The study purports to debunk a number of assumptions about last fall’s election, the most significant of which are based upon exit polls. Specifically the study disputes the numbers regarding African American votes. I haven’t read the report itself yet, but the intro says that the 70 percent support figure is discussed extensively. I’m not quite clear as to why this data should be considered more reliable than the exit polls, but I’ll read the report and comment later. The following comes from this site.
A new study of the California Proposition 8 results debunks many of the myths surrounding Prop 8.
Below are our conclusions after reading the study by Professors Patrick Egan and Kenneth Sherrill about Proposition 8, which revoked same sex couples right to marry in California (download the whole study in pdf released on January 6, 2008. Also you can download the press release):
- The two most important characteristics determining the vote were party identification and ideology.
Those self describing as Democrats or Liberals, overwhelmingly opposed Prop 8. Those self describing as Republicans or Conservatives, overwhelmingly supported California Proposition 8.
- The third most important characteristic determining the vote was religiosity.
Those attending religious services every week, supported Prop 8 by 70% while those attending once a month opposed it by 52% and those hardly ever attending opposed it by 70%.
- The fourth most important characteristic determining the vote was age.
All the ages groups opposed Prop 8, except for those 65+ who supported it by 67%.
As importantly, when compared to another marriage initiative in California in 2000 (the Knight initiative), all age groups increased their support of same sex marriage equality in 2008—except for those 65 years of age or older.
- African Americans and Latinos supported Prop 8 by 58 and 59% respectively—not 70% plus as reported in an exit poll on November 4, 2008.
Furthermore, their vote correlates more with religiosity than race.
- Contrary to popular belief, knowing an LGBT person was not a significant factor in opposing California Proposition 8.