Prop 8, A California puzzle

November 13, 2008

Why, given the overwhelming majority for Obama in California, would Prop 8 would still lose, I have one opinion to offer. 

Over 7.2 Million people voted for Obama and only 5.7 million voted against Prop 8, a difference of about 1.5 million, or well over 10% of the total votes cast in each of the two races.  Some in the media, if you want to call Faux News the media, have offered up that African American churches were a significant factor and given the significant turn out of first time voters, this has surface appeal.  But Prop 8 only passed in LA county by about 1/2 percent but by much larger margins in counties with relatively lower minority registration.   While Prop 8 did pass in LA, Ventura, Orange and San Diego counties, they were relatively slim margins compared to mountain and central valley counties.  My view is that the difference between Obama winning big and Prop 8 winning is the “Reagan Democrats” most of whom would have voted for McCain had it not been for Bush’s horrific record. 

The real problem with California is not who voted which way, it is “who voted” and the answer is “too few people”.  The Secretary of State estimated that as of Oct, 20, there were 23.3 million people eligible to vote and only 11.7 million people voted on the measure, essentially only 50%.  And in LA county only 2.8 million voted on the measure out of more than 6 million eligible voters of whom almost 4.5 million are registered, i.e. fewer than 65% of the registered voters in LA county voted on Prop 8.  Compare those numbers with vote totals on Prop 8 in San Francisco where the vote on Prop 8 totaled about 80% of registered voters.

Obama won in large part because his ‘ground game’ did a good job, no a great job, of registering voters and getting the vote out, an expertise heretofore monopolized by the Right.  The Left, especially in California, needs to stop moaning and learn from all this.

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