Yet another survey on Proposition 8 shows the initiative is still leading by a razor-thin margin. This is going to be close one, folks. Very likely, the outcome will hinge on a large number of 18-34 year-old voters who remain undecided. The breakdown of this survey also confirms some new developments.
1. “The Gender Gap”. Male voters favor the initiative 53% to 41%, while female voters oppose 48% to 42%. This is incredibly bad news all the way around. For men and women to be so sharply divided on such a fundamental question indicates they are not living in the same moral universe. This spells trouble for marriages – real, opposite sex marriages – and all kinds of other relationships. It also constitutes more evidence that the 19th amendment was a supremely bad idea.
2. The baby boomers (age 50-64) are the only age group in which the initiative is losing badly. Their children (age 35-49) are more conservative, favoring the initiative slightly. The youngest generation (age 18-34) is slightly opposed with a large number remaining undecided. What’s going on here? It seems that Gen Xers have rebelled somewhat against their liberal parents, but it is doubtful that their convictions run very deep. Gen Yers, influenced by their parents’ indifference and their grandparents’ liberalism (baby boomers ran the schools during Gen Y’s formative years), see little reason to oppose same-sex marriage – or, apparently, to favor it.
3. This survey shows all racial groups favoring Proposition 8 except for Asian/Other. Blacks favor the initiative overwhelmingly by 58% to 38%. Some are speculating that the “Obama effect” – that is, blacks turning out at the polls in large numbers to vote for Obama – will push Proposition 8 over the top.
4. Education. Those who graduated from college oppose the initiative 49% to 45%, while those who did not graduate support the initiative 51% to 40%. I suspect this would track very closely with racial and other categories if broken down by education level.