, they came far too late in the campaign. Read Fleishcher's complete report.
The numbers are staggering. In the last six weeks, when both sides saturated the airwaves with television ads, more than 687,000 voters changed their minds and decided to oppose same-sex marriage. More than 500,000 of those, the data suggest, were parents with children under 18 living at home. Because the proposition passed by 600,000 votes, this shift alone more than handed victory to proponents. Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise. The Yes on 8 campaign targeted parents in its TV ads. "Mom! Guess what I learned in school today!" were the cheery-frightening first words of the supporters' most-broadcast ad. They emerged from the mouth of a young girl who had supposedly just learned that she could marry a female when she grew up.
Among the array of untrue ideas that parents could easily take away: that impressionable kids would be indoctrinated; that they would learn about gay sex; that they would be more likely to become gay; and that they might choose to be gay. California voters, depending on where they lived in the state, were exposed to the Yes on 8 ads 20 to 40 times.