New Prop 8 Study Dispels Exit Poll Data on African American Voters

A new study by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force finds that CNN exit polls overstated Black support for Prop 8.

Based on polling data funded by Equality California Institute and conducted by David Binder Research, the study found that voters who supported Prop 8 were primarily influenced by:

  • Ideology – 82% of voters who identify as conservatives voted “Yes”
  • Party – Republicans voted more than 80% in favor of Prop 8
  • Religiosity – 70% of weekly church goers voted “Yes”
  • Age – 67% of voters born before World War II voted “Yes”

The study also showed that race was not a driving factor in the election, as was purported by the National Election Pool (NEP) poll which said 70% of African-Americans voted for Prop 8. Our study found the number closer to 57% to 59%.

One of the most important–and rewarding–findings was the movement in all groups, except Republicans, toward support for full marriage equality. From 2000 to 2008 we moved Californians 9% in support of same-sex marriage – an amazing change in such a short time!

I am hoping this gets out more and helps to counter some of the gay-black divide that occured due to the CNN exit poll results showing that 70% of Blacks voted for Obama. Of course, there is alway work to be done in minority and poor communities to raise awareness about homophobia and why people are fighting for ‘marriage equality.’ But the reasons for opposing homosexuality have more to do with a complex intersection of categories (class, education, religious affiliation, emasculated and sexist culture) than mere ethnicity.

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