?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Journal of No. 118


November 16th, 2009

CA Voters - What you can do to repeal Prop 8 in 2010 @ 04:30 pm


Sign the Petition to get it on the ballot. Even if all you can do is to print out the PDF, sign it yourself, and mail it to their offices, that's a stamp well spent.
 
Share  |  Flag |

Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:dogofthefuture
Date:November 17th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
While I'm all for repealing Prop 8, I honestly think it might be better to wait until 2012. I don't think enough has changed in the past two years. Plus I think you'll want people to be coming out for the Presidential election as well.
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:November 17th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
I don't strongly disagree with you, but if I can help out with practically negligible effort, I am going to do so.

The more vital question is whether millions of dollars of advertising would be better spent in 2012 than 2010. Particularly if a 2010 run fails, will there be anything left for 2012?
[User Picture Icon]
From:dogofthefuture
Date:November 17th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
(Link)
That's part of the problem. Also I imagine many center/noncommitted voters will get really tired of this issue. Also, well, frankly we need to wait for the old people to die:

http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2009/06/future_trends_f_1.html

Callous but true.
[User Picture Icon]
From:ian_tiberius
Date:November 17th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
Yep. I strongly suspect that if it gets on the ballot in 2010 it will be defeated again. And money and morale are not unlimited. I have to say I also favor waiting until 2012, as a tactical matter.
[User Picture Icon]
From:jedifreac
Date:November 19th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
There are so many advantages to a 2012 campaign rather than a 2010 campaign but that doesn't mean that a 2010 campaign is a completely losing proposition. There's really no way to screw it up more than we did in 2008, but every time this side seems to be learning from it's mistakes. The campaign in Maine was run much more smoothly. I can see 2010 being a practice dry run. It is an opportunity to mobilize and keep the community aware of these ongoing issues.

Just looking at the abortion parental notification law that keeps coming on the California ballot every election cycle, and how every time it comes up it seems to get closer and closer to passing.

That said, even if the cons of a 2010 "dry run" outweigh the benefits of waiting until 2012, a 2010 run can still be tactically advantageous. There are two tracks to marriage equality, the first of course being through elections and repealing initiatives like Prop 8. But this is incredibly hard to do and will still be incredibly hard to do in 2012. The majority almost never awards rights to the minority. However, there is still that (admittedly also ambitious) Supreme Court case arguing Equal Protection. As long as campaigns are waged across the country on this topic, the argument for taking this decision away from the tyranny of the majority is strengthened. Win or lose, it shows that the right to marry is being driven by the whims of very fickle voters, and that's not equal protection at all.
[User Picture Icon]
From:shad_0
Date:November 19th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)

Re: 2012

(Link)
WARNING: I am about to reveal myself as the racist bigot that I truly am.

Plus I think you'll want people to be coming out for the Presidential election as well.

A substantial number of persons who historically did not vote registered for and voted in the 2008 election. The vast majority of these new voters were members of minority groups. As the Wall Street Journal reported: "About five million more people voted for president in November than four years earlier, with minorities accounting for almost the entire increase. About two million more black and Hispanic voters and 600,000 additional Asians went to the polls."

Before the election, the New York Times noted that strong minority turnout might actually help pass Proposition 8 in California, because minorities are "traditionally conservative on issues involving homosexuality." As one of the campaign managers for Yes on 8 said: "There's no question African-American and Latino voters are among our strongest supporters. And to the extent that they are motivated to get to the polls, whether by this issue or by Barack Obama, it helps us."

According to exit polls, these minorities did in fact vote overwhelmingly in favor of Proposition, resulting in its passage with a bare majority of 52.3% of the vote. The National Exit Pool reported that 70% of African-American voters had supported Proposition 8, while the Public Policy Institute of California reported that 61% of Latino voters voted in favor of Proposition 8 and that "57 percent of Latinos, Asians, and blacks combined voted yes." (Interestingly, according to the both the NEP and the PPIC, Caucasian voters were apparently split almost 50%/50%.) Of course, these exit polls are always open to question: the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute has concluded that only 58% of African-Americans actually voted for Proposition 8.

Whatever the exact figures, it's clear that minority votes were a key factor in the passage of Proposition 8. Given the much higher than usual minority turnout in 2008, I think it is not unreasonable to assume that there might be another such higher than usual minority turnout in 2012... and that there might not be one in 2010. So I'm not so sure I'd agree that waiting for a Presidential election year is such a good idea.
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:November 19th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)

Re: 2012

(Link)
WARNING: I am about to reveal myself as the racist bigot that I truly am.

Awesome, I knew Maria had good taste!
[User Picture Icon]
From:shad_0
Date:November 19th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)

Re: 2012

(Link)
:-p

(In all seriousness, though, I am making a generalization about people based solely on their race and a single data point...)
[User Picture Icon]
From:ladyeuthanasia
Date:November 19th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)

Re: 2012

(Link)

Honey, how can this turn from a popularity contest into a civil rights issue, like Virginia vs. Loving? It has to be taken away from The People, who are obviously regardless of color too stupid and selfish to live.
[User Picture Icon]
From:ladyeuthanasia
Date:November 19th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

(Link)

As a matter of fact, I do!
[User Picture Icon]
From:ian_tiberius
Date:November 19th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)

Re: 2012

(Link)
Whatever the exact figures, it's clear that minority votes were a key factor in the passage of Proposition 8.

Actually, a lot depends on which figures you rely on.

