Main | Thursday, December 04, 2008

Latest Analysis: Education And Income Strong Factors In Prop 8 Vote

The latest poll of California voters reveals that education and income were the strongest factors in the Prop 8 vote.
The new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California of 2,003 Californians who voted Nov. 4 found significantly less support for Prop. 8 among blacks than had been indicated by exit polls. Election Day exit polls triggered recriminations between gay rights advocates and black leaders. And now the new data indicates that 61 percent of Latinos voted for the ban, an even higher percentage than exit polls indicated on Election Day.

But while a majority of non-white voters backed a ban on gay marriage, the key finding in the new survey was that voters' position on Prop. 8 was determined more by their level of education and income than their race or ethnicity, said PPIC president Mark Baldassare. Among Californians with a high school diploma or less, 69 percent voted for Prop. 8. Among college graduates, 57 percent voted against it.

"Both among whites and non-whites, among college graduates and among upper-income voters, Prop. 8 lost," Baldassare said. "Among both whites and non-whites, among non-college graduates and lower income voters, Prop. 8 won. It seems to me that some of what we attributed to race and ethnic differences really had to do with a socioeconomic divide in regard to same-sex marriage." Because African-Americans and Latinos tend to have lower incomes and a lower share of college graduates than whites, Baldassare said the racial voting pattern on same-sex marriage was really a reflection of education and income.
The survey takers conclude that these results may not bode well for future votes on same-sex marriage if California continues to see population growth among the less educated and poor.

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