Surprise, surprise. A comprehensive new study that includes precinct-by-precinct voter analysis in California debunks the myth that black voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, which rescinded marriage equality and banned gay marriage. The new study finds support for Proposition 8 among black and Latino voters "was not significantly different than other groups" and concludes black support was "no more than 59 percent, nowhere close to the 70 percent reported the night of the election."
The report was conducted by political scientists Ken Sherrill of CUNY-Hunter College and Patrick Egan of New York University. The study was commissioned by the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco and released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. The results were explained this afternoon in a conference call conducted by The Task Force and Freedom to Marry. Full report in PDF.
The study found four factors—party identification, ideology, frequency of religious service attendance and age—drove the "yes" vote for Proposition 8. For example, "more than 70 percent of voters who were Republican, identified themselves as conservative, or who attended religious services at least weekly supported Proposition 8." On the other hand, "70 percent or more of voters who were Democrat, identified themselves as liberal, or who rarely attended religious services opposed the measure."
The Sherrill-Egan study blasts the much-touted exit polls which sampled "only a few precincts."
The level of support for Proposition 8 among African Americans was nowhere close to the NEP exit poll 70 percent figure. The study looked at pre- and post-election polls and conducted a sophisticated analysis of precinct-level voting data from five California counties with the highest African-American populations (Alameda (Oakland), Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco) Based on this, it concludes that the level of African-American support for Proposition 8 was in the range of 57-59 percent. Its precinct-level analysis also found that many precincts with few black voters supported Proposition 8 at levels just as high or higher than those with many black voters.
If more than half of black voters supported the marriage ban, that's still too much, but, the new figures are comparable to other demographics and nowhere near as large as purported. There is still much work to be done on all sides, especially in our own community. But the demographics of California are crystal clear: If you want to blame somebody for Proposition 8, go to overwhelming white Orange County or the San Fernando Valley and blame them.
Full report PDF.
Did You Read ...
Blackout on Proposition 8 [Advocate]
NAACP Rejoins CA Marriage Fight, Suit Against 8 [R20]
CA Speaker Bass: No on 8 "Bypassed Black LGBT Leadership" [R20]
Dan Savage Pulls Racist Column Before Appearance on "Colbert" [R20]
Not One Black Gay/Lesbian Couple in "No on Prop 8" Ads. Why? [R20]
N-Word Hurled at Blacks During Prop 8 Protest[R20]
OMG The Gays Are Trying To Get Gangsta With It [Cannick]
N-Bomb Is Dropped on Black Passerby [PHB]
Stop Scapegoating Black Folk on Prop 8 [JJP]
WeHo Marriage Rally Attracts "Noah's Arc" Stars [R20]
"Yes We Can" to "YES on 8": Blacks Overwhelmingly Approve Prop 8 [R20]
Anti-Gay, Black Pastors Use Children for Prop 8 [R20]
Blige, Etheridge Raise $3.9M for No on Prop 8 [R20]
"Noah's Arc" Cast Urges "No" on Proposition 8 [R20]
"Noah's Arc" Actor Doug Spearman, Black Ministers Urge "NO" on Prop 8 [R20]
SCLC Leader Criticizes Anti-Gay, Black Pastors [R20]