Let's go with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute report you cited. They conclude that African-Americans comprised 7% of California voters in 2008 and 58% of them voted for Prop. 8.

Working backwards from their numbers (see Table 1), if we assume that every African-American in the state had skipped the election, Prop. 8 would still have passed with 50.5% of the vote.

Or, to put it another way: AAs comprise about 6.2% of California's population. I cannot find demographic information I consider reliable from the 2004 or 2006 elections, but let's be generous to your theory and say AAs comprised perhaps 5% of the electorate in those years, surging to 7% in 2008. What you're talking about, then, is 2% of the electorate being slightly (58% vs. 50.5%) more likely than the rest to vote for Prop. 8, compared to voters in a non-Obama year. That shifts 7.5% of 2% of votes...for a difference of a 0.15-percentage-point shift in the final tally. So Prop. 8 passed with 52.3% instead of 52.15%.

Now, granted, if the National Exit Pool is right (that AAs were 10% of the electorate and 70% of them voted Yes) then these numbers change, and increased AA turnout shifts the final tally by almost a full percentage point. So - why go with the NGLTFPI report over the National Exit Pool?

Simple: the National Exit Pool is a traditional exit poll, taken by intercepting voters as they leave their polling places. These polls have huge margins of error, affected by factors such as which polling places your interviewers stake out (Pacific Palisades or Inglewood?) and the race/sex/age of those interviewers (old white people are more likely to stop and be interviewed if the interviewer is also old and white, etc.)

The NGLTFPI report, by contrast, relies on a survey conducted after the election by contacting voters selected at random from voter registration lists. While this method has its own biases (they presumably contacted those voters by phone, which tends to skew results slightly older and miss the very poorest demographic; people may change their minds post-election and convince themselves they voted differently than they really did) I think most experts would consider this methodology significantly more accurate than outside-the-polling-place exit polling, which is wildly unscientific.

In short, even the more compliant data only indicates a shift of about one percentage point in the final vote tally, and the data I find more convincing indicates a shift of more like fifteen-hundreths of a percentage point. Now, let's weigh that against waiting an extra two years.

According (again) to NGLTFPI, voters 65+ were 23% of the electorate in 2008, and 67% of them voted for Prop. 8. According to the CDC, the annual mortality rate for the 65+ population is about 5.1%. So about 10% of those old coots will kick it between 2010 and 2012.

They will be replaced by voters just coming of age, who will presumably roughly match the views currently held by the 18-29 demographic. (According to NGLTFPI, 45% of them voted for Prop. 8.) Using the same math as before, this shifts (2.3% * 22%) the final tally by half a percentage point.

And that's not taking into account other voters whose views towards gay marriage may soften during those two years. I daresay if we graphed polls on favorability towards gay marriage over the last ten years, we'd find it increasing in support a hell of a lot faster than a quarter percentage point a year.

Anyway, the long story short is that I think the minority turnout effect is pretty minimal, and certainly more than offset by expected changes in opinion over time amongst the electorate, even before we take into account the other factors I mentioned in my previous post which seem likely to bolster the strength of the pro-8 crowd in an off-year election.

/wonk
[User Picture Icon]
From:ladyeuthanasia
Date:November 19th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)

Re: 2012

(Link)

You forgots the brown peoples!
[User Picture Icon]
From:dogofthefuture
Date:November 19th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)

Re: 2012

(Link)
That's okay, because I'm an ageist bigot, and I think a much bigger difference will be made, numbers-wise, by waiting for more old people to die. Which means maybe it's best to wait until 2014 or even 2016, actually. But that would suck. So 2012 is the best compromise.
[User Picture Icon]
From:crboltz
Date:November 17th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
(Link)
Currently 51% of California voters believe that marriage equality should be the law of the land. This specific ballot language also makes freedom of religion clear, which is the second biggest objection the moderates (People who think they can be swayed). Most of the people I personally know who voted against my rights will be easily swayed with this language -- their church won't have to perform the same sex marriage. There aren't that many people to move, and any chance to create more equality is worth it. Every day that it is put off is one more day injustice.
[User Picture Icon]
From:ian_tiberius
Date:November 17th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
I'm only aware of one poll showing 51% of voters in favor of marriage equality. It's a Field Poll from last year, and statistically speaking it's probably an outlier. (There's also a difference between generic support for marriage equality and support for a particular legislative action.) As for the ballot language, how many people who vote actually read the text of the propositions? California voters never had the option of forcing churches to perform gay marriages, because of the First Amendment - so substantively this is no different than before. I just can't believe that making that explicit in the text of the proposition is going to make a noticeable difference in public opinion.

Finally, as dogofthefuture alludes to above, 2010 is a presidential off-year, which means low turnout, which means that the groups that always have high turnout (read: religious fundamentalists) will do better and the groups whose turnout is iffy (large chunks of the Democratic Party) will do worse. And not to read tea leaves a year in advance, but my sense is that the Republicans are going to be more energized in 2010, which is also bad news for repealing Prop. 8. Long story short, we had a lot of factors in our favor in 2008, and Prop. 8 still passed, and those factors won't be in our favor next year.

If you want to put it on the ballot in 2010, you can. I will show up to the polls and vote with you. But we're very likely not going to win, and there are negative consequences to that in financial terms and in terms of demoralized allies and energized opponents. If you lose in 2008 and 2010, how many people are going to want to get behind a third try in 2012? You can talk about injustice, but in the end the numbers are the numbers, and I still think that from a tactical perspective, waiting for 2012 looks a lot better.

Journal of No. 118