Monday, November 10, 2008

CA Dreamin'

My native state of California did some interesting ballot splitting in the election just concluded. As noted on the Secretary of State's General Election Results website, California voters went for Obama by more than a 6 to 4 ratio, actually 61% to 37.3%. Both parties felt so sure CA would vote Democratic that neither bothered to campaign there for president.

Superficially, those results would lead you to believe that Californians are reliably liberal. If they are so liberal, then it is difficult to explain why a majority (52.3% to 47.7%) of those same California voters supported a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to relationships between one woman and one man. That is a socially conservative vote for Prop. 8.

Let us suppose, for purposes of argument, that every one of the 4.1 million Californians who voted for McCain also voted for Prop. 8. That means that at least 1.6 million Obama voters voted against gay marriage. Fascinating. One has to wonder who these individuals are, probably some combination of Hispanics, African-American evangelicals, and blue collar white voters. The interplay of demographics and voting is endlessly interesting.